“I’ve become a bit of a plant Mum”, Sadie Soverall laughs as we’re both sat in our rooms amid lockdown 3.0, one Zoom background displaying much more green than the other. “I’m bringing the outside in. It’s good for the soul.” The 19-year-old and I are discussing survival tips against the quarantine blues, and although the early months of 2021 haven’t yet felt too dissimilar to those of 2020, January was filled with anticipation for the newcomer as she eagerly awaited the release of her first major role in Fate: The Winx Saga.
Having hit screens in late January, Netflix’s latest original series is best described as a three-way love child of Harry Potter, Sex Education and Stranger Things. With that amalgamation in mind, it’ll come as no surprise that the teen dream immediately transfixed the binge-watchers of quarantine, providing a much-needed escape from the country’s current 5pm BBC News obsession. Led by an eager fanbase that’s longed for its release since the show was first teased last year, Fate: The Winx Saga naturally spent its first week dominating the Netflix US and UK’s Top 10.
As I speak to the young actor, just days before the series airs, Soverall is yet to have the pleasure of witnessing the show’s success. “The fanbase is really
passionate and I’m just really excited for people to see it,” she beams, radiating both excited and nervous energy. “This is my first really big show, so I’m just excited to see what people think!”
Soverall plays Beatrix, the wily air fairy that possesses the power to manipulate the elements’ electrical charge. “She brings a darkness,” she explains, “another twist to the story. She’s very good at adding the edges and undertones.” But as the series’ antagonist captivates the attention of fans with her effortless poise, the actor admits Beatrix’s wealth of self-confidence is not something she can personally relate to. “She knows herself so well and that’s something which I have sometimes struggled within my life. It was really nice to tap into that side of me.”
(LEFT) All clothing by MIU MIU.(RIGHT) Dress by REJINA PYO and sweater by ASHLEY WILLIAMS
All clothing by MIU MIU. Dress by REJINA PYO and sweater by ASHLEY WILLIAMS
Nevertheless, Soverall’s vision for Beatrix was clear from the outset. “As an actor, it’s so rare when you get one of those roles which you just immediately have a connection to and think ‘I know exactly how you’re going to play [her],’” she says. “I was just immediately like ‘I love this role!’” Soverall might have been the youngest on set, but don’t be fooled in mistaking her youth for naivety. Her seamless transition into her first leading role showcases a natural ability most can only dream of. “I didn’t have to do much, technique-wise, to get into the mindset of her. I don’t know why, just something clicked.”
But landing your dream job at 17 does not come without its own set of unavoidable challenges. Combining the pressures of filming with the demands of A-Levels, Soverall found herself torn between set in Ireland’s County Wicklow and home life back in London. “It was quite a shock in the beginning because it’s all quite full on. I was also at school while filming so I had to fly back and forth. It was a lot of pressure. I was going from Ireland to England once a week at some points.” Ironically, unbeknown at the time, Soverall was soon to realise the benefits of knowing how to successfully navigate remote learning, beginning to giggle as she points out: “It was actually really good practise for the lockdown!”
Before we bring our chat to an end and I pester Soverall one last time about the chances of a second season — the short answer being we just don’t know — I’m intrigued to understand how the show’s representation of identity compares to her own narrative. “Acting has been a really big milestone for my identity and personality,” she asserts. “Your whole teenage years are encompassed with you trying to figure out who you are. I think acting has played a massive role in that for me.” Still on the path to selfhood, Soverall’s taking 2021 to embody the quality of truly knowing oneself. “This year, I’m taking more time for myself… And also being myself.” A perfect New Year’s resolution to help guide her through what we have no doubt will be an equally impressive year for the young star.
All clothing by CHRISTOPHER KANE.
All clothing by CHRISTOPHER KANE.
Sven Bayerbach at Carol Hayes Management using Bouclème.
Bari Khalique using Dior Backstage Collection and Capture Totale Super Potent Serum.