The Kids Are All Right
B&B’s newcomers Nia Sioux and Adain Bradley are ready for their big summer story
Soap Opera Digest: It’s a lot of responsibility to carry a soap’s teen summer storyline. What was your reaction when you found out you’d be sharing a love story?
Nia Sioux: That it was going to be a lot of fun. When I first heard, I was like, “Oh, that’s gonna be something that nobody’s ever seen me do on television.” Coming from reality [DANCE MOMS] and now on a soap opera, it’s really cool that I have a storyline like that.
Digest: Adain, are you ready for Xander’s shirtless workout in FC’s Sky Lounge?
Adain Bradley: I’m getting ready [laughs]. Put it this way, summer is here. I’ve tried to stay in decent shape, but in the first few weeks, I realized that that’s going to land on me and I’ve been focusing on that a lot more. I’m trying to get used to working out with these long hours at the studio, but we’re getting there!
Digest: When did you first meet?
Sioux: Okay, so I had a chemistry read with three guys, and Adain came in and we could just tell that our read went really well. I could tell that he was probably going to be joining us here.
Bradley: To be honest, when I first met Nia in the chemistry read, I thought, “Oh, this is going to be fun,” and I was hoping that I’d get the call. The special thing for me about the process was that Brad Bell [executive producer/head writer] likes to find the person and write the role for them, which is really great. When I first came in before Christmas of last year, it was a fully American role. It was potentially recurring and I’m not sure they had an idea of what they quite wanted yet. Subsequently, I read three or four times after that, and then I came in for a producer session with Brad. Nobody knew I was English, and at the end of the audition, I thought, “Okay, I have to come up with something to make myself interesting,” so I dropped the [American] accent and I went, “All right, cool. Cheers, guys!” And then a week after that, I had to read with Nia and they said, “We’re gonna try it again, but try this one in English this time!” And the rest was history, I suppose.
Digest: Nia, did Adain have a leg up on the rest of the guys because of the English accent?
Sioux: Yes. It’s charming everybody on the set.
Bradley: I hope so. Ultimately when I walk in and people hear my voice, for the first 30 seconds I’m the most attractive guy in the room.
Digest: Your first scene together was literally a knockout.
Sioux: Our first scene went great. Ever since then, whenever I walk by, I accidentally hit him in the head and then he falls like the first time meeting him. It’s cute. I love the way it was written. What a cute way to get introduced to a new boy!
Bradley: Our first scene was on my second day here, and there’s just something about her. She has this way of making you feel genuine. She’s really good. We’re both really new, and Nia is doing a fantastic job. I think we’ve established a great rapport that’s just going to get stronger over time.
Digest: Was it difficult not to crack up?
Sioux: It was actually really funny. I didn’t actually hit him, so no concussion. We tried to keep it going with Emma rushing around everywhere, trying to get him conscious again. The funniest part was at the end when he looked up and was just like, “Whoa,” and I was like, “Oh, whoa is right.” It was so like, “Oh, my gosh. I’m falling for this guy!”
Digest: What about that first kiss? Were you nervous? Looking forward to it?
Sioux: Well, that was my first on-camera kiss. It was funny because my mom was reading the lines with me, and she didn’t realize that we were coming to my on-screen kiss. After I was done, she was like, “I didn’t realize you had to kiss him!” and I was like, “Yeah, Mom. You read that!” It was cool. I was kind of nervous because, I don’t know, it’s weird. But before we were getting prepared and everything, I started laughing and Adain was like, “It’s fine. We got this,” so I put myself together.
Bradley: It was funny, wasn’t it? It’s very intimate and very close when you’re blocking the scene and all of a sudden over the P.A. you hear, “Do you mind cocking your head 90 degrees more that way?” It’s not romantic. I just wanted to make sure Nia was as comfortable as possible, but she’s a pro. We rehearsed it one time to keep it natural, and it went really well.
Digest: It sounds like you have a friendship on- and off-screen.
Nia: Adain actually took me under his wing because he’s done scripted shows before. He’s been doing this for a while and this is my first scripted show, so he gave me tips and has really helped me by running lines. He’s awesome.
Digest: Speaking of mentoring, who in the cast has been helpful in getting you both acclimated to B&B?
Bradley: To be completely honest, just about everybody I’ve met has been welcoming and helpful. We do rehearsals in the morning and most everybody shows up, so I’ve met people here and there. I was fortunate enough to get a tour the day before I started, which was lucky for me because I have zero sense of direction. When I had my first scenes with Scott Clifton [Liam], he was fantastic. Thorsten [Kaye, Ridge], Ingo [Rademacher, Thorne], Annika [Noelle, Hope] … Everybody has just been super-welcoming since I’ve been here.
Sioux: Since day one, Annika has been so sweet to me. She’s really awesome. I have a lot of scenes with her so we’re always in and out of each other’s dressing rooms, so we see each other a lot.
Digest: Have you gotten the chance to hang out when you’re not working?
Sioux: Things move so fast here that we didn’t actually talk much before our first scenes, but then we started to talk more about life, where we came from, how we got these roles and all that stuff, and we’ve actually become really close.
Bradley: It’s a shame because we’ve been working so much and, of course, she might be in the next scene and I’m not, so I’ve tried to speak to her and she’ll be like, “Go away, I’m trying to learn my lines!” and vice versa. When we have time, I really want to try to focus on that because it really makes everything easier. We try to get to know each other, but outside of work, I think moving forward, it’s going to be important.
Digest: Nia, did you catch Adain on RIVERDALE?
Sioux: Yes! I watched the first season of RIVERDALE, and when he told me he was on it I was like, “Oh, my gosh!” I have a boyfriend in real life and I was like, “Hey, my love interest on the show used to be on RIVERDALE!” and he was like, “No way! Which character was he?” and I told him he was Trev, Valerie’s brother, and he was like, “That’s so cool!”
Digest: How does your beau feel about you playing a love story on a soap?
Sioux: Oh, it’s fine because he’s an actor, as well, so he totally gets it. It’s our job. His name is Bryce Xavier.
Digest: A Xavier and a Xander!
Sioux: Isn’t that funny? I was like, “That’s the weirdest thing ever.”
Digest: Has your mom put Adain on watch?
Sioux: If my dad was on set he would be like, “Listen, young man,” but my mom is pretty chillax.
Digest: Since it’s early in your careers, do you watch yourself on camera?
Sioux: Whenever I was on DANCE MOMS, I used to never watch myself. I was just like, “I lived through it, so I don’t need to watch myself again.” The first episodes that I was on B&B, I definitely watched because I was like, “I want see how I look on camera. What can I do differently? What I can do better?” I am not a person who likes to necessarily watch myself. I really don’t! And now that I’ve been doing it for a bit, I don’t watch myself as much, but when I first started doing the episodes, I made sure I would watch — just because that was exciting and it was the first time I was acting on-screen so I was like, “I have to see that!” Also, there’s the component where I’m very critical of myself and I need to make sure that I’m taking notes and doing my job well. This has been a real learning experience!
Bradley: See, that’s what my parents are for! They can watch me and give me notes because if I have to look at myself … Honestly, I pass mirrors and get upset that I had to see myself! I don’t have mirrors in the house. I’m very lucky. I have a very good acting coach and he establishes notes for me because he knows I’m so bad at looking at myself. I have the right team around me.
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