The cast of Fate: The Winx Saga returned to Ireland for the second season and of course, KISS had to catch up with all of the girls.
We see the girls return to a very different Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld, with even more monsters to battle. Oh and even more high school drama. Of course!
KISS sat down with Hannah van der Westhuyen (Flora), Eliot Salt (Terra), new cast member Paulina Chávez (Flora), Elisa Applebaum (Musa), Abigail Cowen (Bloom) and Precious Mustapha (Aisha) ahead of season two dropping on Netflix.
And here’s what they had to say….
Hey guys, we’re so excited for season two! But we have to start by asking – what was it like coming back to Ireland to film!
Hannah: It was absolutely gorgeous! It was so lovely to come back and see old faces. The Irish are absolutely phenomenal to work with! It is the most beautiful landscape and the most beautiful people. We’re very fortunate.
Elisha: There was an incredible day where we were on top of a mountain but it was all cloudy so you couldn’t actually see anything. But this white, wild horse just came through the clouds. It was magical. Ireland is magical!
Precious: We love Dublin! It’s like a second home. We came back during COVID, so we weren’t really allowed outside. It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work. I was so happy to back with everyone!
Eliot: And we got to film in the summer this time!
Eliot, Ireland must be your second home at this point. You were in Normal People before Fate. Do you love being here?
Eliot: Of course, I love being in Ireland! It’s such great news they’re both filmed here. For season one, I literally wrapped on Normal People that day and got in a car to come to our welcome drinks for Fate. It was a total continuation. It never felt like going away and coming back, it was one big chunk. But getting to come back this time was so, so lovely. And we get to see more now that the world has opened up a bit more!
Paulina, you’re a brand new character in the series as Flora. What was it like joining the show?
Paulina: I was really nervous. But they made me feel really at home and they became my family really. Honestly, I’m lucky Flora wasn’t in season one because I was on a different show so I wouldn’t have been able to be on the show at all! Things really happen for a reason. Flora is really loved and I loved her growing up. People are going to really love her on screen!
So it was your first time in Ireland?
Paulina: Yes, it was! I never in my wildest dreams thought my work would take me to Ireland. It was my first time being on the other side of the world, so I got to bring my mama along. It was so eye-opening and beautiful. I have ticked it off my bucket list. All the locations were so pretty. It was phenomenal! Even the set was beautiful!
Okay, gals what can we expect from season two?
Hannah: It’s a very intense change from season one, because we have a brand new headmistress. We’re in a militaristic, fascist zone. There’s a lot more violence and a lot more rules. Achieving the goal no matter the cost!
Elisa: Well, we get to see a brand new side to Musa as she tries to understand herself. And just how far she is willing to go.
Precious: The tone has really changed in season two because we have a new headmistress.
Abigail: Yes, there’s a big, big shift!
Oh and there’s been a lot more inclusion in this season, right?
Eliot: Some of the mistakes that were made in season one were rectified. And everyone involved is really grateful for the conversations that were allowed to happen around it. One of the great things is that we get some queerness in the form of me. So I’m very, very excited and privileged and honoured to be able to do that.
Paulina: As a Latina, it is very important to have representation on screen. It’s good that it’s happening and we’re doing the work, step by step. But we’re going the long mile. Representation really matters. I’m so excited to represent the Latina community! So it’s nerve-wracking, but it’s exciting.
You all seem like you had a lot of fun on set. Do you have a favourite moment?
Eliot: Oh I loved it all! Especially when we were all on set together! Or any time I’m in the greenhouse. I love having lots of props.
Hannah: My favourite scene to film has to be Terra’s coming out scene. It was really emotional on a personal level and knowing how far-reaching it is, especially for the community who watches the show. It felt bigger than us in a really incredible way. Oh and of course filming anything with my mother, Queen Luna played by Kate Fleetwood. That was just a masterclass in acting.
Paulina: I love having to film the scenes with the creatures because you have to use your imagination.
Abigail: [Laughs] It is crazy our job is acting to air, I love that!
Precious: I loved being able to go up in the harness…I loved that. I felt like a superhero. I felt so cool.
Did you take anything home from set?
Precious and Abigail: Wardrobe! [Laughs]
Abigail: Well, I’d take pictures of Bloom’s outfits and then go out and buy them!
Precious: I took my outfit from the banquet scene, it was all tailored for me, so I was like, “That’s coming home with me.”
How fun is it to play best friends on screen?
Paulina: As a woman, you want to see female friendships more on screen. The trust they have, the dynamic that they have is so powerful and so important to show. Women are amazing. We know how to lift up each other. It’s really cool and they’re so powerful!
Precious: It’s so nice to play them on screen. And it’s not forced at all, we’re all lucky. We get on really well. It’s just a reflection of us, we’re all just chaotic.
You lived together during filming, so are you guys best friends in real life too?
Paulina: Of course, even though these guys would make fun of me all the time! But I knew they love me, so it’s fine.
Hannah: We’re always laughing on set. Eliot makes me laugh all the time! When we got the roles, we all came together to watch the original Winx cartoon together.
Elisha: We jam to music together on set all the time. It’s so much fun! We’re always laughing, actually, Freddie [Thorp] had to take me aside at one point and tell me to stop because I was affecting his performance!
Fate: The Winx Saga has such a loyal fanbase, what do you think draws people to the show?
Hannah: There is so much love that goes into this show, both from fans and from us. It came out during the pandemic which was a really scary time. People needed that escapism and step out of this world and into another. It has that nostalgia and sentimentality of childhood too.
Abigail: There are a lot of relatable elements in the show that everyone goes through. I think people were able to relate to it and it’s a fantasy show where people are able to step out of their reality also helps.
Precious: I think there’s boldness in it that people don’t expect. So people are surprised and hooked.
Before we let you go, do you think your life has changed since the show came out?
Elisha: I love very different from my character in real life so that’s good. People haven’t really come up to me in the street. I’ve never done a show before, so it’s nerve-wracking to think of people coming up to me in the street. I did a convention recently and that was a lovely experience. So even if they did come up to me in the street, our fanbase is so loving and sweet, I wouldn’t be afraid.
Abigail: I don’t think my life has changed really! [Laughs] I was home a lot. My social media following has gone up. But I still have the same friends, same family and same life.
Precious: Virtually? Yes. But in my real life? No. But then it is a lovely surprise when people do tell me they watched the show. It’s amazing. It’s really nice. My interactions with fans have been really positive.
Fate: The Winx Saga season two lands on Netflix on September 16.
Written by Bronwyn O’Neil.