'Siren' Season 2: Natalee Linez on What to Expect From Her New Character Nicole

Scott Fishman
Premiere Freeform/David Bukach

Audiences last year were swept up in Freeform’s mysterious world of fantasy and drama with the new series Siren. And after much anticipation, it’s time to return to Bristol Cove for Season 2. This means more mermaids and new faces, including Natalee Linez, who will recur as Nicole Martinez.

The role is the first big break for the 24-year-old after making the move from suburban Southern California to Los Angeles more than four years ago. Linez, who was also exploring a possible opportunity on The Young and the Restless, didn’t know what to expect when she started on the set of Siren.

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“I’m in 12 episodes so far, but it wasn’t like that in the beginning,” she said. “It started with two, but I never got my hopes up. Then it became three and four…My character does take quite a turn, and they saw me developing with the character. I’m lucky to have been in so many episodes.”

The newcomer knew she wanted to pursue acting at age 6 and was inspired by Selena Gomez on Wizards of Waverly Place. Linez worked as a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings in Orange County to help save money to make the leap toward Hollywood. She then went on to become a hostess to pay the bills and hone her craft with acting classes. For Linez, playing Nicole could be life-changing.

“It hasn’t hit me yet,” she said, recalling the response she got when news broke of her role. “I’ve been in Vancouver for a lot of the time, but recently I drive by all the billboards. I think the most interesting for someone so new is seeing all the fan pages that are created. They’re excited to meet Nicole. I’m like, 'Wow, that’s me.'

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“I’m excited for them to see her, as well as my friends and family to show them what I’ve been working on. They have no idea. My particular character, I can’t say much besides that I’m new in town, am kind of mysterious and might have an ulterior motive.”

On hints that Nicole having some sort of connection with Xander McClure (Ian Verdun), “I might be taking Xander’s mind off some stuff,” she teased.

Linez remains coy about how her appearance will play into the story. However, she describes Nicole as “ambitious and motivated. Someone who doesn’t let anyone get in her way.”

She was grateful for how welcome to the show she felt thanks to crew and cast, including stars Alex Roe (Ben Pownall) and Eline Powell (Ryn).

“They didn’t know I would be filming with them for seven months. They are just so kind,” she said. "I think it really goes to show the success of the show. It does so well, and I think it’s because of that.

“Being on this big of a set has been such a huge learning experience for everything. From finding your mark to hearing what the writers have for an episode with different directors, everything I’m learning. It’s literally from A-Z. There is acting class and reading books, but there is nothing like experience. I think what I’ve taken from it is I need to do my part and be prepared.”

And by all accounts, fans of the Teen Choice Award-nominated show should be prepared for more twists and turns ready to wash ashore. Linez believes beneath the clashes between land and sea showcases diversity.

“At the end of the day we are all one,” she said. “Whether it’s white or black, mermaids or a merman. There is the message of equality…It’s nothing like you have ever seen. It is very cool to play such an empowering person. I might not have been in this position to have a role like this maybe event 10 years ago. It is a dream come true.”

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The mermaid drama premieres March 29.

Siren, Season 2 premieres Thursday, January 24, 8/7c, Freeform