Actor You Should Know: Abigail Cowen of ‘Fate: The Winx Saga’
Spoiler warning for Fate: The Winx Saga
This isn’t Abigail Cowen’s first fantasy rodeo. Star of Netflix’s new series Fate: The Winx Saga, a live-action young adult adaptation of the popular animated franchise Winx Club, Cowen is no stranger to being on a teen fantasy series. You might recognize her as Dorcas, one of the Weird Sisters, from another Netflix hit show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
On Fate, Cowen plays Bloom, a fairy who only recently discovered her powers and is just starting at a magical boarding school. There, Bloom makes fast friends with her suitemates, who support her as she searches for answers about her family’s past, and for a way to defeat the mysterious monsters who start showing up on the edges of the school’s magical borders.
Here, Cowen discusses stepping into a lead role, what drives Bloom as a character, and the dynamics of being on a show that balances teenage drama with action and fantasy.
What initially drew you to the role of Bloom?
Abigail Cowen I think there were a lot of things that really drew me to Bloom. Just reading the script in general, the elements of female friendship and the five female leads. That’s always a really special thing to have in a project. I really liked how dynamic Bloom was, and how she was going through real life issues while also battling with this magical side to her. I definitely liked that and thought that it would be really challenging and fun to play.
You’re coming from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is another female-led magical show. Is there anything you took from or learned from that show that you brought to Winx?
Yeah definitely. Honestly, watching Kiernan [Shipka] work, who is the lead, watching her work ethic and her preparedness, showing up to set and knowing every single line, knowing your line, knowing everyone in the scene’s lines. She was an unbelievable lead of a show and watching her do that for the amount of time that we were filming, was very influential. It was the ever first show that I was a part of as an ensemble cast, and I was actually part of a show.
Bloom’s main goal is always to find the truth about her family. Can you talk a little bit about what’s driving her there?
I think it’s just like anyone else in that time. Your teenage years especially are so vulnerable and so confusing sometimes. And in Bloom’s case, she’s thrown this giant curveball. She’s not only trying to discover herself and get through her teenage years, she’s now found out that her parents aren’t her parents. There’s this giant mystery to be solved while also figuring out what’s wrong with her. I think that’s why she’s so adamant about it, because it just feeds into all of the other elements of being a teenager and just amplifies them.
Bloom and Sky [Danny Griffin] are finally together at the end of the season. What do you think draws these two people together as characters?
I think that Bloom’s stubbornness, and fieriness, no pun intended, is intriguing to Sky. I think that Sky’s grown up in this world, and as unpredictable as this world is, having something new come in kind of draws him to Bloom. I think that Bloom is drawn to him because he is safe. Because he is kind of a protector, and he’s a fighter. Stability is something that Bloom is craving and that’s the vibe that Sky gives off. I also think that they both are dealing with these issues with their parents. They’re both finding out things about themselves, Sky thinks he knows one thing about himself and Bloom is finding out other things. They directly relate to parent issues and they get to be not only romantically involved but they also get to be friends with each other in that really hard time.
Is there a particular scene or episode from this season, I know it’s hard to choose a favorite, but one that you’re particularly fond of?
I loved the last scene where Bloom and Sky kiss and he tells her that whatever she’s doing, he’s there for her. I think that’s a really powerful moment, and a sweet moment between them. It’s the first time that you really see her vulnerable. I really like the scene where Bloom is angry after the party and goes into the stone circle and really lets her powers loose and breaks down crying. That kind of shows what she’s going through, and the whole mixture of emotions, the anger, the sadness, the self-loathing, the confusion. For the audience, that scene was really wonderfully written for them to see what Bloom was going through. I also love any scene with Terra (Eliot Salt), I think she’s hilarious and so cute. Eliot does such a wonderful job playing her, so that’s always really fun whenever she’s on screen, I can’t help but smile.
I agree, I love her!
She’s so great. She’s great to watch too! When you’re watching her do her thing, she’s just so creative with her character, it’s very impressive.
I would love to hear more about the dynamics between the different girls. Your character and Stella [Hannah van der Westhuysen] kind of start off as frenemies. But they’re definitely coming into their own as a relationship. What do you hope to see from that going forward?
I hope to see them become friends, which you do see towards the end. I think that the whole reason that Stella is the way that Stella is because of a lot of insecurities and a lot of pain, and confusion in her life. It’s so typical of men and women that age, again it is such a hard and confusing time, and people manifest it in different ways. I like the saying “hurt people hurt people.” And that’s what we find out about Stella. Hopefully, if we get a Season 2, I would love to see Bloom and Stella bond over their insecurities and their confusion. And also come into their power, because both of them are clearly very powerful women, but they just haven’t homed in on it yet. I would love to see both of them do that together, because that would be a force to reckon with.
I love how no one character in the show, even if they seem like an antagonist, is just purely bad or evil. Everyone’s got their own motivations, their own stuff going on within them.
Right, and that’s real life! That’s what I love about this show, it explains a lot with humanity and human nature, even though these are fairies. I always believe that every human is born good, I really do. And I think that throughout your life you go through hardships, you go through pain and however you deal with that determines how you present yourself to the world. Yeah, I think Brian [Young] does a really good job, our showrunner and writer, of portraying that within every character. It’s really similar to real life.
How was it shooting some of the special effects?
It was very interesting. What they would do for some of the scenes when I would have fire in my hands, they would have these little lights that they would attach to my hand, and they would have a rod going down all the way to my forearm. Basically, I had to walk around, and I couldn’t really move my arms in that scene, so they would announce ‘bring in the lights!’ and they would hook me up to it. I would have to pretend that this was fire, but it really was just a light shining into my eyes. It was very interesting, and definitely requires a lot of imagination, but it’s fun.
Fate: The Winx Saga, Netflix