‘Full Circle’s Adia: Why Steven Soderbergh’s Directing Methods Were So ‘Nerve-Wracking At First’ (Exclusive)

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Adia is a star on the rise. Her first two acting projects have allowed her to work alongside two of Hollywood’s most talented creatives: Steven Soderbergh and Mike Flanagan. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Adia about her role as Natalia in the riveting Max series Full Circle. (Note: this interview took place prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike.)

Adia stars in the Max series ‘Full Circle.’ (Photographer: Antonia Bara)

“Contrary to what people might think, Steven doesn’t really like direct in the traditional sense of being like, okay, in this scene we’re going to do this, this, and this,” Adia said. “He’s very much like, go home, you do the homework at home. You really create this character at home. When you come to set, we’ll do one or two takes, and bada bing bada bing, and we’re done. It was definitely jarring at first because I’m so new to acting. That was really nerve-wracking at first.”

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Natalia came to New York from Guyana with her brother, Louis, for a fresh start, but they soon get wrapped up in trouble as they try to survive. “The really beautiful thing that I love about Natalia is her willingness to just try no matter the circumstances,” she told HollywoodLife. “Sometimes it can come across maybe a little harsh. She can seem like a super stern older sister, even though she’s really small and short.”

The actress noted that “being able to portray a person of the diaspora was really enticing because we don’t get to see a lot of Afro-Caribbean people being put in the spotlight. That was really exciting for me. I’m not Afro-Caribbean myself, so it was really daunting but also very exciting for me because it was like, oh, I get to do something that is challenging, a little nerve-racking, but also kind of represents a bit of the diaspora as a whole.”

The role of Natalia challenged the young actress in various ways. “The biggest one being the accent. I don’t have an accent, as you can tell. That was probably the hardest part because, in this day and age, we need to have more representation of the type of people of color that we see on screen,” Adia said. “It generally falls within one vein of what a black person looks like or does, and that’s just not true of the people of the diaspora.”

She continued, “It was really important to me that I did as much research as I could on Guyanese culture, understanding what it meant to be Guyanese, how a Guyanese person might hold themselves, how they might talk, their physical mannerisms. These things were really, really important to me. That was probably the hardest part because I just wanted to do it justice. I know if it was me and somebody else from the UK was playing somebody from DC or from New York, I would hope that they would do extensive research and really understand the people in that area because it’s so important. That’s culture that you’re mimicking. We need to represent culture well because that is what the masses are seeing. So if we’re going to allow the masses to take a look into this world, we’ve got to represent it as accurately as possible. I think that was like the overarching hard part for me and just getting that down and making that solid.”

Adia as Natalia in ‘Full Circle.’ (Max)

Adia declared she would “one hundred percent” be down for a second season of Full Circle just to work with the cast and crew again. “I’ve only ever been in two shows ever, so it’s all new, but I don’t think I will ever experience anything like being on a Soderbergh set. It was just incredible,” she gushed.

In addition to Soderbergh, Adia got to work alongside Hollywood heavyweights who inspired her to keep her love of acting burning bright. “It was really wonderful because sometimes I wonder if people have the same love for acting like I do,” she said. “You never really know. Acting can be so solitary sometimes because there’s no one specific way to be an actor. There’s no one specific way to find your character. So sometimes you might feel a little insane trying to find some part of a character. To be on set with these people, these really great actors that are just like world-renowned like Jerome Jerome and Zazie Beetz, and to see just how much they also love their craft, it was so inspiring. There are people out there who actually resemble my love for this craft as well.” All episodes of Full Circle are streaming now on Max.

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