'Resident Evil' Star Siena Agudong Is Graduating In More Ways Than One
Krissy Saleh

NYLON 19

'Resident Evil' Star Siena Agudong Is Graduating In More Ways Than One

The highly-caffeinated rising star of Netflix’s latest adaptation is embracing growth.

Siena Agudong has been onscreen since she was eight years old. As a teenager, she had roles in Nickelodeon’s Star Falls and the Disney Channel Original Movie Upside-Down Magic. Now, in a lot of ways, she’s graduating: Not just to more emotionally expansive roles, but to a bigger, scarier phase of her life.

Last year, she had a cameo in F9 of the Fast and the Furious franchise. Now, she’s one of the stars of Netflix’s Resident Evil adaptation, out July 15. She’ll also be attending NYU in the fall, where she plans to study screenwriting and business.

Agudong is remarkably sweet and grounded for someone who’s been in the industry for as long as she has. She says “oh my goodness” a dozen times on our Zoom call, says “bless you” after I sneeze, and tells me the last browser tab she opened was of Getty photos from the Resident Evil premiere.

Her latest role will surely catapult her from Disney sweetheart to grittier gigs. In the series, she plays a young Billie Wesker, the twin sister of main character Jade, a peacekeeper who often has to take care of Jade in a big way. It’s a role that Agudong says expanded her acting chops.

“There's no right or wrong when you prep for a role like this. Because ultimately when you're about to do the scene, it's just about letting go,” Agudong tells NYLON. “Throughout the years, a role like this would scare me so much and I would overthink it, and I did for sure. But I found that the times I was most successful in the scenes were when I just learned to let go and just breathe and whatever happens, happens, kind of thing.”

It’s this kind of thinking that will serve Agudong well as she traverses both emotional ground in upcoming roles and physical ground in terms of her move to New York — a good 5,000 miles from her native Hawaii. Ahead of the release of Resident Evil, NYLON caught up with Agudong to discuss her dream music festival lineup, the bad habits she can’t crack, and her soy latte obsession.

1. What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?

I'm a Leo and I'm on the cusp of a Virgo. I don't know too much about horoscopes, but I believe I'm more of a Virgo. I think I'd like to hope I'm more of a Virgo. But I feel like it would make sense if I'm a Leo, because, I'm in the industry and I feel like a lot of entertainers are Leos.

2. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?

Lizzy McAlpine, John Mayer, Amy Winehouse.

3. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?

Can I look at my phone? ... Actually, myself. Resident Evil Getty Images.

4. What was the last DM you received?

My friend named Kylie, she works at this band studio back home and we met because I was taking guitar lessons there and she replied to the press junket photo, and she just goes, "Ooh."

5. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?

I honestly don't watch a lot of music videos. I should. But maybe a music video with all three of those top headliners.

6. What was your first concert and what are your memories of it?

My first concert was when I think I was six years old and my family surprised my sister and I with Justin Bieber tickets. I remember that I didn't really know him, but I tried to listen to the songs so that I could be a huge fan when I got there. And I'm very grateful that we went, but were literally the further seat back, so we couldn't even see him. But I do remember having lot of fun. It was mostly just a lot of fun to have that experience with my whole family there.

7. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?

Tom and Jerry. That was the majority of it. It was always Tom and Jerry. I swear every time I came back from school, it was Tom and Jerry and then SpongeBob.

8. What is your favorite meme or internet joke and why?

This is a video, but my dad found a Key and Peele video. And it was the one about The Walking Dead and the background actor. And it was just really funny. They're brilliant. My family and I were cracking up. We were at dinner once and we were just all watching it.

9. What is your go-to breakup song?

I've been lucky that I haven't had to claim one yet. But probably any Lizzie McAlpine song. Oh, it says... Oh, she has a heartbreaking song called “Where Do I Go?”

10. What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?

Sunglasses with UV protection. I didn't start wearing them a year ago.

11. What piece of clothing from middle school or high school do you wish you kept?

I don't know why this has always stuck in my head, but I had this little green jacket when I was 10 years old and I think I took it to all of the projects. And it had panda eyes over the hood, so I could pull it down.

12. What is one question you never want to be asked again?

Maybe what my favorite song is. Because, I'll never know and I'll always say something different.

13. What reality show would you most like to appear on?

One of the game shows, like Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right. And oh my gosh: Wipeout! or American Ninja Warrior. Not because I think I would win, just because I would want to just do it and see how far I’d get.

14. What is your best beauty tip or trick?

I always put Vaseline on my eyelashes. I don't really know if it works. But over time, I feel like it's helped me and I just haven't stopped.

15. What is your coffee order?

Soy milk latte.

16. What's your favorite fast food place and what's your order?

I'm vegan. So, it's always tricky. But I will always cling to an acai bowl. Wherever I go, I feel like if I see them on the menu, I'm always choosing it.

17. What is your favorite pair of shoes that you own and why?

I have these Converse since I was 12 years old from a project named Star Falls. For some reason they still fit me and I use them as my skateboard shoes and I like that the shoelace will break and I'll still tie them. I just won't let go of them. But I think those are my favorite, just because they're so ratty that you don't have to worry about anything.

18. What is the weirdest snack that you make?

I definitely have so much coffee. I don't know if that counts as a snack, but that is way too much.

19. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?

Coffee and cracking my knuckles. Cracking bones in general. I have no idea when it started, but just over the years I find there's a new bone that I can crack and it's just terrible.