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Sadie Soverall

1883 Magazine caught up with Sadie Soverall to discuss life after Fate: The Winx Saga, the difference between life on stage and life on screen, and that one big role she hopes to land in the future. 

Sadie Soverall has only been acting for five years and yet has a filmography some could only dream of. Now she’s commanding the stage in The Cherry Orchard and the screen on Channel 4’s The Gathering.

When 1883 first interviewed Sadie Soverall three years ago, she was still fresh from her on-screen debut in Fate: The Winx Saga. Scouted by a talent agent while she was performing a school play, Sadie wasted no time in jumping into audition rooms. By the age of 17, she was fronting the Netflix young adult series as the feisty and divisive fairy Beatrix.

Fast forward to 2024, and Fate: The Winx Saga is no more, unceremoniously axed in a content cull by the streaming service after only two seasons, despite its devoted cult audience. But that hasn’t slowed Sadie down. If anything, it’s spurred her on. Every new addition to her CV is more impressive than the last – she’s appeared in 2023’s smash hit series Saltburn, she’s prepared for the end of the world with Nicolas Cage in Arcadian, and she’s faced home invaders with Joely Richardson in Little Creek Lodge. 

Now, Sadie has two major projects underway – her first major stage production of Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard at Donmar Warehouse, and her next big TV series in Channel 4 thriller, The Gathering. 

1883 Magazine caught up with Sadie Soverall to discuss life after Fate: The Winx Saga, the difference between life on stage and life on screen, and that one big role she hopes to land in the future. 

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In your previous interview with 1883 Magazine, you shared that you were first scouted by an agent at a school play. Can you tell us more about that? It seems like such a game-changer at such a young age. 

Yeah, absolutely. It was my first proper play at school, we did Twelfth Night and I got to play Viola. It was one of those moments where I thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life if I can” because I made all my friends on that play. An agent came to see it and just from there I’ve been doing auditions. I got really lucky with Fate [The Winx Saga, Netflix]. It was a really lovely start. I feel like I’ve been very blessed. I think when that happened I was about 16, and I was 17 when we started filming Fate, so it feels like ages ago.

Since then, although you’ve only had a handful of roles, each of them is so distinctively great in their way. Going onto a set with someone like Nicolas Cage or Emerald Fennell – are there any standout moments from a set where you’ve got a bit starstruck?

Absolutely. I get so starstruck every time I see someone I’m inspired by. I mean, Emerald is a perfect example of someone who’s a massive inspiration to me. You do have to just take a second and think, “Okay, I’m here and I’m so lucky.” I’m so grateful and you do have to appreciate those moments. Nicolas Cage, of course, is incredible and a massive inspiration to me. I think those are the big ones, and also seeing people like Jacob [Elordi] and Barry [Keoghan] at work, and Rosamund Pike and Allison Oliver. They are all people who I’m really inspired by, I’m very lucky.

One of the shows that you’re best known for is Fate: The Winx Saga, which sadly got cancelled. I know that your character, Beatrix, got her own ending in the season two finale, but what are your thoughts on the show getting axed? Fans were really upset by it. 

I feel for the fans and everyone involved. I think these things happen, and it’s a real shame. The response has been really lovely, and that’s what I take from it. That’s what I think everyone involved took from it, is the beautiful fans and the people involved, and the love. It’s all just the love and that’s what remains.

Do you still keep in touch with many of the cast? 

I keep in touch with a lot of the girls. I think a few of them might come to see the play I’m in, which will be lovely.

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You’re currently performing on stage in The Cherry Orchard. What would you consider the main differences between acting on stage to being on screen?

It’s been really interesting just figuring out the process. Our director, Benedict Andrews, is absolutely incredible and he’s been amazing in guiding all of us through this process. I’m very lucky that I’m working with some people who are very seasoned on stage. June Watson, for example, is just amazing and I feel very lucky that I’ve got people who are helping me through the process. 

It’s different in a lot of ways, though. It’s very process-driven in the way that it’s all about the text and the play. We had six weeks of rehearsals, so it focuses on acting and what’s happening on the stage. With screen, technically it’s different in the fact that you have to make a choice and know what you’re doing. The amazing thing about how we’re doing the play is that there’s no blocking; we have ideas of what we’re going to do each night but it does change and we change where we’re sitting every night and we’re amongst the audience. You get to follow the play through the whole thing instead of just filming little bits if that makes sense. It’s satisfying in that way.

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What projects would you like to do more of in the future? You’ve got TV shows and film under your belt, now stage as well. Is there any particular area you see yourself segueing into more?

Honestly, no. I want to keep doing a little bit of everything. I’m really glad that I’ve got to try out stage, and I absolutely love it, and I really hope to do a lot more stage. But anything that just interests me and that feels unique and different.

Is there anything in mind that you have as an acting goal?

One of my favourite books ever is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Oh my gosh, you have to read it. It’s amazing. It blew my mind. There’s a really wonderful character in that, Camilla, that’s very interesting and I’d love to play her. 

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What would you consider one of the most surreal moments of your career so far?

Honestly, probably sitting in the rehearsal room for The Cherry Orchard because I haven’t been trained and I haven’t done theatre professionally before. I just remember sitting there thinking, “I can’t believe I’m here.” It was just one of those moments where I can’t believe I got into this room.

I heard a really good quote that someone told me which was “You deserve to be in every room you get into.” I think it’s learning to own that and to have that excitement. That feeling of thinking you don’t deserve it but doing the work so you feel like you can own it. It’s so much aided by the wonderful people who have made me feel so welcome. It’ll be that, and the Saltburn readthrough room – that was very surreal! 

Talk me through the Saltburn readthrough room, because it’s one thing watching it on screen, but before it’s even been filmed just hearing about the bath water scene, the vampire scene, things like that being read aloud for the first time must have been bizarre! 

It was so exciting because I’d read it, and I thought it was incredible. Everyone was really in it and fully committed to it. It didn’t feel awkward when they were reading it through. I was just in awe.

Did you always want to be an actress, or did you have something else in mind?

I always wanted to be an actress. It was always just something that I knew I wanted to do. I saw Bugsy Malone when I was younger, and that was what set it off for me. But if I couldn’t be an actress, I think I’d want to be an astronaut because I’m really fascinated with space and what’s out there and I hope I get to go to space one day. We can all dream! 

Your next project, the one that’s coming out this week, which is really exciting, is The Gathering. Can you talk us a bit through about your character on the show itself?

What’s great about it is it’s got a little bit of everything. The writer, Helen Walsh, is just wonderful and she’s delved into a bit of mystery thriller, while also making it a coming-of-age story. It’s for all age groups and it’s for parents and for kids. It feels really true and it doesn’t feel like anything’s forced or pushed or false. She’s observed these worlds with such a keen eye and I think it’s very exciting, and it will have you on the edge of your seat the whole thing. 

My character is Jessica, she is an elite tumbling gymnast. She’s a much more privileged character in this world. You’ll see that it’s looking at a contrast between people growing up in a less privileged environment and a more privileged environment and how that impacts how they can be in the world, especially in the world of sports and school and life. She’s definitely on the more privileged scale, but it’s her finding her place in the sport and in her life. She’s also got a quiet pressuring parent, Natalie, who’s played by the wonderful Vinette Robinson, and it’s Jessica deciding which path she wants to take, and whether she wants to follow her mother’s path that’s been very paved out for her or whether she wants to go and try her own new thing.

full look Celine
full look Celine
full look Celine

Did you have to learn gymnastics in order to do the show? 

I have no background in gymnastics at all, which I was very nervous that when I auditioned. We did through a three-week taster course at Airborne Academy with Ryan Doyle, who’s a wonderful parkour champion. We did a bit of parkour and a little bit of gymnastics, and I can do a handstand now and I could do a cartwheel – which I’m very proud of because I’m quite uncoordinated! It was really great to figure out how they stand, what it looks like to go and do a double layout and then these incredible runs that they do. I have not mastered a handstand or a cartwheel, but just learning the basic, very fundamental things has been great. It was really difficult to be honest. You go into it with an appreciation, I knew this was going to be hard, but my respect has just skyrocketed because I found it so difficult. You have to put yourself in a headspace but it was scaling that up to the level of stunts that they do is just absolutely incredible. I was very much in awe, especially when we went to the gymnastics clubs.

With that in mind, is there a skill that you’d want to learn for a future role?

I’d love to learn how to properly fight for something. I did a few taster sessions back in Fate because my character was very much not a physical fighter, but I’d love to try that and look cool doing it! 

Tickets for The Cherry Orchard are available at donmarwarehouse.com.
The Gathering is available to stream now on Channel 4.

Interview Tilly Pearce
Photography Jemima Marriott
Styling Anna Hughes-Chamberlain @ Stella Creative Artists
Hair Narad Kutowaroo @ Carol Hayes Management
Makeup Joey Choy
Photography Assistant Lee Furnival

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