In an interview with TooFab, the young actress talked about her lead role in the FOX thriller series and working with Gosselaar.
"The Passage" star Saniyya Sidney says that co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar gave her simple advice about growing up in the spotlight: "have fun and stay a kid."
In an interview with TooFab, the young actress talked about her lead role in the FOX thriller series and working with Gosselaar. Sidney, who only at age 12 has already appeared in critically-acclaimed films like "Fences" and cult-favorite television shows such as "American Horror Story," said that the "Saved By The Bell" alum has given her great advice about being a child star.
"He really just told me to have fun and to stay a kid because in the industry sometimes you can mature faster," Sidney said. "I really took it to heart and I carry it with all the other advice that actors and actresses have given me till this day. So for him to tell me that I really took it in and I was like, 'Thank you that's very special.' It was great. He gives me great advice and he makes it fun and it comes easier when it's fun."
"He's a jokester I can't even, oh my goodness," she continued."I love him so much...He makes it very comfortable and relaxing when you're talking with him because he can relate to being a father because he has two daughters so that came easy for him. But at the same time, acting on-screen with him was great and I believe the chemistry between Amy and Wolgast is very special. So for us to create a relationship off-screen, I think that was very important too... He also got to connect with my family so that's how we became close too."
The drama series follows a U.S. government experiment called Project Noah where scientists experiment with a dangerous virus that could cure all disease, however, it also turns those infected into highly-infectious vampires or "virals." When the secret medical organization chooses a young girl, Amy Belafonte (Sidney), to be a test subject, a federal agent Brad Wolgast (Gosselaar) is chosen to bring her in. As they form a father-daughter relationship, Wolgast is determined to protect Amy at all costs.
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"The Passage," which is in its first season, contains a lot of horror elements (it's full of bloodsucking monsters after all), but Sidney told TooFab that her parents allow her to watch the show. "Actually I do. It's cool, you know to watch and learn," she said. "But at the same time, it's great to see how it all came out and see what it looks like on television. So yes I watch and it's so good right now, so good."
Recently, TooFab spoke with Sidney's co-star Caroline Chikezie, who plays Dr. Nichole Sykes in the series. Chikezie had nothing but good things to say about the young actress and it looks like the feeling is mutual.
"I love her," Sidney said of Chikezie. "It was so much fun. Out of all three of them -- Emmanuelle [Chriqui], Brianne [Howey] and Caroline -- we were all just hanging out at her house and she was so welcoming and we would just hang out and talk about the script and talk about everything, what's going on on set. She was very comfortable, she was fun and she was nice and I love her so much. We talk all the time to this day and text and everything."
In the show, Sidney's character Amy is infected with the virus but has abilities that the other virals don't have. Chikezie said that Sidney is so special that it's like she has superpowers of her own in real life. "She's phenomenally talented at such a young age," Chikezie said. "[She's] so intelligent. It's scary."
There's no doubt Sidney is incredibly gifted. At only 12, she has worked with many A-list celebrities, including Viola Davis on 2016's "Fences." Sidney said she had an "excellent" experience working with the Oscar-winner. "I've looked up to her my whole life," she said. Along with Davis, Sidney expressed that she looks up to actors like Leonardo Dicaprio, Kerry Washington, Emma Stone, Amy Adams and director Steven Spielberg.
When asked what her favorite part about being an actress is, Sidney offered a very mature answer. "When I was really young I used to love to see people just be able to inspire young girls like myself." Now Sidney gets to be the one to inspire other children to "follow their dreams."
From what we've seen from Sidney so far, we have no doubt that she will become a rising star in Hollywood.