Meet the new Midnight Society! Nickelodeon’s highly anticipated Are You Afraid of the Dark? season 2 is almost here, and the new cast — which includes Bryce Gheisar, Arjun Athalye, Beatrice Kitsos, Malia Baker, Dominic Mariche and Parker Queenan — is ready to take on the curse of the shadows.
Based on the iconic 1990s TV show of the same name, Nickelodeon’s reimagined anthology series introduces viewers to a new story each season. For season 2, fans will get to know the sure-to-be mysterious Shadowman. So, mark your calendars, because the second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? premieres on Nickelodeon on Friday, February 12, at 8 p.m. ET. Ahead of the show’s first episode, J-14 caught up with the show’s cast so fans could meet the new stars!
J-14: Introduce fans to your character, who do you play?
Bryce: I play Luke, a 14-year-old kid who is small for his age. He hasn’t really grown into himself all the way, [and] could be considered a cool kid, but he doesn’t feel the need to be — he has his friends and that’s all he needs.
Arjun: I play Jai Malya, the voice of logic and reason in the Midnight Society. He loves to read comics and scary stories but the idea of actually being part of one terrifies him. He is super sarcastic and loves to mess with his friends. His sense of fashion, along with everything else about him, is quite strange.
Beatrice: I play Hanna, who is a fearless strong leader in the Midnight Society. She cares greatly about others and the ongoing climate issues in the world today. She is filled with passion and bravery, and she never gives up in face of a problem.
Malia: I play Gabby Lewis, the town sweetheart. She’s sporty, she’s smiley, she’s a bit cynical and she’d do anything for her friends … Gabby is afraid of disappointing people, which is just one of the ways I think she’s super relatable.
Dominic: Seth is an annoying little brother who loves to bug his older sister, Hanna. He is constantly wanting to fit in with the Midnight Society.
Parker: Connor is adventurous, fun-loving and a self-suﬃcient guy. He enjoys life to the fullest and gets his kicks out of high-stimulation excitement that often involves putting himself in danger. He’s the kind of guy that likes challenges.
J-14: Do you relate to your character?
Bryce: I do relate to my character, I am not really into being known. The main reason I’m an actor is because I love the art of acting. I sometimes feel very small and acting makes me feel tall. This is very similar to how Luke feels, but with other things.
Arjun: Jai and I are very similar in a lot of ways. We’re both very sarcastic and stubborn, and we share a similar sense of humor. Jai is more of a comic nerd, but we share an interest in scary stories.
Beatrice: Hanna and I both care greatly about fighting climate change. It is incredibly important to speak up about these issues and make your voice heard … Hanna is also brave and strong, which I believe is something we share, even if I am not fighting the Shadowman daily. The last thing we relate on is sibling tension. My brother in the show, named Seth, is younger and our characters don’t get along easily. I have an older brother, who I sometimes have conflict with.
Malia: I think we both set super high standards for ourselves and try our best to reach those standards, but need to understand that it’s OK to not please everyone. We’re both smart, ambitious, nurturing, loyal and love our friends!
Dominic: I also want to be surrounded by people I admire, and to be liked and included. Plus, we both love to bug people.
Parker: I can deﬁnitely relate to Connor. He’s a softy at heart, I feel.
J-14: What’s it been like starring in a horror show? Were you ever scared while shooting?
Bryce: It’s amazing to be in a horror show. I don’t get scared because of the people behind the mask … I can’t keep a straight face on set half the time.
Arjun: Seeing what goes into the scares is so much fun … I personally don’t get scared very often, but the director definitely does whatever they can to get us into that horror mindset.
Beatrice: I love acting in a scary show! It’s not only so much fun to film, but it reassures me that everything is fake. I do get scared, only when the Shadowman is around. Just looking at him makes me nervous that he might pounce and bring me to the dark side.
Malia: I love being on a horror show, it’s so new and super exciting! I think I’ve gotten used to everything on set by now, but I do admit to being terrified seeing the Shadowman for the first time.
Dominic: It’s really fun! It’s not too hard not to get scared, though.
Parker: I love being in a horror show. No, I don’t get scared by it because the “horror” is in slow motion. You see the mechanisms behind it, but that doesn’t make the end result any less real in the end.
J-14: Can you tease your favorite scene?
Bryce: I can’t share yet. It gives away too much!
Arjun: The group action scenes are always super exhilarating and fun to shoot. Shooting in the high school is also really nostalgic, it reminds me of what it was like to actually physically be in school.
Beatrice: There’s one where all the kids are in the art classroom having a secret meeting. It was just such a fun scene to film because of all the improvisation.
Malia: One of my favorite scenes that I’ve filmed so far has been the scenes where we all run through the forest. We did those the first two days of set, so everything was still so new.
Dominic: We filmed a scene about me standing on a stage in front of all of Shadow Bay High School, and it was super fun to film.
Parker: My favorite scenes to shoot were the ones that would exemplify a diﬀerent side of my character because I’d so often be playing the menacing, dual side of Connor.
J-14: Did you get along with your costars when the cameras stop rolling?
Bryce: We hang out whenever we can!
Arjun: We’re all very close and, thankfully, get along very well. We try to hang out whenever we can … I think our friendship in real life comes through with the characters on the show.
Beatrice: Yes, we definitely do, it’s been an honor to work with such positive, fun and talented actors. Even when we are not on set, we are often FaceTiming, or texting one another. We like to get together on weekends, if possible, and hang out, watch movies and get takeout. Acting with then has been such a privilege, and I can’t wait to work with all of them in the future.
Malia: They’re all so talented and I think we had a great connection from the start! When we’re not rolling or in school, we are all together.
Dominic: They are super friendly! We chat and joke around when we are off camera.
Parker: I get to play the bad guy in a lot of the show, and I actually get along with my costars up until the cameras start rolling … but yeah, they’re a great group of people.
J-14: Can you remember any fun behind-the-scenes stories from set?
Bryce: It’s very fun on the set, so sometimes when I have a scene that is serious I’ll look at a castmate and just start laughing.
Arjun: During lunch we will sneak away from the lunch area and eat in one of our character’s rooms, where I’ve formed some great memories.
Beatrice: At the beginning of [shooting], I said I could do a handstand and failed miserably, which caused all of the cast to come closer together with laughter.
Malia: Some fun behind-the-scenes moments are probably anytime we break character!
Dominic: Some of the lines are improvised!
Parker: When we’d shoot in semi-public settings, it was always funny to see random pedestrians be totally startled by this seven-foot-tall Shadowman walking around, especially because they were grown adults and it was broad daylight.
J-14: What was your reaction to being cast in such an iconic show?
Bryce: I heard about the old show and thought that it would be cool to create something people would feel nostalgic about.
Arjun: Getting casted for this season was mind-blowing. This is my first job on film, and I’m so grateful I get to be a part of an iconic show that so many people have enjoyed.
Beatrice: I was extremely excited and overwhelmed with joy.
Malia: I watched the original show when I was younger and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to be a part of this!
Dominic: When I found out they picked me to play the role of Seth, I was excited, as this was my first series regular role!
Parker: I loved the ﬁrst season they did for the reboot in 2019, so I was pumped to hear I got the role. It’s still crazy to see 30-year-old men sort of fanboy out when they hear that me and the cast are in the new Midnight Society.
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