It’s been a bumpy road so far for Kat on The Bold Type. Her career is going better than ever but her love life just seems to get more and more complicated. The successful social media maven has seen her department grow at Scarlet, yet had to watch her on-again-off-again flame Adena board a plane and fly away from her arms.
What does actress Aisha Dee think about the popularity of “Kadena,” can you really airport and chill, and do the actresses ever improvise their lines? With the show’s freshman season coming to a close, we hopped on the phone with Aisha Dee to find out the inside scoop about all the drama at Scarlet.
I’ve loved many of the different projects you’ve been in like Chasing Life and Sweet/Vicious and you’ve gotten to play so many cool characters on those shows. What is it you look for when choosing a project?
Really just something that makes me feel passionate and something that I would’ve wanted to see in my life. When Chasing Life was happening I had a couple of family members and friends that were dealing with that and were in chemotherapy and it was something that kind of felt like it was coming up a lot. Then the script just kind of fell into my lap and it felt like exactly the right thing that I should be doing. And obviously I had to audition and I hoped that I would get it. I don’t know what I believe in, but it weirdly worked out to where that was exactly the right project that I needed to be doing in that moment.
As much as it ended too early, it ended so that I could do Sweet/Vicious, which is another really great, great show that I love a lot and feel very passionately about. Then Sweet/Vicious ended too early too. I have not given up hope on Sweet/Vicious though, I think it still has a chance of coming back.
I really hope so, I love that show.
I do too and I hear a lot of rumors. I’m not going to say anything. But I’m also grateful that that kind of gave me the space to do The Bold Type. I mean The Bold Type is the first time that I have not been someone’s sidekick.
I’ve loved playing everyone’s best friend over the years but I just think it was really special to see a woman of color centered in her own narrative, making her own decisions and also someone who is part of the LGBT community as well. I was really excited about all of that because those are things that I feel passionate about and things that I want people to see.
I feel like The Bold Type is such a timely show, it’s dealing with very 2017 issues. How do you feel about the way the show has tackled some of those, from immigration to feminist issues?
When we did the pilot, it was before the election had happened, and you know I knew I felt passionately about these issues. The politics of it all seemed to me to just be the setting because that’s the world that we live in right now. To me, the show is about young people just navigating their lives in today’s world and what that’s really like.
Today with these things called iPhones that everyone has now and we all have to communicate via them. The world is a very different place and it’s changing kind of fast. I think it’s a really specific thing to be growing and going through your 20s in today’s world. I think the show, being as political as it is, was just a way of reflecting the world that we’re all living in and the world that we’re all dealing with right now.
Speaking of some of the issues that the show deals with, the relationship between Kat and Adena is a huge fan favorite. Were you surprised by how positive that response was and how passionately people gravitated to that relationship?
You know I was really surprised. I wasn’t sure how people would react. I knew how I felt about it doing the scenes with Nikohl and being there with her and dissecting the story together and figuring out what it would be. I knew it was very special for us but I had no idea how anyone would react. You never do with any of these things.
It’s been really special and really touching to see people embrace these two women of color being in a relationship together. And they’ve embraced the relationship despite the fact that Kat hasn’t defined herself yet. I don’t know when that will happen but it’s unimportant in the scope of things because it’s just this love story. It’s like a romantic novel or like a rom com. We’re taking all these tropes and people are embracing it and it’s so special. I love it. It’s just a sign that people are craving representation and when you give it to people they react in a really positive way.
Speaking of Kadena, do you think that “Airport and Chill” is going to be the new trend in dating now?[Laughs]
Was there ever any conversations like “Really, this is happening at an airport lounge?”
Absolutely! That was my first question. My first question was, “Why is Adena just chilling in the airport? I can just find her in the airport?” All of the answers to these questions were just like, “We’re just doing this so that the girls can spend the night in the airport and they can have something nice for once.” Things are always tearing us apart, like Coco, there’s always something in our way. Yes, that question was raised, I can’t give you an answer. [laughs]
What was it like to shoot those scenes? I thought, besides the plausibility, that those scenes were very lovely.
They are very lovely. Honestly Nikohl is great. It’s weird when you’re getting naked in front of a crew of however many people. We’re so close, her and I, she’s such a great friend and we were very open with each other. “This is uncomfortable, great, we’re going to get through it!” And all of that.
But it was also, we spent an entire night in an airport. I think my call time was like 9 p.m. and then I don’t even know what time we got out of there the next day, but it wasn’t until the next afternoon that we left. So we were all running on basically zero sleep and delirious. I think the delirium that kind of set in from being so tired, and as it was it had already been a crazy week of shooting, I think that just kind of allowed us to let go of all of our inhibitions and just do the scenes and live in this fantasy world where we’re in an airport and this is really the last time that these girls are going to see each other. Just kind of being in that bubble.
I hope that made the scene feel more touching, because we were really there doing it in an airport all night. We were really, really in an airport and I’m so grateful to them for spending the money to have us really be there, because it definitely changed things for us. We had a great time. I don’t remember half the night.
If Kat and Adena could actually get onto a flight together and go anywhere, where do you think that they would go?
Oh, I don’t know! I kind of feel like it would be somewhere where they could get into some spiritual stuff. You know like maybe Peru or Burma. I would like to say Australia because I haven’t been home in a while. That would be great if it was like, “Kat and Adena go to Australia!” and then we get to shoot in Australia for awhile and I get to catch up with my family. It would be great.
You can pitch that for season 2!
Oh yea, don’t you worry. I’m already putting together my pro/pro list for that. [laughs]
Speaking of season 2, what kind of issues and storylines would you like to see for Kat?
I’m a puzzle piece so I go where I’m told but, honestly I’d really love to see more of her family history and where she comes from. Really what it is that made Kat so confident. Because I think that’s an interesting story to be told. But honestly there’s so much that we haven’t explored yet on the show, we only got to do such a tiny fraction of what we could have done. So Freeform, if you’re listening, stop dragging your feet!
I just phrased the question as if there’s definitely going to be a season two. That’s all I will accept.
The group scenes between you and the other girls are so much fun to watch. Do you guys ever get to improvise lines?
Always, yea! I will say that we’re really blessed with a great creative team who basically give us the permission to kind of bring ourselves to the characters. They say, “Here’s a line, that’s the sentiment, if something feels more right or feels more natural to you, say that instead.”
I love them both so much and we have such a great relationship so we get kind of giggly on set. Sometimes we’re in that fashion closet all day, it’s like being in this confined space and so we just start to get delirious and giggly. I think some of the best scenes come from those moments of us genuinely hanging out and being friends. Really using our own inside jokes to make the scenes move along and feel more genuine.
What’s been one of your favorite improvised lines?
Oh god there’s so many! Well,”tiny Jane” was improvised. I know it’s silly but it was something that just came up for us and we kept saying it.
Also you remember Randy Jackson from American Idol? He would always say “That’s gonna be a no from me dawg,” or “That’s gonna be a yes from me dawg.” So we call each other dawg in the scenes a lot, which is us being ironic but it’s definitely weird. Meghann will be like “Yes dawg!” I think she says it in the finale actually. There’s things like that all the time. I think it makes it more special and makes it more relatable to be three girls that are genuinely supportive and loving of one another.
Would you apply for a job at Scarlet? And if you did where would you want to work if you could have any job in the magazine?
You know I’ve been asked that before and all I can say is that I would do anything that had something to do with music or food. Those are the things that I’m most passionate about. Music and then food.
Yes, because we need food to survive but also like, I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think is “What am I going to eat today?” I start planning it out. “I’m gonna go get sushi later. I’m gonna get a sandwich from my favorite sandwich place.”
I would review lunch spots around the city. They wouldn’t be expensive, it would just be like your workday lunch spots.
I feel like you have some more pitches for season 2! Kat can just be Instagraming food for a whole episode.
Yea! After the finale I wonder what’s going to happen with Kat when we get a season 2. I said “when” because I’m trying to be positive. But it’s definitely going to be interesting.
One of my favorite scenes from the first season so far has been when everyone got into that bathtub together. What’s been one of your favorite scenes to shoot?
I mean I have to say the tub scene was pretty up there. We only had like one chance to get into the tub. It was like, “Just don’t mess it up!” It would mess up the whole scene and we’d have to go back and redo everything. So that one was really fun.
We have some scenes in the finale where we were just running through Central Park in the middle of summer. It was so hot but I had the best day with my friends just running around Central Park. We would get a little break on set and just go lay down on the grass. So those were really fun.
Honestly I’m just excited to go to work everyday, as much as that sounds cheesy and I kind of threw up in my mouth a little bit when I said it. I love working on The Bold Type and I love everyone involved. They’re all fun ones.
What do you think? Will Kat and Adena find a way to be together? What’s next for Kat? Sound off in the comments!
The Bold Type season 1 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Freeform. Want more news? Like our The Bold Type Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of Freeform)