PODCAST: From Kauai to Hollywood, Siena Agudong takes aloha wherever she goes

Siena Agudong arrives at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at...
Siena Agudong arrives at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 1:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Whether Siena Agudong is on camera or off, she never forgets her roots.

“I was born and raised here and my family is here,” the Kauai native said. “I’ll always have Hawaii. I’ll never forget that, so just carrying with me the values and … just aloha, you know, you carry that to set and I don’t want to forget that everyone around me is family.”

Agudong, who turns 17 this month, started acting at the age of 7 and made her television debut at 8. She has been on Disney, Nickelodeon and in movies on the big screen. She recently appeared as young Mia in “F9: The Fast Saga.”

Agudong now plays a young Billie Wesker in “Resident Evil” on Netflix — a far cry from her Disney and Nickelodeon days.

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“I think just getting a few years in with Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, I was able to learn the grounds of the film industry while also just having fun, you know, with everybody around you, and it’s just very lighthearted,” she said. “And then moving on to something like ‘Resident Evil,’ where it’s constant onscreen, chaos and violence and emotional scenes, it’s very different, but you realize that all you really have to do is just let go of all control because that’s the only really way you can feel an emotional scene.”

Agudong described playing Billie Wesker in “Resident Evil” as “insane.”

“There really is nothing you can relate to when you’re, when you’re playing someone who’s so sick and so like violent and just like crazy outbursts,” she said.

In fact, the role was so violent that she literally bit her costar.

“That made me so nervous from day one, because you can’t fake a bite,” she said. “You actually have to bite that person. You know, you, you don’t wanna hurt them, but it’s a closeup shot and your teeth have to be in the marks, like in the prosthetic.”

She said filming “Resident Evil” was overall a good learning experience. Production even took her to South Africa, which she described as humbling.

“I’m very lucky to live under a roof with a happy and full family, you know, that they don’t have a lot of that,” Agudong said. “It’s extreme poverty and wealth, whatever wealth is to them.”

Even though she’s busy with projects, she always makes time for trips back to the islands. Whenever she returns to her hometown of Kauai, she heads straight to the beach or goes on a hike. But most importantly, she makes sure she spends time with her family.

She said she has a few more projects in the works — and plans to attend New York University in the fall.

In the latest episode of Island Beat, Agudong joined Billy V to share stories about growing up on Kauai, how her Disney and Nickelodeon days shaped her acting, what it was like filming “Resident Evil,” and everything in between.

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