Abigail Cowen Told Us A Bunch Of Behind-The-Scenes "Fate: The Winx Saga" Trivia, And Holy Moly, My Mind Is Blown
"They ended up getting me a dance coach for it because I move so awkwardly."
I have a confession to make: I was a massive Winx Club nerd when I was a kid. Hell, I even bought a Winx diary in Italian (a language I do not speak) just because it had Bloom on the cover. So you can only imagine my excitement when I got to speak to the impossibly cool Abigail Cowen — aka Bloom on Fate: The Winx Saga. Here's everything we learned on Zoom with Abigail:
1. What's the first thing you do in the morning?
This is really bad — I check my phone. I go to my messages first, then I go to my email, and then I go to Instagram.
2. What are you currently binge-watching on Netflix?
Currently, Bridgerton. I love it. I think I'm only on like the fourth or fifth episode, so I guess it's not binge-watching. I'm spacing it out — but yeah, I love it. It's so good.
3. Name a celebrity on your bucket list to collab with on a project.
I'd love to work with Nicole Kidman, or Reese Witherspoon, or Meryl Streep, or Leonardo DiCaprio. All of the people that everyone wishes [to work with].
BF: Or just be on, if they do it, another season of Big Little Lies.
Abigail: Literally, yeah! I could just be on that show, there you go! Knock it all out at once.
4. If anyone could play you in a movie, who would you pick?
Amy Adams or Nicole Kidman. I think I'm a bit younger, but whatever.
5. Who was your childhood celebrity crush?
Gosh, childhood? I mean, Justin Bieber, for sure. I went through a phase where I had all of his posters on my wall.
BF: Do you still carry a little bit of a torch for the Biebs?
Abigail: Of course! He's a married man now, though. All respect for their marriage.
6. Nowadays, what's a typical day like for you?
Right now, it's press. Meetings. Maybe a self-tape for another project, to audition. When there's nothing going on, I would say I do nothing. I play piano, maybe guitar. Eat. Sit. That's about it.
BF: Cool, I also play piano.
Abigail: Has it kept you sane during quarantine?
BF: I go through ebbs and flows. Sometimes I'll play piano all evening, then other days I want to do nothing.
Abigail: I feel that, I'm the same way. It's an emotional experience when I play music. So sometimes I just want to sit and do nothing. I'm getting into [songwriting]. I wouldn't declare myself a great songwriter. But I definitely write — I've always journaled, written poetry, and stuff like that. I'm figuring out how to write music. I don't know if the songs are any good, but it's a good outlet for me.
7. Have you picked up any new COVID hobbies?
No, if I'm being honest. I've done a lot more music. I played a lot more piano, played a lot more guitar. Still not that great at guitar, but still trying. It makes me kind of upset with myself, but it's fine. Everyone's talking about all their hobbies, like, "I learned how to knit, I learned how to play chess!" I'm like, I don't even know where my days are.
8. Who is the last person that texted you?
9. What is the most used emoji on your phone?
The laughing face, which I heard Gen Z has declared as not cool. So apparently, you're supposed to use the dead emoji or something. I don't think I'm gonna get on that trend. I like my laughing face. But yeah, the laughing face or the purple heart — because I made it my thing.
BF: I feel attacked with these things, like it's lame now!
Abigail: I know! I'm like, what's happened? I need to keep up with the cool kids. It's like I'm getting old.
10. What is your current iPhone wallpaper?
It's a tree that I took a picture of while I was camping in the middle of nowhere.
11. If you could have any Fate power, what would it be?
Maybe Beatrix, her powers would be cool because she can control the weather and cause lightning. Or it's like electricity, but I'm going to go with her.
12. Kiss, marry, avoid: Sky, Riven, Dane.
The characters, not the people — let's make that clear. Oh gosh. That's hard. Okay, I would kiss Dane. Avoid Riven, and marry Sky.
13. What’s the biggest difference between working with Brits and working with Americans?
I don't really know! [Brits] are very professional. They've got their shit together. Not that Americans don't — I mean, I'm bashing myself because I'm American and I'm kind of all over the place. I come prepared, for sure! Everyone's professional in their own way. The entire cast — I don't want to just group the Brits together — was very, very good at what they did. Wonderful people and wonderful actors.
14. You recently shared a behind-the-scenes pic of lights strapped to your wrists as part of the effect where fire comes out of Bloom’s hands. Can you share another BTS tidbit about how the magic of Fate came to be?
We'd do the scene without the without the lights first and get different angles. Then they'd like announce, "Okay, bringing the lights!" and then they'd hook me up to these lights. I would have to basically just wait for the cue, and then it would light up. I'd have to look at it and basically burn my irises [laughs]. Not really. [But] that was most of the the CGI effects.
For the transformation scene, I was in a harness pretty much all day being lifted up and spun around. I had to do training for that, and there were no lights — it was all in front of a green screen. Some of the fire scenes were practical, so some of it was real fire and then others were CGI. Then some scenes were combined — there would be fire outside and then, around me, the cool CGI.
BF: That harness sounds incredibly uncomfortable.
Abigail: I have even more respect and understanding for what all of the Marvel people go through, and stunt people in general. I don't know how they do it. It's not a glamorous experience, I'll tell you that!
BF: Well, it looked very cool.
Abigail: I'm glad that came across, because they ended up getting me a dance coach for it because I move so awkwardly. Literally, like I can't dance for the life of me. They're like, "It's basically going to be a dance and you're going to have to move really angelically!" And I was like, "Okay, we're gonna need someone in here to teach me how to do that." It took two days worth of her just teaching me how to move normally. But yeah, I'm glad it turned out well.
15. How did it feel to have Fate top Netflix charts across the world?
Crazy. It kind of doesn't feel real, we're in quarantine — I'm doing interviews via Zoom and all you really see is stuff through a screen. It's a crazy thing to see people respond so, so well to something that you poured so much into and is just a project that's really close to your heart. Before it comes out, it's a nerve-racking thing — then when it comes out, and you have this kind of response, it's a really wonderful feeling.
16. If there is a Season 2 of Fate, what are you hoping happens?
I hope to, just overall, see the girls come more into their power. Maybe even come together to conquer one force or one thing. I hope to see Bloom and Sky's relationship build and progress. For Bloom specifically, I hope that she really has more of a, no pun intended, transformation in herself and in her confidence. I want to see her own it and start to show her badass self. And Flora, I want to see Flora!
17. What’s your favorite memory from filming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina?
So many wonderful memories! Playing music together and just hanging out. They're like a family to me. Maybe the first night that we were together. It was a really exciting time for all of us. Nights spent with all of us crammed onto this one balcony in one of our hotel rooms, just sitting and listening to music and getting to know one another. Just really taking in that the journey has begun.
18. If you could remake any classic show from your childhood, what would you pick?
I've been watching Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. I don't know how I would remake it — I don't think you can remake it! I think it's iconic. Same thing with Drake and Josh. Maybe in a different way, with like a twist to it.
19. I know you’ve spoken about the importance of normalizing therapy before. What do you think the biggest misconception people have about therapy is?
That's a good question, because I talked about therapy in one interview — and [after] I saw stuff online that was like, "Abigail is dealing with a horrible health issue?!" I'm like, this is the exact issue that I'm talking about! Just because you're talk about therapy, just because you talk about mental health, people want to twist it and say that there's something wrong with you.
The whole point of talking about it is to help people understand that there's nothing wrong with you if you go to therapy. You don't have to have anything happen — if you do have something traumatic happen, of course go, that's a given, you should go. But even if you didn't, if you just want to figure out your life, figure out why you do things that you do and how to navigate your own personality — I mean, it's so helpful for everyone, I believe.
I think that you don't need a specific reason to go. It doesn't mean that you're weak, it doesn't mean that you're dealing with a health issue. It means that you are taking care of your mental health, spiritual health, and energy. Just as you're taking care of your physical health, working out, taking your vitamins or eating healthy. A lot of people don't talk about it, because they are afraid of having their words being twisted — just like mine were. I'm not going to stop talking about it — twist my words all day long, whatever.
20. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I remember my first-ever pilot, I was new to LA and new to the industry. I was talking to Richard T. Jones, and I remember, he looked at me and he was like, "Were you an athlete?" And I was like, "Yeah!"
He said, "No, no, no," pointed to his head, "Are you an athlete? I want you to take that mindset that you learned in sports, of never giving up and of working harder than the person next to you."
I think that piece of advice was so influential in my time in LA, because there was so many times when I just wanted to give up and it was so hard.
21. What is your go-to adult beverage?
Ah, wine. Love wine.
22. Desert island: three movies you cannot live without?
Hot Rod — Andy Samberg, great movie, favorite movie since I was a kid. Hilarious. The Notebook. These are all really cliché, but whatever, I love them! And Moana.
23. What's the most starstruck you've ever been?
I met one of the Wayans brothers at the gym. My stomach literally turns at the fact that I did this, he was just trying to enjoy a workout by himself and probably not be approached. Next thing I know, I see him and I impulsively ran over to him: "Hi, I'm a huge fan of you, I loved you in Dance Flick." He's been in a lot of things! And I chose the movie Dance Flick?! I was like, "I loved you in it, I want to tell you I'm a huge fan, uh, enjoy your workout, bye!" And I ran off.
24. What's the best gift you've ever received?
I really like it when people write me notes, those pull at my heartstrings.
25. What's the last book you read?
I'm in the midst of reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle.
26. What song always puts you in a good mood?
"Anything" by Mumford and Sons always makes me happy.
27. Your hair is amazing. What’s your best haircare tip?
If you're dealing with the feeling of damaged hair, go three months without any heat. I think I was 12, I was like, "You know what, this summer I'm not gonna put any heat on my hair!" It changed my hair. I'll still do that if I start to feel like it's been put through the wringer too much.
Thanks for chatting with us, Abigail! Make sure to catch Fate: The Winx Saga on Netflix.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.