(Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Fear Street Part 3: 1666,” now streaming on Netflix.)
In Netflix’s “Fear Street” trilogy, Kiana Madeira plays both Deena, an angsty high schooler in the ’90s who hunts down the mob of undead serial killers who are after her ex-girlfriend, and Sarah Fier, aka “The Witch of Shadyside,” a woman who was hung in 1666 and vows to haunt her wrongdoers after being falsely accused of doing witchcraft.
While those characters couldn’t be more different from each other, Madeira was drawn to them for very similar reasons; namely, the two women’s fearlessness.
“I was drawn to Deena because she’s extremely strong, determined and fearless. She loves so hard and is willing to do anything and everything for the people she cares about,” Madeira told TheWrap. “She’s really protective, and I related to that.”
As for Sarah Fier, Madeira said she “definitely” related to the 16th century witch because, like Deena, she “wears her heart on her sleeve,” even after her innate sense of joy is tainted by the town’s accusations.
“[Sarah Fier] has a sort of wide-eyed innocence that I think I share as Kiana,” Madeira said. “It’s really heartbreaking to watch because she doesn’t see all the tragic stuff coming — she’s just so joyful and loving.”
Madeira also reasoned that, despite their clear differences, at the center of both characters — and the three “Fear Street” films, for that matter — is love. Deena is fighting evil forces to save her ex-girlfriend Sam (Olivia Scott Welch), and Sarah Fier is accused of witchcraft not because she’s an actual witch, but because she loves a woman named Hannah (who is also played by Welch). In fact, during the execution, it’s Sarah’s love for Hannah that spurs her to convince the town to spare Hannah’s life, at the cost of her own.
“[Sarah] just loves the life that she’s living and doesn’t see anything wrong with it, as she shouldn’t,” Madeira said. “I was truly honored to play Sarah Fier. Every time I think about playing her, my heart just feels so much for her and everything she went through. It all felt so real — the story just breaks my heart, but it’s an important one to tell.”