The hit Freeform show “The Bold Type” returns tomorrow for its third season! And one character in particular has made a lasting impression on viewers. That’s Adena, the proud Muslim lesbian immigrant. In fact, Adena’s relationship with leading leading Kat has been all fans can talk about! With Adena being so unlike any other character seen on television, it’s no surprise that fans are waiting for her return. YEM spoke with actress Nikohl Boosheri about her character, and the future for Kat and Adena.
Young Entertainment Mag: Kat and Adena broke up in the season two finale. Will Adena still be a part of season 3?
Nikohl Boosheri: We’re definitely going to get to see Adena. And I think that separation was also important, especially for Kat. For her to rediscover who she is and where she is in life and grow into herself. Although [the breakup] was difficult and not a writing decision that we [as actors] necessarily have a lot of fun with, it was important. But we will be seeing more Adena, do not fear!
YEM: Fans are wondering if they will get back together and if there will be more scenes with the two of them. What can you tell us about Kat and Adena’s relationship in season 3?
Nikohl Boosheri: I don’t really think I can say much. But I can say that when it comes to Kat and Adena and their unshakeable bond, there is always a chance. There are just people in your life that you have a soft spot for and the door for them is never quite shut. I think that’s what makes them so fun to watch.
YEM: How do you think Adena is handling the break up?
Nikohl Boosheri: I think there are a lot of things that came into play with their breakup. When you look at season two and at what Adena was doing, she was home a lot. She wasn’t where she wanted to be [in life] and where she thought she would be when she moved to America. I think all of that has to play into how she was feeling at the time. The breakup did feel like it came out of nowhere. Maybe once they have a little bit of time and things have settled, everyone can be a little more reflective. A little more neutral. Reflect on what happened and take on responsibility. I feel that for Adena, being apart from Kat would be very difficult. So I don’t think she’s taking the breakup very well. I imagine that it has been very difficult for her.
YEM: Do you think Kat and Adena’s relationships took the right turns during season 2?
Nikohl Boosheri: When you’re shooting something like this, sometimes you’re not aware of the overall arc that your character will be taking. You put a lot of trust into your writers and creative hands. We love everyone who works on the show and I do have a lot of trust in the writers. Even though sometimes in the moment, you may not understand why something is happening. Aisha [Dee, who plays Kat] and I are just as much fans of Adena and Kat as the viewers are, so it is hard for us.
It just kind of felt like Kat and Adena couldn’t catch a break! In season two, sometimes it seemed like every time they had a moment of peace, something would come in the way. At the end of the day, that’s very natural and real to life. Things are messy with people you want things to work with the most. People are bringing their own baggage into their relationships unfortunately. But we have a lot of trust in our writers. So although maybe we [as actors] can’t always see where the writers are taking each story, they have a plan.
YEM: Kat and Adena are an incredibly honest and realistic couple, especially as an LGBT couple. Viewers often don’t see that kind of relationship on television very often. Do you feel a responsibility to the viewers that value this couple?
Nikohl Boosheri: I certainly think so. I think that our writers and everyone involved more than anything want to tell a really honest story. They’re always pushing us and sometimes we come back and push them to take things to a more honest and real place. It’s cool because we circle the world that the characters are in ourselves. So the writers are very open to our suggestions and our points of view.
I definitely remember in the season two premiere [where Kat and Adena talk about oral sex] I think that the response from that is really when I realized what a responsibility we have to the LGBT viewers to get things right. Everyone is equally as committed. And you know, we’re not always going to get it right. It’s an ongoing conversation, and it’s a conversation we’re having as a country as well. We’re doing our best to make sure that everyone feels seen and heard.
YEM: Do the writers talk to you about where the Kadena relationship is going? Or do you find out as you read the scripts?
Nikohl Boosheri: I see it for the first time in the script. And sometimes you do the table read just days before you’re starting. But once we do get our scripts, Aisha and I go through them and start talking. We know our writers and I’ve been lucky enough to be on the show since season one. And Aisha and I have such a great relationship and we’re really comfortable with each other. So we’ll text each other and sometimes we’ll text the writers. I really can say that it is and has always been since season one, very collaborative. And I think all the actors have that experience. We’re not necessarily shaping the storyline. But when the scripts come to us, we always have each other’s backs. And the writers are very open.
YEM: How much are you like your character Adena? How much do you relate to her?
Nikohl Boosheri: I relate to Adena a lot. No matter what, I think a part of you comes out in the characters you play. Growing up, I felt like an other myself so I can relate to that. I always tried to tackle it with strength and courage. But I definitely don’t think that I’m as brave as Adena is. That’s something that I look up to. And sometimes you sprinkle in aspects of yourself and people you’ve met and people that I’ve come into contact that inspired me.
I think in my travels, there’s a lot of those people in Adena as well. And I think I really look up to and respect how she never really feels like she needs to change herself to fit into an environment. Because of that, her environment kind of changed to make room for her. I think that’s a very interesting and inspiring thing to see for someone who looks different, sounds different, carries herself different. And the responses to this character – I think people are so inspired by how she is who she is.
YEM: What has the fan response been to Kat and Adena’s breakup?
Nikohl Boosheri: People are pissed! When the season was first coming out, we tried to avoid the response. But sometimes you get tagged in things online where you’re like “OMG I totally agree!” And sometimes I’m like “okay guys, let’s remember things aren’t always so nice and clean as much as we’d like them to be.” I think people have been really frustrated. And it’s so flattering that they feel that way. But I think that viewers are equally as upset and confused as we have been. We want nothing more than for this relationship and for these characters to be happy. Whether that means being happy together or apart, you just hope that there’s some place for each other in their lives. But that’s not necessarily what’s to come in season 3! No spoilers!
YEM: What part of Adena’s storylines were you most surprised by?
Nikohl Boosheri: I think that I was the most shocked by the breakup. That scene and that conversation were very difficult to shoot. We talked a lot about how that conversation would go. For me, I was trying to put together the pieces and ask how does this make sense. But now, and especially when you go through breakups yourself, they don’t always make sense. It’s not due to lack of love or passion or respect. But it became too difficult at that point. They just need to grow in their own ways before they can be together. But I know that when I read it, when we were shooting it, it was very difficult for me.
YEM: What can fans expect from Season 3?
Nikohl Boosheri: I think there’s going to be a lot of up and down, which will be very interesting. There’s a lot of fun and drama as well.
YEM: Finally, are there any aspects of Adena’s life that hasn’t been seen on the show that you would like to know more about?
Nikohl Boosheri: I would love to know more about her backstory and her family life and upbringing. And what has led her to this business. And I hope that career-wise we see more. In season one, she’s killing it! It’s been a very exciting moment for her professionally. And then in season 2, which is also real and natural, I can relate to that as an immigrant myself. You have all these hopes about moving to America and the process is long and exhausting. You feel stuck a little. We got to see Adena struggle with that. It was really at the end of the season where we see her finding her rhythm again. I hope that in season three and beyond, we get to see more of Adena conquering her professional life and world as well.