The Genuine Energy of Gideon Adlon
How 'The Craft: Legacy' actress's authentic personality, aligned with her latest role and her soul.
How 'The Craft: Legacy' actress's authentic personality, aligned with her latest role and her soul.
Photography: Damon Baker
Styling: Lucy Warren
Text: Hailee Milton
Gideon Adlon doesn’t dare cast spells or play with Ouija boards off-set; the actress learned to be cautious about witchcraft from a very young age. She tells V, “If you don’t close [the Ouija board] properly, the spirits can stay with you…I never delved into any of that.”
Instead, she puts focus on interpreting her dreams, performing candle magic, and engaging in a morning cleansing ritual. It is this intuitive energy and spellbinding personality that landed her most recent role, a teenage witch named Frankie, in the contemporary sequel of The Craft: Legacy.
In the high school horror, magic is practiced authentically but, safely — Gideon slips a dash of salt in her pocket for added protection before performing any spell. VMagazine called Adlon on the eve of Halloween and a rare blue corn moon, as she informed us. And excitement about being a part of the anticipated two-decade reboot was finally sinking in.
In good spirits, the 23-year-old emphasized for those who haven’t watched yet — “[The Craft: Legacy] is not like the original [1996 film]. But, it’s a beautiful re-imagining, timely, and important for the current generation.” She added, “I hope people recognize that.” Referring to the topics that the 2020 storyline touches on, written and directed by Zoe Lister-Jones, the villain is recast as patriarchy and examines how toxic masculinity is threatened by a woman’s inherent power. Sprinkled with iconic references only true fans will recall. As a viewer, it was invigorating to see a feminine take on a horror film. Especially as this theme coincided with Kamala Harris, making history as the first, madam Vice President-Elect. Engaged in politics and excited about the news as well, the actress added, “Female power right now, in this world, means everything.”
Gideon is crafting her legacy in Hollywood one genre at a time, conjuring up roles with the comedy, Blockers, the mystery The Society, and drama, The Mustang. Today, you can stream her horror, The Craft: Legacy on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, or almost any digital platform for your preferred purchase.
To preface before you watch, her on-screen persona, Frankie, and her two best witches (Tabby and Lourdes) all come from a lineage of spirituality. Embarking on a fresh school year, they take the new kid (Lily) under their wing as soon she is outcast by the school bully. Signs revealing shortly after, their new friend has untapped powers too. Strengthened in unity, the sisterhood is now able to manifest their magic. With Frankie’s element of air heightened, the girls can freeze time, communicate telepathically, and prank their classmates. Gideon’s character keeps the girls giggling throughout but, when the number 1 rule of The Craft is broken, things are bound to go bad.
Experience the genuine energy of Gideon Adlon with her full interview below:
V Magazine Your new film, The Craft: Legacy just released. How are you feeling?
Gideon Adlon I feel good but, it’s been a weird time. I’m so excited about The Craft and I feel very proud of it. This project is so personal to me and now that it’s out there, it’s interesting to see what people have to say about it.
V How did you spend Halloween and the full moon this year?
GA Oh my gosh, let me tell you… There’s rarely a full moon on Halloween. Because this is happened, [it means] the veil between the two worlds was so thin, that accidents, fights, and other stupid things were more likely to happen. Essentially because there were way more deceased people walking among us than usual. This is so morbid, but it’s true. I’m very close to an exorcist, her name is Rachel Stavis. I trust her with everything and she made us protection candles for the night. She’s like, “If you can stay home, just stay home and make a night of it.”
V Can you share your worst costume that haunts your past?
GA I’d say my worst Halloween costume was when I was 12-years-old and I dressed up as Morticia from the Addams Family, one of my favorite characters ever. Using the cans of colored hairspray, I painted my thick hair all black. When we were out trick-or-treating with our family and friends, I felt so cute and — it started raining. The hair dye seeped down my face, chest, my arms… It was horrible, I was crying, and covered in this probably very chemical stuff. So that was my Morticia misshapen… But I had to redo when I was 18. I did a good Morticia.
V With a pre-existing love for crystals and reading tarot cards, did you tap into that energy for your audition?
GA Frankie is such a fucking goofball that I didn’t need to tap into that energy for it. I feel like that kind of came later within the witch rehearsals with Pamela Grossman and Aaron Fogel, who were our resident witches [on-set] and taught us so much. I’m always tapped into that energy though. My friends always say I’m the “very, nurturing-mama, crystal-guru, good advice-giver” of the group. I guess I’ve always been that way, very protective of my people, and connected since I was little. Doing this movie was just intertwining the two things I’ve always loved most. One of which is my work and the other, how I make myself feel calm in my everyday life.
V Analyzing the script, what creative space did the writers leave for you to explore?
GA Zoe [Lister-Jones] was always very open, it was like we were painting on the same canvas, at the same time. If I didn’t feel right saying something, she’d let me wing it. It was nice because I got to let my “comedy chops” fly and a lot of what made it into the movie was my improv. Sometimes, I wish I had that on Blockers because that was my first film. I was 19 and I was so nervous because Seth [Rogen] was on-set, then John [Cena], Leslie [Mann], and Ike [Barinholtz] — who are all geniuses. When asked to improvise I was like, “I can’t do that. I don’t know how to!” But, with The Craft, it flowed so naturally. I had that confidence. I think what shaped Frankie is how it was a little bit of her… and a little bit of me.
V How is Frankie representative of her element, air, in her style and makeup throughout the movie?
GA Brandi Boulet, who was the head of makeup, really wanted to have fun with it. One of my favorite looks is the shimmer I wear on my face for the party scene. Oh my gosh, I loved that so much. But, with the wardrobe and how it adheres to her personality… I always say she resembles a kindergarten in the way she dresses. She just goes with the flow. And I think that relates to air. She’s like, “Oh this what I’m going to wear today and I’m going to put my hair in a top bun. Now let’s go.”
V In what ways have you found sisterhood in your own life?
GA I have been so lucky to meet such amazing women throughout my life. I think the reason I’ve been drawn to them is that I was raised by a single mother in a house with two sisters. I have my group of six girlfriends and every day I’m like, “I’m so lucky.” That I don’t have to be embarrassed, that these people won’t tear me down, and that they don’t judge me. I found sisterhood through truth in my life and just being honest, showing my real colors, and making sure that my friends have a safe space to let their guard down.
V As a legacy of great acting, what has helped you master your unique craft? Any advice for others looking to do the same?
GA I’m a theater junkie. You can never stop learning and there is no way to perfect your craft. I think that everybody comes into it on their own. For example, learning from the greats, watching as many old movies as you can, even the bad ones. Or, going to see plays when we can again. But because we can’t, go on to Samuel French. It’s a bookstore in Los Angeles that used to pull all the old playbooks, now online. [Other advice?] Keep educating yourself, find a role model, and learn from them. The way that you find yourself through your work is by the connection you have with your character in the story and the way you present it.
V Since the film centers around adolescent girls coming-of-age, what does female power mean to you?
GA I think we need more of it and we need to see more young women, older women, raising each other up — not tearing each other down. This world run by men is just pushing us closer and closer to irreversible damage. Female power is what this world needs because we are the creators, literally. This film shows you how to be your unique self and encourages you not to follow society’s beauty standards. Your uniqueness is you and that’s beautiful. I want teenage girls to know that having walked away from this movie. Female power right now, in this world, means everything.
V On Twitter, you mention you still have all the notes from your witch rehearsals and that you created an everyday practice of your own? Can you walk us through it?
GA When I wake up in the morning, I try not to go on my phone. The first thing I do is go into my journal and write down my dreams. I’ve been told by certain people that I need to pay attention to my dreams specifically because they hold a lot of meanings for what goes on in my everyday life. I find that it’s way better to interpret your own dreams. I do candle magic almost every day, mixing my oils that have different properties. I always have a crystal on me for how I’m feeling. But, I’d say a big part of my practice is my morning cleansing ritual. I’m not casting spells or anything like that. Sometimes, if the moon is in a certain phase, I’ll do a manifestation ceremony on my own.
V Did you ever experiment with Ouija boards like your character while in high school?
GA I’ve never used an Oujia board in my life, I don’t fuck with that. On the set of the film when we did stuff with the Ouija board, Eric Vogel (a resident witch on-set) put salt in my pocket and then the other girl’s pockets to protect us. I learned when I was very young that if you don’t close it properly, the spirits can stay with you. I think it was kind of like the whole Bloody Mary thing. I was like, “Ouija boards, Bloody Mary?” I’m good, count me out. I never delved into any of that.
V Can you share any details of the upcoming projects you have?
GA I have two animation series coming out on Netflix. One is called Battle Kitty, which will be released in 2022. We have been working on it for almost two years. Then I have another animation series called Pacific Rim: The Black, and that comes out in a few months. We already did two seasons. So that’s what I have coming and everything else… we will see.