“I don’t know how to do anything else!”, Aisha Dee admitted to me when I asked what she’d be doing if she weren’t an actress.
On and off the screen Australian export and Hollywood’s rising actress, Aisha Dee, is just as you’d expected her: kind yet opinionated. And since her lead debut on The Bold Type, her encapsulating warmth has been felt across the world as the pro-woman, magazine-centric series moves into its fourth season. For the 26-year-old, her acting career begun at an early age but after moving abroad at the age of 17, the world of television and film opened up and thanks to her role on The Bold Type she has become a household name.
Since 2017, the Australian Stan-exclusive drama which follows Scarlet Magazine feature writer Jane Sloan, assistant stylist Sutton Brady and social media manager Kat Edison (of which Dee plays), the series has become known for its modern storyline and socially relevant topics as it explores not only relationship drama and close knit friendships, but career pressures, mental health and being queer or of colour. Inspired by the life of Joanna Coles, former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan and chief content officer of Hearst Magazines, the three spirited characters navigate life in New York City and in an often an unforgiving industry.
Arriving to screens from January 24, Season 4 is expected to delve deeper into the lives of three women and according to Dee, “Not only is the workplace going to get shaken up but their personal lives are going to get shaken up too.”
GRAZIA: How has streaming services such as Stan changed the film and television industry in your opinion?
Aisha Dee: “There is so much more work now just across the board for writers and producers and actors. There is a lot more content available and there is also space for more diverse voices because audiences are being more vocal and more specific about what they want to see and we want to see the kind of stuff that reflects the world we live in. There are opportunities to make your own stuff now… and that’s really powerful.”
GRAZIA: There are so many aspects of The Bold Type that resonates with fans; the relationships, the friendships and being young and female whilst trying to forge a career path. What do you think still needs to be done for topics such as pay equality across the world?
AD: “I think there’s a lot to be done. This might be a bit presumptuous but I really hope that shows like The Bold Type empower people to be brave and ask for what they want in the workplace and make the career move, no matter what industry they work in, especially for marginalised voices. I really hope that The Bold Type is an inspiring voice to those people.”
GRAZIA: What are the biggest challenges to playing Kat Edison?
AD: “I remember really early on people were saying, ‘Oh, you must be confident like Kat’, and I guess there is part of me that feels confident but I was intimidated to play her because I didn’t think I could.
And I was intimidated by the prospect of having to play this confident, you know, take no prisoners kind of girl and I wasn’t sure if I was capable.
But talking myself into it has been a good lesson and letting yourself fall off of the cliff and saying, ‘I guess something will catch me.'”
GRAZIA: You’re one of the many young Aussies who moved abroad to the US. What advice would you give aspiring talent looking to do the same?
AD: “Generally speaking, it’s really important that you stay in your skin when you’re there because it can be very overwhelming. It can also be really lonely too, I experienced a lot of loneliness when I first moved there. Just having a really good idea of who I was and being able to come back to that was really important as well. Also, having several creative outlets is really important too, having something that feels like it’s yours.”
GRAZIA: You appear to be so close with cast members Katie Stevens and Meghann Fahy. Is this the same off-set?
AD: “Oh yeah! We really are like sisters now and we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve seen each other through love and breakups and good days and bad days and PMS and all the rest of it. I don’t really know what I would do without them. I think we clicked immediately and fell into a routine that balanced each other out in a really natural way. Now, our friendship has evolved and it’s definitely different. There’s this honesty that you can only get through being with them for a long time.”
GRAZIA: The series has tackled so many pressing issues. What would you like to see highlighted next?
AD: “I for one would really like one of the girls to get their period because it is perplexing to me that how have we gone through four seasons and no one has got their period yet?! That is crazy!”
GRAZIA: There has been controversy over the lack of diversity in the industry – at least for award winners. Out of 30 film-acting nominees, only 5 were of colour at the Golden Globes. What is your response to this?
AD: “…This is not new for us. This is something we’re fighting to be able to change and it’s slow going. You look around the world in general and I’m seeing more and more people of colour just kicking goals and being their own advocates and it’s great to see people who were previously marginalised taking up space in the way every single human deserves to.”
GRAZIA: What do you hope fans take from the next season of The Bold Type?
AD: “From the beginning, it’s really been about trying to reflect the world that we live in and portray female friendships the way I have always experienced them and I don’t know, maybe you’ve experienced it this way too. My friendships have always been the things that have lifted me up and through the hardest times in my life and it’s really beautiful being apart of a show that tells that story.
I just hope it’s inspiring for anyone watching and inspires them to not only ask for what they need but be an advocate for their friends.
GRAZIA: Can you reveal any hints for the forthcoming release?
AD: “There are some big changes a Scarlet [Magazine] and the board is coming in and shaking things up. Not only is the workplace going to get shaken up but their personal lives are going to get shaken up too. In the first episode back, we’re going to see the girls go on a bit of an adventure and maybe they’ll get into some illegal stuff.”
Season 4 of The Bold Type is streaming on Stan from January 24.