WHO: Kiana Madeira
WHAT: As a follow-up to her fantastic performance in Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy, Kiana Madeira is making waves again with her role in Brother, Clement Virgo’s adaptation of David Chariandy’s award-winning novel about two Jamaican Canadian brothers growing up in the violent Scarborough district of Toronto in the ’90s. The film—which explores themes of Black masculinity, family, and loyalty—premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews, including critics applauding Madeira, a Scarborough native herself, for bringing the light as Aisha. It’s considered to be one of the year’s most powerful movies and surely a standout moment for the 29-year-old.
Brother is a film everyone should see because… I truly believe there is a character in it for everyone to relate to and see themselves in. The core of the story is how music, community, and love can heal, and that is universal. We also all put our entire hearts and beings into this film, and when projects are a labor of love, they often evoke raw emotions in audiences and really allow them to connect with what we were feeling while embodying these characters. It is a film I am very proud to be a part of.
What attracted me to the project from the very beginning was… The care that our writer and director, Clement Virgo, took to stay true to the original novel by David Chariandy. I am an avid fiction reader, and our screenplay was wonderfully adapted to portray the essence of the world that David created. That was a clear indication of the integrity that this film would have, and I can truthfully say that the integrity was carried throughout the whole creation process.
In playing the part of Aisha, I could really resonate with… Her desire to share her life experiences and newfound wisdom with the people that she loves and cares about. Similar to myself, Aisha left her community to pursue her dreams, and when she returns, she is eager to pour her teachings into those that she feels were left behind. She is learning the lesson that everyone moves at their own pace and is on their own journey. Her intentions are pure and positive, although a little intrusive at times. This balancing act is something that I really resonate with.
The stories that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… The ones that push to change the narratives that exist in the real world: how women are viewed and their power so often underestimated, how Black people and people of color are depicted in the media, and how seldom we get to see the richness and beauty of their cultures on-screen. I am so excited to tell stories that challenge the way we view others, ourselves, and the world that we live in. I believe that art has the ability to elicit change, and I am grateful to be in this industry to be a part of that change and empower humans from all over the world.
Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Sharing time with family and having game nights! We are a competitive bunch and love playing games like Monopoly Deal and Mario Kart. (The Nintendo 64 version is my favorite.) I also love taking personal time to read. It’s almost always a fiction novel. The only nonfiction you will consistently catch me reading is my Bible, which I read daily and helps keep my mind light and grounded in my truth. I also love going for walks, doing yoga, and meditating in the sauna.
If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… One of my five pairs of Doc Martens, my jean jacket, and a hat up top. I live in New York City, and I am always striving for comfortability when I’m not working. Most of my Doc Martens have belonged to characters that I have played and are beautifully worn in. Have you ever truly worn in a pair of Doc Martens? They fit like a glove!
When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Hats! I love a good hat for each season. I think they are the perfect way to enhance or dress up a simple outfit. At the same time, they can also add a level of ease and a laid-back vibe, depending on what you’re going for. They are multipurpose, practical, and take a lot of pressure off of my lifelong question—how should I do my hair?
My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…