HONOLULU (KHON2) — Meet Siena Agudong. Born and raised on Kauai, this Filipino American actress is continuing her path to stardom in television and film. KHON2 last spoke with Agudong in 2020 after she appeared in the Disney Channel original movie “Upside-Down Magic.” Since then, she’s worked on Hawaii Five-0, Fast and Furious (F9), and most recently, the Netflix live-action series “Resident Evil.”

“I am so grateful to be a part of the Netflix family,” said Agudong, who turns 18 on Friday, Aug. 19. “I began working with Netflix when I was 14, playing Nick on the series ‘No Good Nick’ alongside Sean Astin and Melissa Joan Hart. ‘Resident Evil’ brought me into a whole other genre of Netflix as I branched away from their family category.”

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The latest addition to the “Resident Evil” franchise dropped all eight episodes on July 14. The series racked up 858 million viewing minutes in its first week, putting it at No. 4 in Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming rankings.

Since it is an intense series, Agudong found it to be, at times, emotionally draining to film. Her character Billie Wesker was also the most challenging role she’s done.

“The character was emotionally demanding and action-filled, all things that scared me as well as excited me as a growing actress,” said Agudong. “I have always dreamed of working on a project like ‘Resident Evil,’ so it still blows me away that I was offered the opportunity to be a part of this project.”

Agudong said she learned a lot from working with Lance Redick, who plays Albert Wesker, whether it was through advice or playing off each other in a scene.

“Watching Redick consistently pour his heart and soul into each take was so inspiring to watch,” she said.

Agudong said they filmed the series last year for over five months in South Africa after having spent most of 2020 on Kauai with her family. She felt blessed to be able to go home before COVID became rampant.

“I spent every morning waking up for sunrise with my family,” she said. “The pandemic led me to develop a deeper connection with my family and Hawaii. I feel very blessed and thankful that we are all healthy.”

Although it was a difficult adjustment to let go of work for a year, it was the first time in eight years Agudong could fully unpack her bags knowing it would be a while. And in the fall, she’ll be able to do that again when she attends New York University.

She’s going in undeclared but hopes to pursue a major in business and a minor in screenwriting.

“I am going to find a balance between school and my career so that I can continue progressing in both areas of my life,” said Agudong. “I understand that this will be difficult, but I am looking forward to what I will learn and how I will grow during this new chapter of my life. I am so grateful for my team, my family, and my community in Hawaii as their support and love have been everything to me throughout the years.”

GOING FROM HAWAII TO HOLLYWOOD

Agudong feels blessed to be doing what she loves and thanks her family for being supportive.

“Hawaii is small, and it can feel so overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. I believe in connections and self-initiation,” said Agudong.

Agudong started in theater and took as many acting workshops and classes she could find. This allowed her to meet new people, and that led to great opportunities. She shared there are also reliable websites that aspiring actors and actresses can use like Actors Access where you can submit auditions for projects if you don’t have representation.

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“I have learned that you must strive for growth, practice grit and humility, celebrate the little wins, take care of yourself, and be patient in the process,” said Agudong. “This industry will tell you ‘No’ hundreds of times, but having faith in yourself and your ability will take you places. If you are serious about pursuing acting, that passion will take you everywhere you want to go — I am a strong believer in that.”