Siena in the spotlight

  • Photo by Nathan Johnson

    Kauai native Siena Agudong, 14, plays a teenage con artist and the lead role in the Netflix series “No Good Nick.”

  • Photo by Nathan Johnson

    Kauai native Siena Agudong, 14, plays a teenage con artist and the lead role in the Netflix series “No Good Nick.”

  • Photo by Nathan Johnson

    Kauai native Siena Agudong, 14, plays a teenage con artist and the lead role in the Netflix series “No Good Nick.”

  • Photo by Nathan Johnson

    Kauai native Siena Agudong, 14, plays a teenage con artist and the lead role in the Netflix series “No Good Nick.”

Siena Agudong is going to hit someone.

And she’s looking forward to it.

“I’m not going to say who, but someone gets punched and I’m going to punch them,” the 14-year-old said, laughing.

It’s actually her character “Nick” in the Netflix series “No Good Nick” who does the punching, but it’s a part Agudong is having fun with.

The daughter of Kenny and Karen Agudong recently finished filming more episodes of “No Good Nick,” in which she plays a teenage con artist who comes into a family claiming to be a distant relative.

“Some crazy things start to happen,” Agudong said. “Her cons and twists.”

It’s a role she loves “because there are so many things I get to play around with.”

Comedy and drama among them.

“I really love playing such a layered character,” she said.

Agudong is at ease during a half-hour interview, smiling and laughing often. She has good reason to be cheerful, as she just landed a role in a new movie not yet announced so she can’t give any details.

“I’m really, really excited.,” she said.

Born and raised on Kauai, Agudong has been acting since she was 8, following in the footsteps of her older sister, Sydney. She was involved with Hawaii Children’s Theatre, playing an Oompa Loompa in one of her first roles.

Her first big break was in 2014 when she portrayed Lulu Parker through her role on ABC’s Texas Ranger drama, “Killer Women,” which aired in early 2014, according to IMDb. She has been in Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn,” as well as playing Tiffany on TVLand’s “Teachers.”

She earned several Young Entertainer and Young Artist award nominations and, in 2017, was awarded “Best Guest Starring Young Actress 12 &Under” for the Young Entertainers Award.

IMDb reported that last year, she had a lead role in Nickelodeon’s series “Star Falls” as Sophia Miller, a strong-willed teen. She also played the lead role in the 2018 film produced by Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon, titled “Alex &Me”, an inspirational soccer movie starring Olympic Gold medalist Alex Morgan about a teenage girl working hard to pursue her dreams.

That’s a role perfectly suited to Siena Agudong.

Despite her growing success, she remains humble. She enjoys hanging out with family and friends at the beach and surfing. She also loves soccer and skating.

She travels a few months each year for her career that often takes her to Los Angeles. While it all sounds exciting, it’s hard work.

“It’s a lot of sacrifices,” said Agudong, who will turn 15 in August. “You have to work really hard and you have to make sure you’re like 100 percent in it because if not, it’s really tough.”

But often times, it’s like living a dream.

She’s inspired by seasoned actors Sean Astin and Melissa Joan Hart, who play her parents on “No Good Nick.”

“I feel so blessed to be around crews and casting members, it feels like family,” she said. “That’s pretty awesome.”

Her mom, a Realtor, says her daughter is very driven, takes nothing for granted, and has worked hard over the last six years.

Agudong is homeschooled, and just finished her freshman year. She also studies acting and works with coaches.

“And she’s also been very blessed to have this incredible team that’s supported her,” Karen Agudong said.

Acting and academics (straight A’s) are a lot to juggle, Karen Agudong said, but it can be done well “if you love what you’re doing.”

Siena did from day one.

“I loved theater. I loved acting. I realized that was what I wanted to do,” she said. “What I love about it is just the process.”

The trim teen, who stands 5-1, wants to be in action movies and do her own stunts. She would love to meet Duane “The Rock” Johnson, Tom Hanks and Melissa McCarthy.

While she’s upbeat and enthusiastic, it’s hard not to have doubts and be discouraged at times when she’s turned down for a role she thought she would get.

But that’s when her support base kicks in.

“They tell me, if you don’t get it, so what. Move on to the next one,” she said. “There’s so many people who audition for that one role. It’s not like just 10 people. It’s a lot.”

She attributes her success to her Kauai ohana (she has two other sisters, Kayli and Sara), who encouraged her “throughout this awesome, ridiculous journey.”

“I think that’s something that’s special, how many people believed in me,” she said.

Siena is a big believer in staying positive.

“You work hard, put your heart and soul into it, give it your all,” she said. “That’s all that matters. It’s a given. It’s crazy. It’s a big dream.”

That attitude is paying off.

People recognize her more often these days, but again, Agudong doesn’t let it change her.

“It hasn’t really registered for me,” she said.

You can follow her at the usual social media outlets, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

“That’s where all the kids are,” she said, smiling.

Her advice for anyone pursuing a career that might seem like a long shot is straightforward and from the heart:

“I would say believe in yourself for sure, have that drive. If it’s your dream, than nothing should stop you.”

•••

Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or bbuley@thegardenisland.com.

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