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‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ star Miya Cech says reboot is just as scary as the original

Are You Afraid of the Dark? trailer follows a new story of the Midnight Society.

The Midnight Society has officially returned.

As part of a limited series three-part special, YTV and Nickelodeon rebooted ‘90s kids’ cult classic Are You Afraid of the Dark? The show, which debuted in October, features a new cast of kids along with a new terrifying tale.

The original series, which aired between 1990 and 2000, focused on a group of school-aged kids telling scary stories around a campfire in the dark. Several Canadians actors were part of the original series, including Global News’ Ross Hull, Elisha Cuthbert and even Ryan Gosling.

READ MORE: History of the ’90s podcast — ‘Scream’

This reboot stars Lyliana Wray (who plays Rachel), Canadian actor Sam Ashe Arnold (who plays Gavin), Miya Cech (who plays Akiko), Jeremy Taylor (who plays Graham) and Tamara Smart (who plays Louise).

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The new series tells the story of the Carnival of Doom and its ringmaster Mr. Tophat.

Global News spoke with Midnight Society member Miya Cech about the reboot, the scariest scenes and what fans thought of the remake.

Miya Cech. Photo by Michael Courtney/NIckelodeon

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Global News: What was it like to work on a reboot, especially one that was very popular for Canadians in the ’90s?
Miya Cech: It was really fun to film. It was fun to be in the Midnight Society… but it was also a lot of pressure because everybody loves the original and it had so much of a following already. The cast felt like that we had to make them love this one just as much.

Did you have a chance to watch the original series? What did you think?
I watched a couple of clips and my mom was really into the show when she was growing up. When I first got the offer [to play Akiko], she’s like, ‘I have to show you the show’… It was actually really scary.

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The reboot is framed in a different way compared to the original series. In the 2019 version, the series follows one story over three episodes. How do you feel about this new format?
I like telling the story and being part of it as well. I think that was really an important aspect of it… to have more insight into the Midnight Society stories and them as people.

You’ve also done some work with horror in the past. How has filming this been different?
For this one, it was a lot more fun because I got to be with kids my age. After being scared, we’re fine with it because we were all making jokes with each other and keeping the mood up instead of being scared the entire time.

What was the scariest scene?
[There is a scene] where clowns were chasing me. I don’t like clowns and I have the worst fear of them. Our director put them on stilts, which is even worse… and they can run really fast. They were running faster than me and my castmates.
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So if you’re scared of clowns but also need to be in acting mode, how do you balance the two?
When the camera starts rolling an actor can just immediately put themselves in that state. It is like method acting. As an actor you kind of learn and train your body to immediately know when to put yourself in that state of whatever emotion you’re supposed to be feeling, even if you’re not feeling it off-screen.


Akiko (Miya Cech), Louise (Tamara Smart) and Graham (Jeremy Ray Taylor). Photo: Michael Courtney/NIckelodeon

What has the reaction been like from fans? Especially those who grew up with the original? 
People love it and I’m really happy they love it as much as the original. We’ve been able to hear stories from the original — how scenes are similar — and there are a couple of Easter eggs I won’t spoil for you.

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(This interview has been edited and condensed.)

Are You Afraid of the Dark? is produced by ACE Entertainment with ACE founder Matt Kaplan and Spencer Berman serving as executive producers. The series is written by BenDavid Grabinski and directed by Dean Israelite, both of whom are also executive producers. Chris Foss is also an executive producer.

You can watch all three episodes of the new Are You Afraid of the Dark? through the Nickelodeon Channel and STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels.