Bethany Antonia may not be a name that you’re currently familiar with, but we think we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future! An up and coming actress from across the pond in England, Bethany Antonia made her international debut as Margot Rivers in Netflix’s newest thriller/teen drama Get Even. The series first premiered in the UK back in February via BBC’s iPlayer but was quickly snapped up by Netflix when its success became apparent. We got the chance to sit down with Bethany and talk to her about her journey as an up and coming actress and her role on Get Even.
Nerds and Beyond: To give our readers a little bit of background, can you tell me a little bit about Get Even, describing the basic premise?
Bethany Antonia: Yeah! So basically, Get Even is a 10-part drama series based on a book of the same name. It follows four teenage girls who are all from completely different social backgrounds and they join together to form a secret society. They call themselves DGM, which stands for “Don’t Get Mad” — because they don’t get mad, they get even. They basically just join together to tackle all of the injustices that they think are happening in their school. Everything is going great for them until they get framed for a murder they didn’t do and it becomes a murder mystery.
Nerds and Beyond: Get Even has been garnering a fair amount of attention in the US, even drawing comparisons with the likes of Riverdale (which is a big hit among younger audiences here) and other teen dramas like The Elite. How do you feel about Get Even’s newfound popularity with international audiences since being acquired by Netflix, and what do you think makes the show unique compared to other teen dramas?
Bethany Antonia: Yeah, I mean it’s so cool for it to be put up there amongst those huge, huge shows. It’s been amazing for us to see how well it’s been doing internationally because it actually launched in the UK a few months ago. It launched in February so we kind of got to see it do its thing over here and then now, it’s gone over the pond and we’ve seen it have a completely different response. It’s been really, really, really cool. What makes it really different than those shows I guess is that it’s set in a British school. I think British schools compared to American schools are hugely different. We have these really strict uniforms and I don’t know, there’s just a feel to British shows that are vastly different, so there’s that. Also, the show is just really really diverse, which I personally haven’t seen in a lot of teen dramas before. There’s a really massive range of ethnicities and backgrounds and just upbringings amongst all the different characters in the show.
Nerds and Beyond: In Get Even, we see the members of DGM taking a stand against injustice in an everyday setting – though the situation is a bit unique. I know that you’re also an advocate for numerous causes outside of acting. How has your history of advocating for social issues influenced the way you tackled this role or vice versa?
Bethany Antonia: I’ve always come from a place where I feel like I have to take responsibility for things even if it’s not my thing to take responsibility for. I definitely put a lot of that into the character, and I think that the girls as a whole, that’s the one thing that they stand for. They’re all very young teenage girls and they come from really privileged backgrounds. They don’t really need to be doing any of the things that they are doing. They could kind of sit back and watch it happen and it wouldn’t affect them in any other way, but they’ve got this inner drive to do something about what they see happening. I definitely drew on that from my own personality, because I have this tendency to just dive into all the places that I think need fixing, so I think there’s definitely a similarity in that.
Nerds and Beyond: I’m told that piano is a hobby of yours. Would you ever want to consider crossing over into the music industry or is it more of just something you like to do to decompress?
Bethany Antonia: Yeah! I’ve played piano for years now and I didn’t ever learn formally. I taught myself. I can’t read music, I just learned by ear. I do write songs and stuff, but it’s always kind of just been a hobby, I think, that I like to keep to myself. I love musical theater, so I’d like to go into that part of the industry, but for actually recording songs? Probably not. But you never know. You never know where life is going to take you.
Nerds and Beyond: You started off in theater, right?
Bethany Antonia: Yes, when I was younger. I did theater when I was little. I say when I was little, but I was like 14. I went into screen when I was 18, but musical theater was always where my roots were from — my first love of the industry — so it’s something I’m really really keen to go back to and do more of.
Nerds and Beyond: To keep on that track, what about acting initially drew you to the craft and was there a concrete moment that you knew you wanted to turn this into a career?
Bethany Antonia: I mean I’ve always had this buzz for acting and I didn’t really know what to do with it or that it was even a buzz at the time. I used to watch TV programs and mimic the actors. I used to like write out the script that they were saying and perform it. I just thought that was what everyone else was doing too! One day I was watching the television, and I saw that there were children on the program. I said to my mom, “Oh, they’re all my age,” and she told me that they were actors. That was the moment I realized that children could act as well. Before that point, I don’t know, I hadn’t even grasped or realized that was a real job at the time. I was just sort of doing it for buzz. That was it. I wanted to do what they were doing, so I started researching how to do it and how to be an actor like those kids that were on my TV show. It went from there, really. I joined a drama workshop and then I got myself an agent and I started acting. It all came from having this buzz that I didn’t really know what to do with or where it came from.
Nerds and Beyond: Is there any particular dream role that you can envision yourself in or a genre you’ve always wanted to land a part in?
Bethany Antonia: I’ve always wanted to do a sci-fi movie. Like a big sci-fi role where I get to play the heroine and have all these cool gadgets and the scientific, tech-y lingo — which is kind of funny because Margot in Get Even, she’s like this huge tech expert, so I’m kind of on the way there [laughs]. But definitely a big sci-fi movie. That’s kind of my big dream.
Nerds and Beyond: You’ve lived in both England and France, getting a multi-cultural experience growing up. Is there anywhere in particular you’ve always wanted to travel or live and why?
Bethany Antonia: I’ve always wanted to go to Jamaica. I’m from a Jamaican heritage and I’ve never had the chance to go. I’ve always wanted to travel around parts of Jamaica and do a proper trip. Not just a holiday — go and actually spend some time there; maybe a year or something. I want to live there for a bit just to get to know my own culture and to get to find that part of myself that I’ve not really ever had the chance to connect to. I’ve also wanted to do the same with Africa. I want to go see different parts of Africa, which is absolutely huge. I mean it’s a whole continent, but I would love to at some point get a chance to travel there.
Nerds and Beyond: Lastly, how are you doing with everything going on with COVID-19, both personally and professionally? I know that the television, film, and theater industries have really been impacted by events being shut down because people can’t gather.
Bethany Antonia: Personally, I think quarantine’s actually been really useful for me. I think we don’t realize how easily we get stuck into working 24/7 and putting every ounce of energy we have into our crafts and careers. Now we actually have a moment to take care of ourselves, because quarantine has sort of forced us into this situation where we have to spend all this time on our own and with ourselves. For a lot of us, that took a lot of reinvention. For me, I had to get used to my own company again and find other things that I loved about myself and find other things that I wanted to do more of. So for me, it’s really been invaluable getting some months to spend time with myself.
Professionally, it’s been really hard. I was supposed to perform in something throughout the summer that’s been canceled — it’s been postponed indefinitely. So that’s been a really tough side of it; that and not knowing when the next thing is going to be, especially with Get Even. This would’ve been the big launch month and we would’ve been enjoying the premiere of the show. Having to do all of that remotely is a little bit tough, but I’m just so grateful to have something going on during all of this because I know that’s not been the case for everyone.
We want to thank the delightful Bethany Antonia for taking the time to speak with us about Get Even and her journey in the industry. Bethany can be found on both Twitter and Instagram, so make sure to check her out on social media! If you haven’t already seen it, Get Even is now available for streaming on Netflix. Do you have a favorite scene from Get Even? Let us know in the comments!