“The Society” Star Gideon Adlon on Why She Fell in Love with the Creepy Series
Gideon Adlon’s latest project, The Society, is kind of a full circle story. Back when she was doing press for her breakout hit Blockers, she opened up about her graphic novel phase. One of her favorites to date is Black Hole by Charles Burns, about a bunch of young people who become mutated after contracting a sexually transmitted disease who eventually hide up in the mountains and create their own new society. There are definitely some thematic parallels between the graphic novel and the new Netflix show.
The Society follows the teenagers of a wealthy Connecticut suburb who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their neighborhood. But there are a couple of things off, mainly the fact that every single parent and adult from town is nowhere to be found and there’s no way out of this new replica. And while it’s a party for lots of the town’s young people, Gideon’s character Becca Gelb is concerned with more than just red solo cup bashes and staying up all night — the actor describes her as a bit of an outsider.
“Becca is definitely one who is on the outside looking in. She’s always hiding behind her little iPhone video camera,” Gideon tells Teen Vogue. “She’s got a journalistic approach to certain things. I like to think about the fact that she’s always recording things that are going on in the new society because she’s documenting a new history. She’s getting all the footage of what’s going on that can create a new chapter.”
But if Gideon found herself in the situation that her character ends up in, she personally would have a much more survival-oriented approach to everything. She says that she’d be figuring out her resources, which people are the most trustworthy, and figuring out how to sustain a new life. Complete survival mode.
Audiences will remember Gideon from a slew of other projects. On top of her role as Ike Barinholtz’s daughter Sam in Blockers, the young performer also portrayed Martha in The Mustang and has a number of television appearances on shows such as Criminal Minds and Girl Meets World. It’s been quite busy the past couple of years for the up-and-coming performer. Before getting into film and television, she grew up doing theater and started studying photography at Chicago’s Columbia College before dropping out to focus more on acting.
While Gideon might still be getting her footing in the industry, she’s a professional that makes sure she’s always prepared. In The Society, Becca is good friends with Sean Berdy’s Sam, a deaf teenager in the neighborhood. Gideon knew a little bit of American Sign Language going into the audition but knew she’d have to learn more if she booked the role. So when she signed on to play the character, she started working with ASL coaches and would spend hours in her apartment on weekends learning her dialogue.
Beyond Becca and Sam, there are quite a number of characters to keep track of, let alone actors names. But Gideon always makes it a priority to know who’s who on her projects.
“There were always new people popping up on set, too, new characters. I mean, yeah, it was difficult to remember everyone’s names, but I also picked up on that,” she says. “I make sure I know everybody’s name, cameramen, boom operators, everyone. First AV, second AV, all the actors, and guest artists, I make sure I know everyone’s name, but it does take a second.”
With so many characters, there is, of course, lots of drama and twists throughout the first season. But beyond the teenage antics, Gideon hopes The Society sparks great conversation about today’s world and how young people navigate difficult issues. For her, it was a thrilling balance between the mystery of the series and the human aspect to all the characters’ stories.