Maiya Silveston booked her first screen lead regular role as Kaz in the CBBC sci-fi adventure series Silverpoint, playing the character in the already-released Series 1 and 2, with the latter airing earlier this year and currently streaming on BBC iPlayer. Silverpoint was nominated for Best Scripted and Best Writer awards at last year’s BAFTA Children and Young People Awards, where Maiya reunited with some of the cast, which includes her fellow lead actors Oliver Cunliffe as Louis, Krish Misra as Glen and Katy Byrne as Meg. After finding out she’d be playing Kaz at just 15 years old, Maiya is now at college, where she studies acting and performing arts, to help continue her career. Catching up with Maiya, she answered our questions about booking her first screen lead character in Silverpoint, playing Kaz over the two series released so far and attending the BAFTA Children & Young People Awards ceremony.
Do you remember how you felt booking the role of Kaz in Silverpoint for your first lead regular character on screen?
It’s actually quite a funny story! So, me and my mum were out walking the dog and she got the call while we were out. Obviously at the time I was only 15, so I didn’t really have any idea how big of a deal it was, so the excitement sort of took a while to brew – but brew it did! A lot of the time I think about that moment and how little 15-year-old me had no idea what an amazing journey she was about to go on!
Can you tell us about the show and your character?
So, the show is a sci-fi adventure series. It follows the story of four teenagers who are brought together by a multitude of strange events and go on so many exciting and thrilling adventures to find the truth about the things that happen to them, and the truth about themselves. Obviously, what makes the show so special to me are the amazingly well-written and performed characters! My character, Kaz, is a slight social outcast. She distances herself from attention (or people, for that matter) but is massively brought out of her shell by the wonderful friends she makes – especially her best friend, Meg. It’s been an absolute dream to play and develop Kaz, she holds such a special place in my heart.
What is Kaz like to play and have you had a favourite scene to film?
Playing Kaz has been absolutely amazing! She’s such a fun character to play – she’s seemingly harsh and a little bit menacing, but she really does have the biggest heart. I think that’s what makes her so exciting to play, because she has two very extreme sides that the audience also gets to follow and get to know. A lot of my favourite scenes have been with my amazing co-star Katy Byrne, who plays Meg – but, if I had to choose one scene as an all-time favourite, it would have to be the airlock scene in Episode 4, Season 2! It was one of the most adrenaline inducing, dramatic and intense scenes to film in the entirety of Season 1 and 2. I really, really enjoyed playing up the danger and the fright, as it isn’t something that comes too often in the show. I also think two of my fantastic co-stars, Oliver Cunliffe and Noah Manzoor absolutely smashed it out of the park in the scene too – I remember Ollie coming up to me at the end of the scene and telling me so many lovely things he liked about the scene, which just made me feel over the moon!
How was it reading the scripts for both series and how has it been returning to set to film Series 2?
Well, as Season 1 was filmed in 2021, we were still working our way around a lot of COVID protocols, so when we read through the scripts, we had to do it on a Zoom meeting – but I remember really enjoying it! I was experiencing a bit of homesickness in the first week or so of being away, and the readthrough brought me out of my shell massively! And then moving on to Season 2, reading the scripts was SUPERB! We did a whole big table readthrough, which in itself was super fun, and I distinctly remember getting goosebumps 24/7 from the absolutely brilliant writing by our amazing writer, Lee Walters. I just completely and utterly adore the journey we’ve been on ourselves, and the journeys our characters have been on too.
What is it like working alongside the rest of the cast, including Oliver Cunliffe as Louis, Krish Misra as Glen and Katy Byrne as Meg?
I have said it a million times, and I would like to make it a million and one now – I love the Silverpoint cast with my whole entire being. I have counted myself so extremely lucky to have met these talented, special, brilliant people. When we’re working, it honestly just feels like full days of jokes and laughter with my closest friends! They always manage to make me smile on my worst days, and I really do miss them every second I’m not with them!
Is there anything you enjoy most about filming as a lead regular for CBBC?
Honestly, just the pure element of fun. It obviously is a job that requires a lot of focus and hard work, but I just completely love it. I also love to hear from the adults in my life that they’ve got their kids watching it! I’m also so glad to be in a CBBC show, because it’s so important to me that maybe, if there’s a kid out there like me who’s hearing impaired and struggling in any way and watches Silverpoint, they can learn from Kaz that it’s ok to be different, and maybe teaches them to have courage and how to be strong and independent. I think that’s such a special and rewarding thing.
How did you find the experience attending the BAFTA Children & Young People Awards last year, where Silverpoint was nominated for Best Scripted and Best Writer?
Oh, it was so, so surreal. Never in my life did I think I would be attending the BAFTAs at 16, let alone attend because a show I’m in got nominated! So, they were held in November about two weeks after we finished filming Season 2, so it was lovely to have some of the gang back together again. I’m really proud of and grateful for everyone who has worked on Silverpoint, both on and off screen, and that night really felt like a celebration – even though we didn’t win, I wasn’t disappointed at all because we’ve come so far, and the nomination alone was a massive, massive achievement. I hope we have more opportunities to attend events in the future!
Why would you recommend watching Silverpoint and who do you think will enjoy it?
From what I’ve heard from the people in my life, I think any and all ages enjoy the show! It’s usually a case of, the parents put it on for the kids, but actually sit down and get pulled into the story! I would recommend the show because it’s filled with so many exciting adventures and crazy plot twists, but also has so many elements of love and friendship. I think that’s what makes it so special!
Do you have any favourite highlights from working on the show so far?
I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, that would be impossible! I would say just everything that’s come from it – amazing friends, memories and adventures!
How did you get into acting and was it something you always wanted to do?
I can’t actually recall a moment in my whole life where I didn’t aspire to be an actress, to be honest! Ever since I was little I would always be put in performing companies, and so I just grew up doing what I loved! I don’t really go to any outside companies now, but obviously I study acting and performing arts at college.
What are some of your favourite films and TV shows to watch?
I will admit that I have a massive adoration for Disney films! My favourite two are Frozen 2 and Tangled! Aside from those, some of my favourite films are Tick, Tick… Boom!, Little Women (Greta Gerwig), Midsommar and The Imitation Game (off the top of my head!). Then, some TV shows I love are Stranger Things (because who doesn’t), The Umbrella Academy, Fleabag, and I Am Not Okay With This!
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
As most actors secretly do, I really enjoy the other aspects of performing such as singing and dancing, which as I mentioned, I study at college. I also actually really love writing, especially writing poetry!
Have you been given any advice over your career so far that has stuck with you?
I know this isn’t career or acting specified, but when I was away filming Season 1, my dad gave me a really simple piece of advice that has stuck with me ever since – “Just take it one day at a time”. Obviously it could be in regard to anything, but at the time it really helped me settle into my environment back when I was filming Season 1 and I was just getting to know everyone, and was being shown the ropes of the job.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about and what are you hoping 2023 brings for your career?
Currently, I do not have any projects yet that I am working on, but I am very eager to get busy! I can only hope that this year brings me as many good things as the past two, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Silverpoint, all of my amazing friends, and me!
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