Adina Porter Unveils Her Voodoo Priestess Roots
Adina Porter is seen here attending Variety and Women In Films’ 2018 Pre-Emmy Celebration at Cecconi’s on September 15, 2018 in West Hollywood, California – Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images North America.
When Adina Porter first signed on to American Horror Story: Apocalypse, she was told her character, Dinah Stevens, was a “self-made billionaire like Oprah.” And while that certainly proved to be true — Dinah was a wildly successful talk show host before the events that led to the end of the world and her taking refuge in the Outpost 3 bunker — it was just one layer to a complicated woman.
“Dinah is a chameleon and she becomes whoever she needs to become for whoever her employer happens to be, whether it’s a rich Beverly Hills socialite or Papa Legba,” Adina Porter tells Variety.
The seventh episode of Apocalypse, titled Traitor, revealed that Dinah’s drive came heavily from her roots as a voodoo priestess.
Adina Porter says she learned her character would have magic within her while she was shooting the first episode of the season and was soon after told to watch all of the Coven season to get a better idea of the magic with which they would be playing. Voodoo was introduced there through characters such as Papa Legba (Lance Reddick), who returned for a guest appearance in Traitor, but Porter didn’t want to just copy what Reddick had done in the earlier season of Horror Story.
“With ‘Coven,’ the witches all have their different powers and different spells and there’s not one way to be a witch. So I wanted the voodoo queens to also have that same flexibility,” Adina Porter explains.
Adina Porter, whose father is from Sierra Leone, has spent a lot of time traveling around Haiti and West Africa and has been to many voodoo ceremonies herself. Drawing on personal experience was imperative for her in formulating Dinah’s own rituals.