Marama Corlett (‘Sinbad’) interview

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Starring Marama Corlett as Rina, Sky1’s new 12-part fantasy adventure series Sinbad is airing on Sunday evenings at 7pm this summer.

> Order the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

How would you describe your character?

“Rina is like a fox. She lives on the streets, trusts no one. She also likes anything shiny, a little bit of a kleptomaniac.”

How does your character fit in with the storyline?

“Rina sneaks onto The Providence in order to scavenge what she can, she gets distracted by Sinbad who catches her and misses the boat sailing off. The rest is history.”

How did you prepare for the role?

“I personally started with a back story, figuring out who Rina is at the start of the first episode then working my way backwards. Where she came from , how she got to Basra in the first place. Finding out what makes Rina tick. Andy Wilson, our first Director on Sinbad, worked with us in order to create these characters. Even though this is all a fantasy I think it was important for Andy and every one of us to keep the characters as real as possible. He took us on a boat at sea to get used to the feeling of literally living on one.

“Most of our scenes are on The Providence and so in order for it to be authentic we had to learn to walk on a moving boat or create the same walk on a static one. We also had physical training like boxing to prepare us for the many stunts we had. It was all a lot of fun.”

What makes this incarnation of Sinbad different?

“The great thing is that most of the creatures we have in this version were actually in the original Sinbad stories so they are brought back to life.”

What was it like filming in Malta?

“Being Maltese myself it was definitely special filming there. After being away from the island for seven years, it was great to be back and see all of my friends and family. Malta is a very historical place.

“Being smack bang in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, it was a very important island for travellers throughout history. Many people battled for the island and left their mark, so it has a rich ancient feel and magic embedded in all its buildings and shores. It definitely brought that mythological feeling during filming. The sun was also shining every day which made people happy at work.”

What was it like filming on green screen?

“At times it was very difficult because most of the green screen shots were reactions to an invisible creature. The whole cast had to be in sync, eye lines especially crucial. I think a lot of the time it’s just about being totally fine with looking silly and somehow believing the creatures were actually there.

Which is your favourite monster from the series?

“My favourite monster would have to be the snake. It was especially fun filming those scenes.”

What is your most memorable moment from filming?

“I literally remember everything so clearly, but my most vivid memory is filming the underwater scenes in episode one. I remember very clearly imagining when I read the script for the first time at the auditions. I had some sort of phobia of being underwater without my nose being covered; it was because of a swimming accident as a child.

“We filmed it all in the lower tank at the studios but before that I had an amazing diving instructor who taught me how to use the regulator and different underwater hand signs and so on. Getting over that fear and finally seeing the result on screen was just such an amazing feeling. I didn’t want to get out of the water after wrap that night.”

Why do you think myths and fairy tales are so enduring?

“In the past they were a massive part of people’s lives. They had a massive impact on people’s decisions and the way the world evolved in a way. They seem to travel through history, they are timeless now. There is some sort of power connected to them that cannot be explained or proven but it’s so alive, exciting and comforting.”

Who are your favourite mythical heroes and heroines?

“Atlanta is one of my favourites. Her father, a king, wanted a son and so he abandoned her in the woods as a child. She was suckled by a bear until she was saved by hunters. She was an amazing huntress and outshot anyone with a bow. A bit of a tomboy and a survivor like Rina, I guess.”

What is the worst bit of advice you have ever been given?

“In life? A kid at school told me that, if you eat an ant you will see fairies. I shared one with my sister.”

Why should people watch Sinbad?

“If you love escaping reality for an hour a week, then you will love this.”

What has it been like working with Sky? And what does it mean to have another big producer of UK drama on the scene?

“It has been an amazing journey for me working with everyone involved with Sky on Sinbad, from the carpenters who built The Providence all the way in Malta to the crew, writers and people behind the scenes in London and those who first had the idea to create it.”

What are your favourite types of show to watch with your friends and family?

“I watch a lot of detective shows or supernatural programs. Fantasy is always good fun.”

What three things would you take with you for a long voyage on The Providence?

“A massive barrel of fresh water, my knife and a fishing rod.”

> Order the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

Watch the trailer…

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