Orla Brady (‘Sinbad’) interview

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Starring Orla Brady (Fringe, Mistresses) as Taryn, 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?

“Taryn has risen from indescribable poverty and has had nothing given to her. Tenacious, determined and focused, this woman has the extraordinary self discipline of a person who knows what they want to achieve and will stop at nothing to do so. Her great trick is having been able to harness the power of Lord Akbari to help her implement her plan. She has few scruples and will let no-one stand in her way.”

How does your character fit in with the storyline?

“Every hero’s tale has its dark character, the one who will try to destroy the hero or bring him/her over to the dark side. Taryn stands for all that Sinbad does not. He is someone who believes in family, friendship, passion. She has no family and no allegiance to anyone. Or so it appears.

“Taryn is always there, always watching, always waiting. Although Sinbad is unaware of her at first, she is tracking him at all times, determined to capture him. The reasons for this become apparent by the end of series one but for now are obscure.”

How did you prepare for the role?

“If we are honest we have all the qualities of good and bad within us. We can be cowardly, venal, contemptuous etc, as well as (hopefully) kind, loyal and honest. I just had fun imagining being a creature with no considerations other than the quest for power. Also, if I am truthful, the extraordinary costumes from Phoebe de Gaye and make-up of Jacqui Fowler did a lot of the work. To tumble off the plane in sweats and with frizzy hair, and be transformed by them into this evil sorceress was an utter delight.”

What makes this incarnation of Sinbad different?

“I have not seen others. However I feel that this version as imagined by the creators and realized by Andy Wilson feels modern but is true to the ancient tale of this hero’s journey, the stories of a boy who must grow and understand how to be a man. I think that Elliot and all The Providence gang bring a zeal to the story which feels modern yet timeless.”

What was it like filming in Malta?

“I had just come from filming in the lovely misty dampness of a Yorkshire summer so it was a complete reverse. Malta is blasted with sun and sea breezes and bejewelled with old stone fortresses. We would finish filming each day and go to sit on a dock to eat, drink and cool down after the day. We worked hard but what a great place to work hard.”

Which is your favourite monster from the series?

“The Roc! I wanted to take her home with me and promise you will too!”

What is your most memorable moment from filming?

“It was watching a scene when I was off for an hour and hanging around with my book. Elliot Knight as Sinbad played a scene with Janet Suzman who plays his grandmother, that was beautiful and touching and I just loved watching them: her an Oscar-nominated actress with a wealth of stage experience and him just out of drama school in his very first job. I was so taken with how beautifully they worked together.”

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

“We measure ourselves by them. They tell us of ourselves and are magical, alluring and eternal.”

Who are your favourite mythical heroes and heroines?

“I like Epona who is a strong symbol of independence, nurturing and intuitive understanding. She was also a psychopomp and somehow leading souls to the underworld seems like such a worthy role. Also Scheherazade. I can’t help but admire a lady who knew the power of a good story and saved herself and many others by using this simple power rather than a sword.”

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

“I love hearing other people laugh so top of my list would be comedies like The Thick of It, Flight of the Conchords, Alan Partridge and Bachelors Walk.”

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

“Limes. A swimsuit. A suitcase of books … but that’s me. Taryn would take a good disguise as she wouldn’t be very welcome aboard.”

> Order the Series 1 DVD on Amazon.

Watch the trailer…

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