‘Sinbad’ Interviews: Orla Brady & Marama Corlett

Continuing our coverage of press for the upcoming release of ‘Sinbad’ on Sky we bring you two interviews with Orla Brady who plays Taryn and Marama Corlett who plays Rina. In the show Taryn is a dangerous sorceress while Rina is a highly skilled thief who joins up with Sinbad on his seafaring adventures.

Taryn – Orla Brady

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A powerful magi, Taryn is ruthless, amoral and has a razor sharp intelligence. With a sophisticated, twisted kind of magic that is almost elemental, she can find out where people are simply by touching their belongings, before creating magical manifestations of them to hunt them down.

Taryn has a surprising personal history. as a young woman she had a beautiful daughter who she loved more than anything, but when her daughter died, fury and bitterness took hold and she began using her powerful magic for bad rather than good.
?Born into abject poverty, she has worked her way up to become Akbari’s personal magi, the most respected and feared in Basra. Akbari is completely dependent on Taryn, but life has taught her to show no loyalty. she has bigger ambitions than being an accessory to Akbari, and one day she will break free.

She is obsessed with finding a way to bring her daughter back from the Land of the Dead. It’s a crazy quest, but she will come to realise that a certain reckless young man might be able to help her…

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.

Rina – Marama Corlett

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Rina is tough, tiny and secretive, a skilled thief with a feral quality. sneaking on board The Providence in hope of finding rich pickings, she becomes stranded when it unexpectedly sails out of port. Rina is selfish, always putting her own personal safety and preservation above that of her comrades. It’s easy to talk about morals and right or wrong when you have choices, but Rina has never had that luxury. she finds an unexpected connection with the gang on their adventures, and their faith in her helps her build faith in herself. Rina’s softer side emerges as her feelings for Sinbad develop, although this is an innocent crush as she is unable to form any kind of intimate relationship.

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. everybody worked as a team and therefore I believe Sinbad will be another successful sky production.

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.

Sinbad will premier on Sky One and Sky One HD on 8 July.

At present the US premier date is TBC.

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