‘Sinbad’ Interviews: Dimitri Leonidas And Tuppence Middleton

In the latest batch of interviews from the Sinbad Press pack we bring you Dimitri Leonidas and Tuppence Middleton who play the roles of Anwar and Tiger.

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Anwar – Dimitri Leonidas

The Providence’s doctor, Anwar, is no salty sea-dog but a lovable and clumsy young medical student having the adventure of his life. Hailing from a privileged and wealthy family, he had a loving, nurturing upbringing and has never really encountered hardship or tragedy. as a result, he has a fantastically optimistic outlook on life. unlike the rest of the ship’s crew, Anwar is an open book – what you see is what you get. and it is this unspoilt, genuine love of life that will ultimately endear him to the others.

This is Anwar’s first trip away from home, and he embarks on a coming of age journey in which he falls in love for the first time and
?makes friends with the kinds of people he never knew in Basra – common thieves and street fighters. These experiences make him think differently about the way he was brought up.

Anwar and Sinbad become best mates. Anwar is great at weighing up the options, but not so good at making that final decision, and he admires Sinbad’s recklessly decisive nature,
his gift of the gab and his way with women.

Anwar has an unrequited crush on prickly Rina; however, this is rocked when he falls for the goddess kuji.

How would you describe your character?

Anwar has lived a fairly secluded life revolving around academia. He’s bright, enthusiastic and, at times, a little naïve. The depth of Anwar’s character, though, is revealed as he goes out, engages in new experiences and breaks away from the life that was expected of him.

How does your character fit in with the storyline?

Coming from a background where the pursuit of knowledge is the greatest thing a man can dedicate his life to, Anwar uses his years of study to help his shipmates.

How did you prepare for the role?

The best way to develop Anwar was to fully understand the world he inhabits, so the script was the most useful. Once I’d grasped the politics, science and magic of this imagined world, I tried to see it through Anwar’s eyes, from his perspective. Before filming began, we also took a number of boats out to sea and I got an idea of the isolation and vulnerability a crew would feel back in the day; there’s no visible land in any direction and, without any sat-navs or computers, they’ve just got to rely on accurate map reading and a compass.

What makes this incarnation of Sinbad different?

Over the years, the stories have varied and Sinbad himself has taken on many different forms; some depict him as a fat, wealthy merchant, others as a tall, thin magician. There is no definitive version, although each has a lot in common; Sinbad is always a sailor, exploring strange lands in a world that’s constantly changing. Beyond the surface – the adventures and mythology the stories are usually trying to make a larger point about humanity, about greed, lust, friendship and so on. The creatures and worlds in any portrayal of Sinbad usually reflect themes. This Sinbad explores these human ideas and issues through fantasy.

What is your most memorable moment from filming?

Malta was great. The old architecture has been preserved and there are large sandstone forts dotted around the coastline, providing a ready-made set. It’s a very small country surrounded by the sea and gets amazing, almost desert-type sunlight that seems to bleach the landscape. It’s a very cool place and I feel lucky to have spent so much time there.

What was it like filming on green screen?

It’s not the easiest thing. as a group we found the best way to deal with it was just to get on and do it – once you let your mind start questioning too much, you slip out of the moment.

Which is your favourite monster from the series?
?The old man of the sea. although, strictly speaking, not a monster, he was still a foe, a very creepy incarnation of Death who triggered a trippy, paranoid episode.

What was your most memorable moment from filming?

Getting soaked at 3 o’clock in the morning under the rain machines on The Providence.

Why do you think myths and fairytales are so enduring?

They stimulate our imagination and people enjoy escapism.

Who are your favorite mythical heroes?

I’ve always loved Greek mythology; the sheer amount of Gods they have is brilliant. The tales are very cool, with the story of Prometheus being one of my favourites.

Why should people watch Sinbad?

Because it offers a world that’s very different to our own.

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

Sky are in a golden age at the moment and they’re pushing to make high-quality shows, so it’s great to be a part of that. Hopefully it will continue and generate a lot more work.

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

Anything HBO makes. I’m massively into Game of Thrones at the moment, and I love The Wire and Breaking Bad. The list goes on…

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

Snorkels, a fishing rod, whisky.

Tiger – Tuppence Middleton

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Tiger is a bounty hunter we meet in episode nine when she comes to take Sinbad to Taryn. rumour says she was raised by tigers, and we will never know her true name. she’s happy for people to believe that she was brought up by tigers and even encourages this, as it enhances her mystique. Tiger was, however, the daughter of a warlord. He was so incensed when his wife gave birth to a girl instead of a boy that he left her in the wilds to die. raised by an old woodsman who taught her everything there is to know about tracking and wilderness survival, Tiger is now a world-class hunter of men.

Tiger is very handy with her khanda, a deadly sword, and is an excellent fighter, which earns her the respect of Gunnar. she’s usually straight forward in her dealings with others and fears nobody. Tiger is a loner who is used to operating solo, but she comes to enjoy being part of an alternative family. There’s an instant sexual frisson between Tiger and Sinbad. Sinbad is intrigued and ever-so slightly intimidated by this woman who is different to every other girl he’s met.

How would you describe your character?

Tiger is tough, self sufficient and a bit of a loner. a warrior. although she is initially very guarded, she softens a lot as the series progresses and she finds friends she can trust for the first time in her life.

How does your character fit in with the storyline?

She comes in towards the end of the series, becomes involved with Sinbad and the gang by chance, and takes a risk by agreeing to travel with them. she really bonds with Sinbad after overcoming her own wariness and stays on the ship with him and his friends for fur- ther adventures.

How did you prepare for the role?

I had some combat training for the big fights and tried to stay fit as Tiger is very physical and able with all three of her weapons! I also made sure I discussed with the cast how Tiger would fit in with the dynamic of a group that had already established itself as a functioning team. It’s important to know your role within an ensemble.

What makes this incarnation of Sinbad different?

It has a very modern feel: CGI is so much more advanced now, so the monsters and effects can be a lot more sophisticated than they used to be. I don’t think there has ever been such a young Sinbad. It is quite a young cast, so it feels very relatable.

What was it like filming in Malta?

It was beautiful. It is a very interesting little island with a rich history and countless stunning landscapes – which make it perfect for filming. It’s also a huge bonus filming in such nice weather, everyone is so happy and friendly there, very welcoming people.

Which is your favourite monster from the series?

In one episode, we have to fight a giant snake demon… I think that will look pretty cool.

What is your most memorable moment from filming?

Filming a storm scene for the last episode in the series. We were doing a night shoot on the ship and spent most of it being blasted with water canons, showered with heavy rain and getting absolutely drenched by huge water tanks every few minutes.

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

I suppose its escapism. something that we will never encounter in real life is fun to watch on screen because there are no limits to what you can imagine.

Who are your favourite mythical heroes and heroines?

I am a huge fan of greek mythology … the Minotaur and Medusa being particular favourites.

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

I honestly can’t remember, I only listen to good advice!

Why should people watch Sinbad?

Because it’s a family show, both adults and children will enjoy the adventure and there hasn’t been a television version of Sinbad in a very long time so it’s an exciting new
adaptation – something exciting and exotic for uk audiences.

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

I love anything, as long as it is well written and acted, I don’t have a genre preference. But comedies are always fun to watch with a big group of people. I am also just about to start Twin Peaks…

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

My cat, a book and a jumbo box of Guylian chocolates.

Sinbad will premier on Sky One at 7PM on 8 July.

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