ANDERSONVISION: What is it like trading realistic period pieces for fantasy period pieces? TAMZIN MERCHANT: Doing a period piece you have to play the period but make it relatable for a modern audience, which is a craft in itself. And doing a fantasy piece (both in Dragonheart and in Salem) you have to play the reality of the fantasy as well as playing the period, so there’s that extra layer on top. Either way the costumes are always awesome in a period piece, and even more so in a fantasy piece so you can get lost in the adventure and hopefully bring the audience along with you.
ANDERSONVISION: Do you feel that younger British actresses get pushed into damsel roles?
For sure we do. I think the key is to fight against that. Sometimes you fight against it in a really swashbuckling style for example by taking down a bunch of Pict Slave-Drivers with a sword and a dagger and a very Andy-Murray inspired battle-cry... and other times you have to fight that damsel-trap in other ways, like by making a character witty and sharply funny rather than drippy. Sometimes you’re fighting against the script, the Director and the Studio to try to make a Damsel less distressed... But in Dragonheart it was supercool to be able to go full-pelt Celtic warrior on those bastards' asses.
Congrats on being on the cover of Belle and Sebastian's latest album. How did that all come together?
Thanks. Well I guess Stuart liked me when he was casting his film God Help the Girl and then when he wanted someone to be in the artwork on the awesome new Belle and Sebastian album, he thought of me. It is really such a wonderful thing to be part of. I LOVE their music. The new album is super.
What about the "Dragonheart" franchise enticed you to join the third film?
It’s a hugely fun story, witty script, Colin Teague and Julian Morris are both fantastic plus I got to do cool stuff like fighting Picts and evil Druids. And do a Scottish accent. And dye my hair red. And the first Dragonheart film is an absolute childhood classic so who wouldn’t want to be part of that universe? Lucky me! DRAGONHEART 3 is AVAILABLE ON DVD/BLU-RAY/DIGITAL HD NOW!
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