Rebelle meets … Natalia Tena

Today, the final instalment of the Harry Potter saga hits UK cinemas. While it may be a sad day for Potter fans, out of the ashes of J.K Rowlings worldwide phenomemn rise a bundle of stars ready to light up British cinema. One of these is the awesome Natalia Tena!

And what’s not to love about Natalia? Enthusiastic, upbeat, quirky, witty, hilarious and bags of fun, the English actress has got quite a bit in common with her Harry Potter character and, much like Tonks, the hugely talented Tena has a few tricks up her sleeve! As well as acting, (this year she’s also starring in films ‘You Instead’, ‘Bel Ami’ and HBO’s fantasy-drama series ‘Game of Thrones’) she’s also got one hell of a voice and can bash out a tune on accordion with plenty of gusto, both of which she does frequently with her band ‘Molotov Jukebox’.

In an interview for NOIR magazine, I chatted to the lovely Natalia about Harry Potter, filming at festivals, the ideal recipe to a rocking Gyp-Step band and doing sex scenes with ‘Twilight’ hunk Robert Pattinson …

 

Hi Natalia! How did you find filming The Deathly Hallows: Part 2?

 Well, it felt like part 1 and 2 were the same as the filming ran into each other. Overall, I spent all the times I wasn’t filming laughing at everything funny Lupin had to say and generally catching up with the banging Potter cast and crew!

 How did you feel about what happens to Tonks in the final film?

Obviously loved it, every actor likes the idea of a death scene! I like the fact she shoves into minimum time all the big phases of life – love, birth, death … done!

There’s a big battle scene at the end of the film, did you get to be part of the action?

The battle scene was epic due to the fact that such an integral set had been demolished like a titanic car crash; that was a bizarre sight! I wasn’t really part of the action this time, shame because I thoroughly enjoy prancing around shouting and imagining random things in front of a green neon screen!

What’s been the best thing about being part of the Harry Potter phenomenon?

Firstly, getting to meet its crème de la crème crew and cast. Secondly, owning a wand and shouting in Latin and getting paid for it, and thirdly, meeting kids that actually believe you have magic powers and threatening to turn them into frogs if they don’t do their homework!

You’re about to make lots of Robert Pattinson fans very jealous in the upcoming Bel Ami! What can you tell us about your role and getting ‘down and dirty’ with Rob?

Basically I play a syphilitic prostitute inParisat the turn of the century! Rob and I used to be good mates for a brief period before he shot to Vampire fame. I remember him taking me out for drinks before going toAmericato film it, saying “yeah, going to do some Vampire movie, see you when I get back.” Little did he know how huge it was going to be! Seeing him again was great and I always find sex scenes very funny! You’re there making sex noises, thinking about the fact that all the crew are respectfully trying to do their job delicately to not make it hard for you … it makes me want to crack up every time! It’s about as sexy as watching paint dry. The daunting bit; knowing that lots of people (including my Dad) are going to see it!

You also star as a rock chick in You Instead set at T in the Park, can you tell us about your character Morello?

Morello is the lead singer of a fem-rock band The Dirty Pinks and is feisty, cynical and funny yet vulnerable. She’s been working hard to make her band get somewhere and thinks very little of Adam Elva, the lead singer of a rival band, to whom she gets handcuffed in a strange twist of fate. But love can flourish between all sorts of unlikely people and they realise they have a connection that is above their antagonistic banter!

How did you find shooting over four days of intense guerrilla style filming?

Literally, it was exhilarating, exhausting, hilarious, adrenaline-fuelled madness! I reckon I can speak for everyone in saying that that Monday morning wrap held such HUGE sense of achievement, it felt monumental! More than anything, it had to do with the cast, crew and director we had. Every single person there made it possible and David MacKenzie is a relentless man! Extreme acting was very much the consensus of the project: there was lots of improvising, we had the script as our anchor but from there we messed around, seeing what each moment had to offer, and we had thousands of extras in festival party mode to play with!

Tell us about your own band, Molotov Jukebox. How would you describe your sound and how do find combining music and film?

Basically, it’s Gyp-Step; a well aimed throw by its individuals and their relative musical styles into a melting pot of chaos, stirred with love, garnished with loud shouting and strong looks, then served warm with massive smiles. Definitely 6 of your 5 a day, fantastic for every muscle used in contagious dancing! With regards to combining, one the best things in life is finding a synergy between the things you love in the hope that they can work together and bring out the best in each other, for your career and more importantly for you those you love.

 

NEXT … Natalia shares A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MOLOTOV JUKEBOX!

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Rebelle meets … Oliver Phelps a.k.a George Weasley!

This summer, the Harry Potter films come to a gripping finale in the biggest film event of the year – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. And so, after ten years, we say goodbye to some much love characters, including my personal favourites, the Weasley twins.

I caught up with one half of the mischievous duo, Oliver Phelps, and aked him to share 20 things we didn’t know about filming The Deathly Hallows, playing George, the battle of Hogwarts, loosing an ear, being part of the Harry Potter phenomenon and why Nana knows best when it comes to sports!

Here’s what he had to say …

“My favourite experience working on The Deathly Hallows was going to Emma Watson’s place in London with James, Dan, Rupert, Mat Lewis, Alfie Enoch, Bonnie and Evana, and reminiscing over the last ten years.

On my last ever day filming it was actually quite emotional – to see the bulldozers outside waiting out side to tear down half the studios!

My favourite scene in the final film is when Voldemort addresses all the Hogwarts students in the courtyard. 

Filming the Battle of Hogwarts was epic! There’s so much action and fighting going on. Most of the recognisable parts of the school look like they’ve been in a bombing raid.

The most difficult scene to shoot was reacting to something happening to Fred.

The best thing about playing George was you could for the most part have a laugh and smile and not look out of place.

I’m a little bit like my character because I think by playing a joking, happy-go-lucky character for most of my adolescence, some things took root: I do like a joke, but I think I know where to draw the line where as George wouldn’t. James and I were very much jokers on set … Rupert too for that matter!

What I remember most about my very first day on set is that we were filming the very last shot in the film.

 The atmosphere on a Harry Potter set is very friendly and humorous.

The coolest thing I got to do during filming was punching a stunt guy through a table in HP4!

My most embarrassing moment on set was when running in my Quidditch gear, tripping on my broom and falling over!

It’s a bit strange looking back on the  films and seeing yourself grow up on screen. The worst thing is that it’s very easy for my friends to see how much of a high voice I had!

In all the movies I always wanted a war wound, and I guess they don’t come much better than losing an ear! Spending all day with a prosthetic piece stuck to the side of my head took some getting used to but the effects team were great fun to work with.

Out of the entire cast I really loved working with Rupert Grint.

I first realised how big the Harry Potter films had become when I was in Cancun,  Mexico in 2002 and all the Americans there recognised me!

 

I’ve worked with quite a few directors during the Potter series but I really don’t have a favourite – they all had different styles and ideas, and it was great to learn from their direction. David Yates got me to try and relate what was happening to my character to something from my own life, and that made it more real. Mike Newel really got my sense on humour and let me bring it out in the character. Alfonso Cuarón got me and James to overlap sentences, which worked really well and without Chris Columbus I wouldn’t have been part of this great journey … considering we were all kids at the time, his patience was amazing! 

My biggest obsession is playing golf.

One thing you don’t know about me is I love watching sports with my Nan. She knows more about it than most of my friends!

Harry Potter fans are everywhere you turn, it’s fantastic!

I can’t wait for the premiere of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 because it’s going to be the biggest premiere London has ever seen … and I get a new suit!”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is released 15th July … can’t wait!!!

Rebelle meets … Jonathan Keltz. Hello handsome!!

Young, hot, hugely talented and incredibly upbeat pretty much sums up the lovely Jonathan Keltz; Canada’s next leading man. In 2009, Keltz became a household name in the US when he landed a recurring role in the popular HBO series Entourage. Since then the 23-year-old actor has appeared in two series of the show and has also worked on a number of films, including Transgression, Playback and Disney’s Prom. He tells me about landing his dream role on Entourage and his subsequent foray into the film industry…

 

You’re well known for your role as Ari’s assistant Jake in the hit show Entourage, how did you get the part?

Originally, it started off as just a one scene guest star where I get fired for cracking a joke, but they decided to keep me around and kept writing for me. All of last season I was just trying to go with the flow and keep up, and I ended up sticking around for the whole season!

Was it intimidating joining a show with such a successful track record?

Absolutely! It was crazy and intimidating to suddenly find myself in the middle of such a successful show but everyone was so welcoming and I had a blast. My character was in exactly the same position as I was. All of a sudden he’s in a job he doesn’t know if he’s ready for and he’s running around trying to get everything right and not get fired.

How did you get on with Jeremy Priven, who plays your tyrannical boss Ari? 

As his assistant, I still get a fair bit of abuse from Ari! Working with Jeremy was a wonderful experience. Going toe to toe with him in a scene is quite thrilling because you never know what’s about to happen. His completely grounded presence in every moment is inspirational to watch. 

Since Entourage, you’ve worked on a few upcoming films. What can you tell us about Transgression and your character?

Transgression is a psychological thriller looking at trust and betrayal and how we move through transgressions to survive. I play Michael Ironside’s son who, through divorce, has been transplanted toBarcelona. I don’t trust my father’s new wife and have been rebelling against the two of them since their engagement. We then become the victims of home invasion and through the struggle, all the dark secrets and corners of our lives come to light. 

You’ll also star in the horror Playback. What can we expect from this film?

Playback is a terrifying look at what can happen to a small town and group of friends when evil has been released and slowly corrupts us and takes us over through the media we use to connect ourselves. It was a joy to work on; a great young cast and a brutally entertaining vision combine for a fun ride!  

Who are your acting role models?

Newman andRedford; they’ve been idols of mine since the beginning. I would love to work with Daniel Day Lewis because it would be such an educating and challenging situation; the guy is a master!

Black Swan DVD review

Out now on DVD, Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, much like its subject matter, is thrilling and darkly majestic, featuring an incredible performance from Natalie Portman as its tormented protagonist. 

Set in the brutal yet beautiful world of ballet, Daren Aronofsky’s psycho-thriller leads us on an intoxicating and at times terrifying journey through the psyche of a principal working at a New York ballet company, as she grapples with her dual role as the swan queen.

In a career defining performance, Natalie Portman excels as the troubled Nina Sawyers, whose life is consumed by dance. After years toiling in the chorus, Nina is finally given her chance in spotlight when the company’s chauvinistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) chooses her as the lead in a new version ofSwanLake, replacing his bitter has-been star, Beth (Winona Ryder).

Graceful, delicate and innocent; Nina perfectly embodies the role of the white swan, yet the ballet’s principal must also capture the essence of the evil Black Swan. This demands a wild, alluring and sensual sexuality which Nina lacks, yet the company’s newest member Lily (Mila Kunis) effortlessly embodies.

For Nina to dance both sides of the swan queen, she must let go of her inhibitions and embrace her sexuality (to achieve this, Thomas demands relentless training and masturbation). As Nina attempts to embrace her dark side with reckless abandon, her initial rivalry with Lily morphs into a twisted friendship.

In her unrelenting pursuit of perfection, Nina becomes so absorbed with her character and performance that artistic breakthrough fuses with mental breakdown, and Aronofsky’s distorted use of mirrors become powerfully symbolic of her fracturing mind and personality.

 As her paranoia intensifies, the realms of fantasy and reality dissolve and we become complicit in Nina’s terrifying hallucinations. Her reflection continues to stare back after she has turned away, paintings writh and shriek before her eyes, she imagines horrific self-harm, embarks on a sexual tryst with Lily and begins sprouting feathers.

Although demanding to watch at times, Portman’s award-winning transformation into the swan queen is nothing short of stunning. She endured ten months of gruelling and immersive training to help her deliver a virtuosic performance worthy her ensuing Bafta and Oscar glory. The film’s intricate ballet sequences are delivered and captured beautifully, as Aronofsky’s floating camera tracks his subject’s every movement to thrilling effect.

With costume design playing an integral role, it fell to Amy Westcott to create the company’s elegant attire, with Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy collaborating on the hauntingly beautiful outfits featured the final performance, when Nina surrenders completely to the black swan and performs the role to tragic perfection.

Provocative, powerful and visually arresting, Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a creature of intense beauty; as elegant and mesmerising as it is seething and ferocious.

Rebelle meets … Regina King

I recently interviewed Regina King, one of the stars of TNT’s hit drama Southland in which she plays the tough LAPD detective Lydia Adams. I’ll admit this was an email interview so this isn’t the most in-depth article you’ll ever read, but she did tell me a little about Southland, fashion and her career in general…

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Regina King began her career in 1985 with a five-year stint on the sitcom 227 when she was just 14. During the nineties, she established herself as a skilled actress with roles in hit films including Boyz N the Hood, Jerry Maguire, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Poetic Justice and Enemy of the State. She has acted alongside Will Smith, Cuba Gooding Jr. Eddie Murphy and also Jamie Foxx in Ray. King is currently starring in the hit series Southland as a tough LAPD detective and talks about her career, Southland and style …

What first interested you in Southland?

I was looking to do a TV show that shot in LA. Of all the things I read, Southland was the most realistic. The creators and people behind the show (John Wells, Chris Chulack, Ann Biderman) are well-respected in this business. Every actor interested in doing television would love jump at the opportunity to be working with all of them.

Tell us about your character Lydia Adams, how do you relate to her?

I think she represents a huge number of women in the 35-45 age range; women who have put fostering a relationship on the back-burner, to focus on their careers. They are the best at what they do career wise but something is missing.

We’re into the third season of Southland, how has the show and your character progressed?

I think the show is as close to real life as you can get in the world of law enforcement. With that being said, it’s the characters that move the show. So the audience is constantly witnessing the characters progressions and setbacks.

Which project have you been most proud of?

I feel that I have been very blessed and couldn’t narrow it down to one. There have been roles that have definitely served as turning points in my career. Those would be 227, Boyz N the Hood, Jerry Maguire, Ray and Southland.

What would you attribute to the longevity of your screen career?

Luck – where preparation meets opportunity.

What would be your dream role and why?

I’m still trying to figure that out! The first thought that came to mind was an action hero, like a female Bourne Identity. Why? Because I’m athletic, working on Southland has taught me how to handle a weapon, and I can imagine myself doing it.

How would you describe your style and do you have any favourite designers?

I’m not a trendy person, but I wouldn’t consider myself earthy or conservative either. I would say I like more of the classic styles. I like pieces that never go out of style or at least not for long. So I guess I would say my style is…chic. I wear a lot of Theory suits on the show because they fit me perfectly.

“The King’s Speech” DVD review

The Royal Standard

The King’s Speech *****

It’s been a good year for British filmmaking with The King’s Speech garnering critical acclaim both at home and abroad, collecting a royal  flush of awards along the way, which included 7 Baftas and 4 Oscars in the major categories Best Film, Director and Screenplay with double acting honours given to King Colin himself. Now the biggest British film of the year, and no doubt the decade, is available on dvd. If you missed it in cinema (sacrilege!) grab yourself a copy now- trust me, The King’s Speech and Colin Firth deserve all the hype!!

Driven by a magnificent performance from Colin Firth as King George IV, Tom Hooper’s film tells the story of the afflicted monarch’s personal struggle to overcome his stammer and rally his nation during the onset of war.

After the death of his father (Michael Gambon) and the abdication of his arrogant elder brother Edward (Guy Pearce) in favour of the arms of American divorcee Wallace Simpson, it falls to the Duke of York, Albert (or Bertie) to take the throne. Yet these are perilous times in 1930’s depression-eraBritain, when a nation is gripped by the threat of war withGermanyand the introduction of mass media throws Bertie his greatest challenge: a nine minute radio speech addressing his subjects across the empire.   

The prologue depicts the extent of Bertie’s affliction during an agonisingly embarrassing speech at Wembley Stadium during the 1924 Empire exhibition. We then fast-forward to 1934 when Bertie’s charming and robustly supportive wife Elizabeth (Helena Bohnam Carter) seeks the help of an innovative and straight-talking speech therapist, Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush).

While the film’s social and political background is acutely observed and carefully interwoven, The King’s Speech transcends its historic setting to focus on Bertie’s personal journey and his relationship with Logue, who is optimistic and charismatic where Bertie is solemn and repressed.

An unlikely bond is forged between king and commoner as their sessions slowly progresses from sparring matches with sharp and witty exchanges, to genuine friendship. In these impeccably written scenes David Seidler finds humour and emotion, while Firth and Rush are both exceptional and work off each other beautifully, as Logue pushes Bertie to soften his reserve and come to terms with his illness in a step to overcoming it.

Hooper’s backdrops, pace and tone further enhance Seidler’s uplifting and compelling tale of British stoicism and quiet heroism, which is ultimately driven by fantastic character performances from an impeccable cast, including Derek Jakobi as the Archbishop of Canterbury and Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill.

Firth delivers a performance of a lifetime and expertly conveys the depth of Bertie’s sadness, toil and torment, often without the need for any words at all. While the era and characteristics of Englishness it puts forth may be lost to the history books, The King’s Speech is a rich yet crowd-pleasing showcase of filmmaking at its very best!

Catfish: A Cautionary Tale for the Digital Age!

If anyone caught the network premiere of Catfish on More4 last night, they would’ve been given a harsh and often hilarious reminder of the certian perils of social networking and the potential pitfalls of finding love online. The documentary created by 28-year-old Henry Joost and 29-year-old Ariel “Rel” Schulman using handheld digital cameras follows Schulman’s brother Nev after he makes a Facebook connection with child prodigy Abby Wesselman and her eccentric family, including her creative and beautiful 19-year-old sister Megan.

What was initally intended as a sweet record of the shy photographer from New York’s burgeoning online relationship with Megan, Abby and her mother, soon turns into an engrossing detective story; as Nev becomes more involved in the family it becomes increasingly apparent to the three young film makers that things arent quite as they seem!

Things start innocently enough. Nev recieves painted copies of his own photos in the post from Abby, a little girl from rural Ishpeming, Michegin. They become pals via Facebook, Nev chats on the phone with Abby’s mum and begins a cyber relationship with Megan, at which point Rel and Henry begin filming the scenario from Nev’s point of view – they reckon the resulting film will be a great mememto for the couple, but when the group start to become suspicious of the Wesselmans, after Nev discovers that songs Megan claims she wrote for her beloved are taken straight off Youtube, a surprise trip to Ishpeming uncovers a twist in tale so bizzare that you couldn’t make it up! Or could you? (cue spoilers)

Since Catfish’s debut at the Sundance Festival, critics and audiences alike have been fairly dubious about the film’s authenticity as a documentary – given its incredible twist in which sexy Megan, her network of 17 Facebook friend’s and Abby’s artistic talent all transpire to be complete fabrications, labouriously created by Angela – Abby’s 39-year-old mother/bored housewife and carer, who suffers from schizophrenia and it seems is besotted with poor Nev. (the scene towards the end where Nev sits in a rocking chair chatting to Angela about the deception as she paints his picture and swoons over his smile is painfully hilarious!)

True or false (and I think I’m a believer here, whatever Morgan Spurlock might have to say on the matter) Catfish may begin as a seemingly intrusive look at online love but ultimately turns into a rather moving and haunting story of someone looking for an escape from a tedious life and the extent to which social media can be used, and sometimes abused, to obtain that. It’s certainly a far more candid and revealing look at how big a role social media and networking plays in our lives, with Henry and Rel incorporating Facebook images, status updates, Youtube clips and even Google Maps to chart the trio’s bizzare journey.

The experience doesn’t seem to have put Nev off looking for love on Facebook though (he met his current girlfriend through the newtorking site) and at the end of Catfish we’re told that he remains friends with Angela, who has started selling her artwork online. While all involved seem to have proffited from the film, its ultimately little Abby I feel sorry for – she’ll eventually grow up and learn of Catfish’s twisted tale and her mother’s oddball actions.

Still, I’d reccomend Catfish as essential viewing: a fascinating cautionary tale for the digital age!

Nico Tortorella: Scream 4

Listen up ladies! When it comes to Hollywood hunks, Nico Tortorella is certainly one to look out for in 2011! The 22-year-old actor from Chicago Illinois will star in Scream 4 which opens this Friday, before reuniting with Twelve director Joel Schumacher on the thriller Trespass alongside Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage. While he may have started his career as a munchkin, he’s currently rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty and we’re pretty sure his upcoming bad boy roles will have all the girls screaming!

He talks about scary movies and the biggest role of his career so far …

What initially attracted you to a career in acting?

It’s something I’ve always known was ahead of me. Ever since I played a munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz” when I was seven, I knew I was destined for entertainment! I guess you could say I just followed the yellow brick road …

How have you found the jump from working in TV to films?

The pace of television and film is worlds apart.  When you’re given a week to knock out an episode, there is not a huge amount of room for creative indulgence.  Film on the other hand, has been great as it allows me to delve much deeper into the role. 

You play the male lead opposite Emma Roberts in Scream 4, how did you feel when you found out you’d bagged such a major role? 

When I got the call telling me I was officially part of Scream 4 there was screaming, crying and a lot of swearing.  I mean what can I say, it was unfuckingbelievable!

What was the scariest part of the audition process?

The waiting game hands down! I’ve always been a very comfortable auditioner, but after five times in the room, from LA to NY, to Wes Craven and the Weinsteins, the waiting was by far the scariest part.  At one point they actually told me I was too tall for the role, but somehow I got back in the room for another chance.  

What can you tell us about your character Trevor Sheldon?

Trevor is the guy everybody loves to hate.  In the grand scheme of things, he’s just an asshole, but deep down he truly has a big heart and a lot of love.

Scream 4 has a pretty awesome cast, were you nervous when you started filming? How did you all get on?

It was one of the best summers of my life! It was like walking into a family who accepted the younger crew with open arms. Yeah, I was nervous, but we had a blast filming this movie. I had worked with both Emma and Rory the previous summer on Joel Schumacher’s Twelve, so it was nice getting that family back together.  

What was Wes Craven like to work with as a director?

He’s a genius. He has this insane vocabulary that blows your mind, but at the same time he’s a little kid who loves making horror movies!

Are you a horror/slasher movie fan?

Not really! I prefer the more psychological thrillers than full-blown slashers but after working on this movie, I definitely have a newfound respect for the genre.

You reunited with Joel Schumacher on Trespass, what can you tell us about your role in this film?

I always seem to play the asshole and Jake is no different. Joel loves casting me as a drug addict womanizer! While that type of role is more of a stretch and more challenging but I would love to play a nice guy one of these days!

What would be your dream role?

Elvis … that would be epic!

What are the best and worst things about being an actor?

Best is being able to dive into other people. I’ve always gotten high off enveloping another persona … it’s the best drug in the world! The worst thing about being an actor is the assumption that we’re all crazy … I mean yes we are, but isn’t everybody? It just happens to be our job!

Nico stars in Wes Craven’s Scream 4 which hits UK cinemas April 15

Jaimie Alexander Interview: What a Marvel!

While most Brits may not be familiar with Hollywood’s latest rising starlet, this certainly won’t be the case come April 29 when Kenneth Branagh’s highly anticipated Thor hits UK cinemas. In this epic adaptation of the classic Marvel comic, rising Hollywood starlet Jaimie Alexander takes on the role of beautiful yet powerful warrior goddess ‘Sif’ alongside Star Trek’s Chris Hemsworth in the title role and Natalie Portman as the hero’s love interest on earth.

 The 26-year-old actress from Grapevine, Texas is already known in the US as the “scream queen” who set hearts racing in thrillers Rest Stop and Hallowed Ground. She’s gained a cult following after her stint on ABC’s popular sci-fi show Kyle XY and will return to the small screen with a regular spot on hit American series Nurse Jackie later this year.

With several high-profile films due for release, Jaimie is certainly looking hot for 2011. Here she gives us the lowdown on her career so far and reveals what it was like playing the coolest woman in the Marvel universe.

How did you first get into acting?

I’ve always had a love for film, especially classic films from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s but I never thought that I would end up in this field of work. My manager, Randy James, found me in Texas when I was 17. I finished High School and moved out to L.A. He gave me the opportunity and I took it.

Tell us about Sif and your approach to playing her.

I was nervous at first, but then relaxed into the role. As a huge comic book fan this part is a dream come true for me! I did a lot of research and tried my best to stay true to who Sif really is. She’s a strong firecracker of a woman who embodies loyalty, bravery and wit but is also vulnerable, gentle and kind. I added a little bit of a “smart ass” quality to her as well! I love playing strong females and Sif has been my favourite so far.

Sif is a very demanding role, how did you cope with the stunts and training?

I trained for about three months prior to shooting, doing stunt work, weight lifting, running and some yoga for flexibility. I loved the physicality of the role and think my background as an athlete helped me quite a bit, (Jaimie was the only girl on her high school wrestling team) especially with the training and being able to take some pretty massive hits. I dislocated a rib and tore my lower back muscle … it wasn’t easy, but damn it was fun!

How did you get on with your leading man, Chris Hemsworth?

I loved working with Chris. He embodies all the good qualities in his character, Thor. He’s such a kind person with a heart of gold. He’s very respectful and never complains! Unfortunately, I can’t give away any details as to a possible “relationship” between his character and mine but I can say, however, that Sif is very loyal to Thor and is somewhat a protector of him. She loves him in many ways.

Jaimie with Kyle XY co-star Matt Dallas

What was Kenneth Branagh like as a director?

Wonderful! He really made the entire process a beautiful experience for me and always gave us actors a lot of creative freedom. He knows what he wants, covers all the bases and he’s incredibly intelligent.

You’re known in the US for playing Jessi XX in ABC’s Kyle XY. What drew you to that character?

Jessi was a troubled girl with extraordinary supernatural gifts and playing her was sometimes heartbreaking for me, as she didn’t have an easy journey while trying to fit in. I loved her complexities and vulnerability.

 Tell us a bit about your next TV role.

While I do prefer film, I also loved working on Nurse Jackie. I play Tunie, Jackie’s crazy sister in-law. She drinks, smokes, curses like a sailor and says whatever is on her mind without any censorship, so it was a very liberating role for me!

I was born to act because … It gives me freedom I wouldn’t have with any other job.
 
The best part of my job is
… The people I get to work with (cast and crew)
 
I’d love to play opposite
 … Gary Oldman!

 

And finally, your favourite red carpet look is … a long, classy gown with simple jewellery and really tall heels. When I dress up I love to look elegant but tough!

Elegant but tough pretty much sums up Jaimie’s portrayal of Sif, which you can witness in Thor next month (a great antidote to the royal wedding if you’re not in the patriotic, romantic mood and would prefer a hefty dose of thunder and lightning in big-screen, comic book action!) She’ll also star in the indie dramedy Loosies in autumn and recently appeared in Ed Zwick’s Love & Other Drugs.

Hollywood Icon: Jane Seymour interview

From film to fashion: the sensuous Jane Seymour

Despite epitomising the term ‘English Rose’, America is where Jane Seymour chose to make a name for herself in film and television, after her initial rise to fame as Bond girl Solitaire. Best-known for her long-term title lead in American drama Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman, the actress became the public face of American clothing line Country Casuals in 2008. She talks about film, fashion and making it in Hollywood …

Jane cites her style icons as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, revealing a keen interest in fashion which remains intertwined with her screen career. With an artistic eye for detail and solid sense of style, the beautiful English actress was an obvious choice to inspire Country Casual’s clothing lines, whose 2011 Spring/Summer collection focuses on feminine floral prints and maritime inspired pieces that encapsulate the look of St Tropez and tropical glamour.

To celebrate her seventh season with CC, Jane transferred her artistic talents into jewellery design, with an exclusive jewellery collection in which she incorporates semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls and crystals to emanate glamour and style.

The actress was first propelled to international attention in 1973 via the iconic role of tarot-reading ‘Solitaire’ in Live and Let Die and remains as one of the sexiest Bond girls of all time. “Solitaire was a virgin and I was as close as they could get to that in swinging 70s London!” she reflects. “It was a major opportunity but it was also a role I had to live down if I was going to prove myself as a serious actress.”

Yet as a child Jane, like many young girls, desired the life of a ballet dancer, “I fell in love with Ballet as a child, but my dreams of becoming a professional dancer were dashed at 16 with knee injuries,” she says. “Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to play many great roles, including period pieces, which have required me to dance as well.”

When she tried to pursue an acting career in England, producers turned her down for roles because they felt she looked ‘too exotic’ and it became clear that to make it in the industry, she would need to cross the Atlantic:

“When I came to America for publicity on one of my movies an important casting director told me if I lost my accent I would work a great deal in America. My English agent wasn’t happy with this and let me go. I took a big chance coming to America with 300 pounds, no agent and nowhere to live. I gave myself six weeks to make it.”



Once her American accent was perfected, a slew of TV and Film roles came her way, including Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, War and Remembrance and East of Eden, which won her a Golden Globe. It was her leading role in the long-running 90’s TV series Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman which made her a household name in America and proved an important milestone in her career.

“I’ve done a lot of television because I chose to be both a mother and an actress,” she says. “When I took on Dr Quinn I was beyond bankrupt and the role was a gift! I loved the character and the themes we addressed in the show.”    

Among her numerous acting credits, she says her favourite projects have been East of Eden, Somewhere In Time and War and Remembrance, while her most challenging roles required learning Marie Callas’ arias and playing Marie Antoinette in two different languages.

Modelling her Open Hearts collection of the red carpet

 Now approaching 60, Jane looks astonishing for her age and attributes her svelte figure and clear complexion to rigorous exercise and a strict healthy eating and beauty regime. To prove that older women can still exude sex-appeal on the silver screen, she took on a small yet scene-stealing role in 2005’s The Wedding Crashers.

Her hilarious turn as a cougar with her sights set on Owen Wilson led to her first nude scene in 20 years, which she surprisingly admits was the reason she accepted the role; “It was hilarious and working with Owen was a dream come true. It was embarrassing but nothing was ever visible to anyone but Owen … and he quickly got over it!”

 

 A true veteran actress of Hollywood, she also has some words of advice for aspiring actors, “First you need the passion and the drive, then you need the stars to align; that’s where talent, hard work, determination meet opportunity and plain old good luck! Studying English Literature, dance, music will also help enormously.

“In this profession, observing human behaviours and tapping into your own emotional reservoirs are vital.”