Eline Powell is no stranger to fantasy. She played scheming actress Bianca in Game of Thrones and a Syren in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. And she is now the star of SYFY drama Siren, a dark take on the mermaid fantasy theme.
We had the pleasure of chatting to Eline on what makes Siren so unique…
She plays a mermaid – with bite…
We’ve seen plenty of mermaids in popular culture. From The Little Mermaid to Splash to recent Oscar-winner The Shape of Water. But Eline says Ryn, the mermaid she plays in Siren, offers a new take on the legend. Ryn is a predator on a mission – to save her kidnapped sister.
“She arrives on land with an absolute mission to find her sister. She is a predator, she is strong and can definitely take care of herself. She is still at a disadvantage because she doesn’t know her new body, she doesn’t know this new world and she definitely doesn’t know humans,” Eline told us.
…Who is a powerful female
“It is lovely to see a new take on mermaids which we haven’t seen before and we tend to be quite fascinated with mythological creatures," Eline said.
"We’ve been fascinated with zombies, vampires, werewolves and they have been very prominently featured in television and film so I think perhaps it is always interesting to look at a new myth and explore it further.
"I think the reason we are quite fascinated by mermaids is that they are often associated with the female. Women have this powerful way of movement and these mermaids are a breath of fresh air and fit quite nicely into that.”
It's more than just entertainment
Siren forces us to look at how we treat others who are different, says Eline, and also considers the devastating effects mankind is having on our oceans.
“I think there is definitely a moral to be taken from it. It's very interesting how the show plays around with how different people react to the extraordinary event of there being a mermaid. Some realise that mermaids actually exist, some are completely open to it and amazed by it, while others see it as a threat and want to shut it out and protect their own kind.
"The show is taking on the tones of what is happening to our oceans at the moment – pollution, over-fishing, acidity. This is the catalyst of why the mermaids are getting closer to land and in some cases such as my character actually coming onto land because these problems are forcing them nearer to humankind.”
Eline grew up loving mermaids…
Did Eline love mermaids growing up? Of course she did!
“I loved The Little Mermaid! I loved Splash! I loved Daryl Hannah, I was crazy about her character and always doing crazy things in the swimming pool, embarrassing my family on holidays pretending to be a mermaid," she admits.
"As I grew up I never thought of this take on it but now that I have explored the Ryn side of mermaids I love it too. It is different, but it is great!”
...And thinks they could be real
“I’m a bit of a believer, yes. They must be out there. I would be cautious to say that they would look exactly like how we are portraying them in the show and maybe they only existed now. These are variables I am definitely open to discuss. I like to be a believer in this point and say yes they do exist!”
Siren starts Thursday May 3 at 9pm on SYFY.
SYFY (BT Channel 319/375 HD) is one of 60 premium channels available to BT TV customers.