Saturday at WonderCon 2018, we had a chance to talk to Siren’s cast, as well as showrunner Emily Whitesell and creator Eric Wald. Here’s what we learned!
Alex Roe (“Ben”) says his character kind of explores how the siren songs works and how it makes people act. Alex says one of the big reasons he signed onto the project was he loved the “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” feel to these mermaids. He says basing these mermaids on some type of scientific truth was a fun exploration. If mermaids were to be real, these seem like a more believable concept than past stories. Apparently Alex received some breath training and can actually hold his breath about 4 minutes! Wow! So, viewers may have some underwater exploration to look forward to with Ben!
Eline Powell (“Ryn”) teases that her character will seem odd because she’s a mermaid who has never been on land, so she knows nothing about this world and everything will be new to her. Eline says mermaids are such an interesting mythological creature, and it’s very exciting for her to explore this new take on mermaids. Eline says Ryn’s primary motivation this season is finding her sister Donna, played by Sibongile Mlambo, who is captured in the pilot.
Rena Owen (“Helen”) says her character runs an antiquities shop and is the town believer when it comes to mermaids, so the town has come to view her as the town nut job. She says Helen will come to be redeemed when it’s revealed mermaids aren’t as fictional as the town believed! Rena says everyone in the town will be taken out of their comfort zone once mermaids arrive in town.
Ian Verdun (“Xander”) says Xander works with his father in the town fisheries and it was nice for him as a POC to play a blue collar, working class character, since POC aren’t commonly seen in those roles. He says Xander is trusting to a fault at times, and has a very human, nuanced story we can look forward to. Ian teases that we will see how different people, from different circumstances handle coming into mermaids as the season progresses.
Sibongile Mlambo (“Donna”) teases that Donna is loyal and has a different experience to what Ryn goes through on land. Donna’s story arc throughout the season will focus on her capture that happens in the pilot and her attempts to free herself and get back to her sister, Ryn.
Eric Wald (Creator) says the concept for Siren came out of his love for Jaws, and the aggressive depiction of mermaids he saw in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” Around this darker take on mermaids, they built these characters and the town. Emily Whitesell (Showrunner) felt that although it was a giant mythology, it was also grounded and real concept and the marriage of the two is appealing. Eric says that they tried to fashion their mermaids conceptually after what a potential real mermaid could look like, rather than the traditional half human half fish.
Below are the full videos for more information from the press room!
Eline Powell (“Ryn”) and Alex Roe (“Ben”)
Sibongile Mlambo (“Donna”), Ian Verdun (“Xander”) & Rena Owen (“Helen”)
Emily Whitesell (Showrunner) & Eric Wald (Creator)