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Chatting up Natalie Dormer about 'The Fades,' 'Game of Thrones,' Madonna

SHOW PATROL

February 02, 2012|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

And not as much was done, like CGI, as you would imagine. If they could give it to us physically, they would. I mean, like the make-up, they did an amazing job with the fades with prosthetics. And as the story continues, you see more and more gory stuff.
But it’s kind of a blank canvas, because Jack created this whole new mythology, this whole new theology based around the science behind the fades. So I think that the make-up and the special effects people had a lot of fun with this blank canvas, you know, creating this whole new world or parallel world.

It was fun for all of us in that way, because say with the vampire genre or the zombie genre, which everyone knows the answers to. We’re kind of acquainted with them after a certain point, because there have been so many shows or films, like the vampire thing, whether it be “Interview with a Vampire” or “Twilight” or “Buffy” or whatever it would be, those certain rules that we all know historically about like a vampire, like garlic, stakes through the heart, must be invited in, all that kind of stuff. And, similarly, with zombies there are those things.

What was great about this was we were all learning together, the writers, producers, actors, makeup. It was kind of like, “Can they do that?” “Can Fades do that?” And what do we think, what’s the answer to this question, you know, how would we portray that, how would we comment on that. It was a lot of fun for all of us, because we were writing a mythology from the start, from scratch.

It’s interesting that Sarah, even as a Fade, seems to be clinging on to her human life and especially to Mark. Did you find it fun to play that love story?
Yeah. It was really interesting. All goodsci-fi or supernatural asks really interesting, profound philosophical questions. There’s a lot of fun in there but you’re classic, great horror orsci-fi asks you philosophical questions about the human state as well.

And for me what was interesting was this whole thing about death and love and that love can live beyond the other side and this fear that we all have of what's beyond and losing our loved ones and being alone. The show does ask some quite big questions, which I think is good and totally in context with kind of the teenage cast that sort of leads us in, because when do you have all that angst about life and death and your sense of identity? That's when you’re a teenager, when you’re an adolescent, when you have all these profound questions hit you the first time.

And I just thought it was really cleverly done the way all the characters were interlinked. I had so much fun as well, so much fun, working with Johnny Harris, who’s a BAFTA-nominated actor in this country and he’s playing Neil in the show. And he was just such a good comrade to be working opposite. Sarah’s story, that sort of triangle of loyalty, [should she be] loyal to Neil and the angelics or be loyal to her husband in her other life was a real gift to play that friction, to be torn like that.

So tell me, do you believe in ghosts?
Do I believe in ghosts? [Laughs.] I’m sorry. I’m laughing; I get asked this in every interview to do with this show. It’s like I’m not saying that you’re unoriginal or anything. [Laughs.]

Well, it’s an obvious question, I guess.
Sure it is. Look, hey, the biggest question in life is death; that’s a cutesy thing to say, but it’s true. And what I find so fascinating is all the way that really different religions handle it, you know, be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, everyone’s got a take and set of answers for it.

And what I just love about Jack is Jack’s writing this whole thing and going, “Here’s my answer.” [Laughs.] It’s just like sure, why not? I mean, some people have got this kind of attitude to religion that would say, “Well, your answer is as good as the next persons.” That's what I kind of find fascinating, really, is a fresh take on what could be the big unanswered question.

Right. So do you?
Do I believe in ghosts?

Yeah.
No, I’m probably going to give you a really “actor” answer. I believe in energy, so it depends on how that manifests itself. But, you know, I think Mr. Jack Thorne’s answer could be given as much credit as anyone else’s. [Laughs.]

Right. I loved the whole idea that they're trapped and that man has sort of taken away their ascendant spots.
The idea that I really love in the show, Curt, is that life is unfair, so whoever said death should be fair? I think that fundamental premise of it being random. Some people have managed to ascend, some people haven't. Death can be as crappy as life can in being unevenhanded in that way. I think that's a really clever, interesting premise to start, and I like that a lot, that's what attracted me.

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