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Eragon - Sienna Guillory interview

Sienna Guillory in Eragon

Interview by Rob Carnevale

SIENNA Guillory talks about playing the heroine in Eragon as well as working with tennis balls instead of dragons…

Q. Did your character allow the tomboy in you to come through?
A. It’s just really nice to play a role that isn’t the standard damsel-in-distress. The thing that I was really blown away by was that this role was written by a kid that has no understanding of women. I’ve read scripts by 70-year-olds and 60-year-olds that have no understanding of women whatsoever. I think Christopher Paolini is a genius and it was a great opportunity to play a role that was real.

Q. To what extent did this role reflect any of the stuff you’d read as a kid?
A. Not really. The first fantasy novel that I really loved was TH White’s The Once And Future King. I’ve never really been a big fantasy person. But it’s such a phenomenal story, especially now when politically we don’t know who to trust, and we don’t know who’s telling the truth. To have a film that explains how we find the path of who to believe, who to listen to and learn from, and the difference between good and evil, I think that’s important and it clarifies a lot of things.

Q. How tough is it to create something that’s believable when you’re acting against nothing most of the time – except for a person holding up a tennis ball…
A. In some ways it’s quite liberating because you use your imagination. You’ve got your perfect idea of a dragon and whether it looks like a sack full of genitals or something quite peaceful. It’s there and it’s yours.

Q. What was your reaction to the dragon when you first saw it?
A. I kind of got very attached to my big blue egg. I had these maternal feelings towards it. So watching it come out, I was completely over emotional. It was amazing.

Q. How did you get your head around the names of some of these characters and make the dialogue seem real?
A. I had to invent a spell at one point and all I could remember was this phrase in ancient Georgian that I had to remember, which was: “Excuse me, I can’t speak Georgia.”

Q. We’ve all been influenced by a movie at an impressionable age. What did you see that perhaps made you want to follow the profession you’re now in?
A. The Night Porter. I went to boarding school and it was a bit like being in prison – but not like that! She was so tough and a survivor. I thought she was a really good heroine.

Read our review of Eragon