What can you tell us about the series?
It’s following in the footsteps of the great Scandinavian television – it’s very much revered. It’s about how the Norwegians stopped Hitler from building a nuclear weapon by the production of heavy water. They sabotaged the factory that produced something called heavy water that had the potential of creating a German atomic bomb. It should be a very, very well-known story but it’s not.
You play Julie Smith, how would you describe her? What attracted you to the role?
After getting the script I flew to Norway and met with the writer. The fact that it was a Danish German British and Norwegian production was just incredible. It’s an incredibly different process to ours – it’s amazing what they do.
I play a fictional character and the only girl who’s surrounded by men, so we knew she had to have a lot of guts and strength. I really admired that it’s an alternative take on a love story too, with Leif Tronstad (played by Espen Klouman-Høiner) the fact they never get together is really heart-breaking.
The director uses music very cleverly in his work and I think it’s really emotive to the character. It showed a very gentler side to a hard exterior.
What was it like being part of such an international co-production, and with lots of different languages spoken amongst the cast?
I’ve always wanted to go to Norway, to see the Northern lights – it’s one of my dreams – and I just thought the cast was incredible. In literally a green room full of men I was the only woman, I often find myself in that situation – I must be a boyish girl at heart! But they were great, I joined in with all their banter and they were so welcoming.
Were you familiar with the story before taking on the role and did you do any research on this period in history to prepare?
I wasn’t aware of the story but I did some research, read books about the team that went on the journey and I am familiar with the time – I think this is my third job that’s set in the 1940’s.
As the series is based on an important moment in history, were you anxious about taking on the role at all?
You’re anxious when you take on any job but I knew that I was in incredibly capable hands. They got the top actors from other countries and I really love now that they’re mixing the British actors with the Danish and the American actors with the British and that we’re all becoming a bit more international. They all have very different approaches and I’ve been in the industry now since I was sixteen years old, I Iove learning from other cultures and from different actors’ approaches.
Was there training involved before filming? Did you have to do any stunts?
I didn’t really do any stunts but getting into that uniform was sort of like one! There is a scene where I use a gun and have to hit every target so there was some training for that. Weirdly enough my last few jobs have been military and my next job is also military.
What was the shoot like, did it take you to any interesting locations?
Norway and Prague doubled for Scotland, our base, and the huge factory. So I think if you added it all up I’ve spent a year and a half of my life there – Gracie (my daughter) has spent 6 months of her life in Prague so I knew it very well. Our director of photography was absolutely incredible, a real genius.
What’s your favourite memory from the set?
It’s probably when we used something called an opticopter, which is like a drone. They all had this toy for the first time and it has a little camera so it could fly up and do these big sweeping shots. I remember about 4 or 5 years ago you’d have to get a huge crane out to film scenery like that and it was very time consuming but that day everyone was so excited despite it being freezing cold!
The Saboteurs starts on Friday 19th June at 9pm on More4