I’ve played a pros­ti­tute, a de­mon slayer … do’ there’s al­ways some­thing new to

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS - With Deb­bie Schipp

“I WAS on a film set [in Paris] when I was 10 or 11 au­di­tion­ing for a big film [ Joan of Arc] and I re­mem­ber see­ing this mag­i­cal, fan­tas­tic world of a story be­ing built around me and I just wanted to be a part of that. Then I had to build up the con­fi­dence to do it. And while I was al­ways in­ter­ested in other things such as art his­tory, [West stud­ied it at the Sor­bonne] act­ing was just some­thing I was re­ally at­tracted to from a young age. It’s such a chal­leng­ing job that it took time for me to build up the con­fi­dence. I was very shy and I needed time to make my mind up.

It was all about be­ing able to tell sto­ries and live a dif­fer­ent life for a while, and then come back to re­al­ity. I’ve played a pros­ti­tute, a de­mon slayer and now Alice. What I look for is be­ing able to go from one prod­uct to the next and feel like I’m chal­leng­ing my­self in a new way. There’s al­ways some­thing new to do.

The beau­ti­ful thing about In­dian Sum­mers go­ing to sea­son two is you have new chal­lenges and sto­ry­lines with the one char­ac­ter – you don’t want to be do­ing the same thing.

The show is set in In­dia, but we shoot in Malaysia be­cause the places we want to re­flect in In­dia no longer ex­ist there – we couldn’t repli­cate the time pe­riod. Film­ing in Malaysia has its own dif­fi­cul­ties. We are in ex­otic con­di­tions, so we get scor­pi­ons, we get cock­roaches, we get mon­keys, lizards – they are all part of our daily lives. And it’s very, very hot.

I was only vaguely familiar with the pe­riod and the time [ In­dian Sum­mers is set in 1932 fol­low­ing the fi­nal years of Bri­tish rule in In­dia] and that con­cept of English ex­pat life in the em­pire.

So many younger peo­ple have no no­tion of what the em­pire was. We’ve done a very good job of sweep­ing the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence un­der the car­pet.

The show is writ­ten from both sides – from the In­dian point of view and the Bri­tish point of view – you re­ally get to know what it was like in those times for both cul­tures.

Peo­ple ini­tially said the show was Down­ton Abbey in In­dia. It is a pe­riod piece, with an en­sem­ble cast, but the dra­mat­ics and the­mat­ics are com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

There’s ob­vi­ously a his­tor­i­cal back­ground, but there’s also a very in­ter­est­ing po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural back­ground. It’s not about the rich and the ser­vants – it’s about cul­tural and com­mu­nity dif­fer­ences and I would say it is prob­a­bly edgier.

But if we do get the same amount of view­ers as Down­ton … we’ll take that.” IN­DIAN SUM­MERS SATUR­DAY, 8.30PM, BBC FIRST 21 Starred Ed O’Neill and Katey Sa­gal (––––––– WithChil­dren) 27 Mayim Bia­lik plays this BigBangThe­ory char­ac­ter (––– Farrah Fowler) 28 Aussie TV jour­nal­ist (–––– Munro) 29 About the ad­ven­tures of Ther­mo­man ( My ––––)

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