The Serpent: Jenna Colman discusses learning French
The Serpent kicked-off on BBC One last night, telling the complex story of the murders and various crimes carried out by Charles Sobrhaj (played by Tahar Rahim) and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman). However, when Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle) and his wife Angela (Ellie Bamber) stumble upon their involvement, they become determined to track the pair down and bring them to justice. With the drama based primarily in Thailand, the cast had to learn the language for certain parts of the show. Now, Angela star Ellie has exclusively detailed how she used a “weird song” in order to remember her lines.
The show follows a series of murders and crimes which occurred along the so-called ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1975 and 1976.
Herman and Angela soon became entangled within the complex cases when the former unwittingly walked into Sobhraj’s world of crime.
Herman – who worked as a junior diplomat at the time – discovered Charles and Marie-Andrée’s involvement and put made it his mission to expose the duo.
The show follows the Knippenbergs’ journey to bring Charles to justice over the years to follow.
Of course, with the pair being based in Thailand, there are interactions to take place in more than just English.
And when speaking recently to Express.co.uk and other press, Ellie divulged how she managed to do it.
To get to grips with learning the language, Ellie confessed to using a special trick to help her along the way.
On what it was like to try and get to grips with learning Thai, she said: “Yeah, yeah, it was pretty tricky! But, I had this amazing Thai teacher.”
After finding it difficult, she found a very creative solution to ensure she remembered her lines.
Ellie said: “In the end, I kind of ended up learning it like some weird song because obviously tonally and pitch, it’s all very different.
“So I would kind of go around my hotel room singing this weird song that nobody else could understand.
“But obviously, it has meaning. And that’s how I supposedly kind of began to speak those sections that I had to talk,” the star explained.
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Ellie went on to reveal she had the privilege of meeting Angela in person before taking on the role.
On meeting the character she was portraying, Ellie admitted: “Yeah, it was amazing, she’s a really intelligent woman.
“She was able to kind of fit in gaps with everything or the little details that might not have been there in the script.”
Angela was also able to give Ellie a helping hand elsewhere when it came to trying to piece her life together.
Ellie continued: “She sent me almost 100 pictures from around the time. She sent me all these pics of Herman together and then of Herman at work and her at work.
“That was amazing to fill that in those like visual gaps, I suppose.
“Also, she was able to tell me what it was like living in Thailand at that time and then also, she talked more about Herman and her relationship.
“She’s like a real strong character within the story, she really, really doesn’t lose her sense of self throughout.”
The Serpent continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
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