I recently got the chance to talk to Sana Etoile about her role in ‘The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn’. Here, Sana talks about how she got involved in the project and which three guests she would invite to dinner…
Hey Sana. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film ‘The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn‘.
The pleasure is all mine Matt.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
After buying a three-masted ship model called “The Unicorn” at a market, Tintin – a young journalist – is approached by the sinister Sakharine who seems willing to do whatever it takes to get his hands on the ship model. As the story progresses, we discover that Tintin had unwittingly bought one of the three ship models that hold secret clues. Once put together, these clues reveal the location of a treasure. The race is on, in this amazing treasure hunt story, between Tintin and the evil Ivanovitch Sakharine to put the clues together and find the treasure. With the help of his friends: Captain Haddock, Thomson and Thompson and his loyal dog Snowy, Tintin embarks on an adventurous ride, but will he get to the treasure before Sakharine?
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Thanks to the new technology used to shoot the film, an actor can be like a chameleon in the sense that he/she can play different roles. Using mainly your body motion you can create all these different characters, it’s a lot of fun! I got to play a few characters, but the main one was one of the Moroccan reporter. I get to interview Miss Castafiore before her big performance.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place? Did you know a lot about the franchise before you signed on?
I was a big fan of the comic strip growing up in Morocco. The franchise is huge overseas and I’m very fond of detective type of stories in general. When I was first contacted by casting, I did not know what the film was about nor who was involved in it at the time. All I knew was that they were looking for people who could speak the Moroccan dialect. How fitting right?
How would you say this film is different and unique to most animations?
Well, the groundbreaking technology used in this film – (the same used in ‘Avatar’) – made it so a lot more can be done both technically and artistically. The precision with which it captures facial expressions and body motion is parallel to none and is as close to reality as it can get. This is also a gem to actors because once they get used to the gear they have on, they’re actually more free to perform and create. It’s truly fascinating.
The film stars Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Cary Elwes, Andy Serkis, Toby Jones and Nick Frost – with Steven Spielberg onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? I imagine you worked with Steven mostly, cause it’s an animation film…
The cast is jaw dropping indeed and it was always a pleasant and intimidating surprise to see who was going to show up on set. Working with people of this caliber, under the direction of Mr. Spielberg at that, is quite an honour and humbling experience. Needless to say, this is the most professional, talented and amazing cast and crew I’ve ever had the privilege of being associated with. I loved how friendly and down to earth every one was on set, yet when it was time to create magic it was all about the work. Two words to describe myself during that experience: starstruck and grateful.
Let’s talk a bit about you Sana – what made you want to get into acting in the first place?
It all started when I took this acting class for fun. The plan was not to become an actor at the time, but I remember the first taste I got of acting made me want to do more of it. The more involved and training I got, the more something clicked inside. It just felt right you know? It just all made sense and I knew that’s what I was destined to do.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
I think most actors would say the same thing: never give up! This kind of career has a lot of ups and downs. You never know where your next gig will come from and if you’re serious about acting, having that determination and focus is key.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
It’s always a medley of songs and genres with me. I just never know what kind of mood I’d be in at a given moment, so I have to be prepared. I’m loving the new Rihanna album right now, it pumps me up. But I also have my chill music a la Gotan Project, Everything But The Girl and of course the lovely Jacques Brel who is my musical rock.
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
My Grandfather would be first. I never got to meet him as he passed on before I was born. It would be interesting to see what he was like and where I come from. Jacques Brel who’s one of my favorite musicians of all time. I connect with his music unlike any other. I think the man was a genius and I would love to meet the man behind the music. Last but not least, Marilyn Monroe. I’d imagine her and I are very different, but I’m sure there are a couple of things I can learn from her.
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
Music, definitely music. It just makes everything better. My lucky charm bracelet and something to read. Let’s go with one of those big old school dictionaries. If I’m going to have a lot of time to kill, I might as well get some education out of it.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
2012 is promising to be the year of big things. First of all, ‘Of Light And Darkness’, a trilogy concept created by the multi-talented Shayne Leighton is getting ready to shoot its first placement. I get to play a vampire called Andela, which will be a lot of fun and one of my dreams come true. I have a couple of other projects in the works as well, including an episodic with a very colourful character. Unfortunately I can’t give any details as of yet, but stay tuned for more news as there will be a lot of exciting announcements this year.
Thanks for the interview!