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Thursday 8 December 2016

Orla - I'm getting my kicks in US martial arts drama

Orla Brady
Orla Brady
Sarah Bolger
Actress Orla Brady is loving her role in the show

Irish actress Orla Brady said she's loving her new role in martial arts drama, Into the Badlands.

She's been in everything from Mistresses to Doctor Who, but she is relishing moving into a new genre.

Orla plays Lydia, one of a feudal baron's wives in the show, but her nose is put out of joint when he takes a second, and much younger, wife called Jade - played by Sarah Bolger.

"I'm finding it amazing that it is not a genre I know - we're not all wandering around with clipboards in a hospital," she said.

"We've all done that. How many cop shows have I done?"

"I've done police shows and lawyer shows and, no, it is wonderful to just be doing something else. You hope it works. You hope it is something fresh and new and that it will work," she added.

The 53-year-old said it's hard for her character to accept her husband's new wife Jade, but she loved working with fellow Irish actress Bolger.

"Jade is very young and it's not easy for Lydia, as it wouldn't be, I think, for anybody in that position - unless you were very, very accepting of the polygamy paradigm, which I would say most women aren't," she said.

"You might have to accept it, but it's not ideal. Sarah is a wonderful actress and plays the part with great spirit and great strength.

"It's so much fun playing her rival in this, and we got to learn some martial arts too, which was great.

"I worked with Sarah on her first job - she played my little girl in A Love Divided - so it's really nice to reunite with her, although the dynamic is different as she's playing my nemesis," she added.

The AMC drama has been garnering rave reviews so far, with one US critic saying, "I've never seen fight scenes this great on TV".

Despite intense fight scenes and complex plotlines, Orla said it was one of the most pleasant shows she's ever worked on.

"It's the calmest set I've ever been on - the most lovely, quiet, non-shouting, non self-important," she said.

"Just people who are good at what they are doing and who speak softly and do this beautiful stuff.

Challenge

"On screen, it's about great violence, but it was a lovely set to be on," she added.

The Bray native recently said there were not enough lead roles for women in both TV and film.

"Lead roles are difficult to come by. There aren't many front and centre female-led films or TV pieces."

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