NATALIE Dormer has revealed how difficult it was to play FOUR different characters in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels.
The actress stars as a shape-shifting demon able to take on a variety of forms.
Set in 1930s Los Angeles, the series tracks institutional racism in the LAPD, along with a blossoming satanic cult and a dark force called Magna, played by 38-year-old Natalie.
Additionally, the star appears on screen as the scheming, grey-haired Alex who works in a government office; gang leader Rio and Elsa, a blonde housewife with ties to the Nazi party.
Discussing creator John Logan’s idea, Natalie told The Wrap: “For any actor, I think your ears prick up when you get offered the chance to play four roles for the price of one – how many times is that going to happen in your career?
“I was intrigued by it, and excited by the idea of this workout both physically and mentally.”
And to tackle the challenge the Game of Thrones actress decided to see them as four different characters and not just alternative versions of a shape-shifting demon.
She explained: “I came at the iterations from a very technical perspective, because I wanted give them clear lines of identity – physicality and voice and accent and so forth.
“But when it comes to psychology, John and I realised very quickly that the only way to play Elsa, Alex and Rio is as fleshed-out human individuals. You don’t get that wink at the camera, because we found it undermined the scenes that those individuals are in.”
The Brit star admits things got difficult during the occasional times she had to play more than one character in the space of a day.
She said: “That’s when the hair and makeup trailer is really your Chrysalis.
“They have to take away one character and then start the process of the other characters from scratch, which can take up to three hours of sitting. So you take advantage of that mental time as well.
“And I was changing between American accents and a German accent, and obviously a dialect coach would come and sit with me because you’re using different muscles in your mouth.”
Natalie explained: “Ordinarily, if I was doing an American accent, I would stay in an American accent entire time. But in this job is there was no point in that, because I was jumping around so much.”
The Showtime horror series finally reached the UK on Sky Atlantic last week and the premiere episode was packed full of murder and mayhem.
Penny Dreadful: City of Angels airs Wednesdays on Sky Atlantic at 9pm.