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Dichen Lachman - Priya "Sierra" Tsetsang, Dollhouse

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Dichen Lachman - Priya "Sierra" Tsetsang, Dollhouse
Torchwood and Being Human
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Dichen Lachman as SierraWhile the exquisite face is unmistakable, the woman underneath is a chameleon, having starred in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse as the in-demand active Sierra, taking on a new personality every week, before moving on to guest roles on Torchwood and the American version of Being Human. In person, however, she is never anything other than lovely, and on Sunday 13th May, while attending the science fiction convention Starfury Inva2ion, Dichen Lachman was kind enough to kind enough to make time away from the gathered fans to sit in a quiet corner of the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel, Heathrow, to discuss her career and her current projects.

Geek Chocolate – In two seasons of Dollhouse, there wasn’t a single conceivable emotional state or attitude that you weren’t asked to adopt.  Are there any moments that stand out for you?

Dichen LachmanDichen Lachman
– I definitely think that the Priya episode, Belonging, her backstory, was the most challenging and stood out to me the most, and I feel like it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do up until that point as an actor to achieve all those different states in such a short period of time, to go back and forth from the doll state to a fully fleshed human being.

GC – Although Eliza Dushku’s Echo/Caroline was the intellect, the drive of the show, Priya was very much the soul of it, wouldn’t you agree?

DL – I think a lot of people felt like that, and then there are a lot of people who responded to Echo’s story as well. Priya was much more of a vulnerable character, and even though Echo had those moments, she was very strong and very much represented that sort of leadership. Priya had a lot of baggage and was still dealing with that, whereas Caroline was fighting it.

GC – How fantastic is it that your agent can put together an entire showreel that most actors would take decades to achieve, and all edited from just one show?

DL – It’s amazing, it’s amazing. I actually cut my own showreel because they didn’t do it for me! But going through all the footage, it was so hard to pick because there was so much stuff I could have used, other than the doll footage, because out of context it’s hard to understand in a showreel, why is this person not acting normal? But it was a goldmine of stuff, I couldn’t believe it.

GCDollhouse was a tough sell for a Friday night.  Do you prefer challenging work, even though it’s harder to grow an audience, or do you ever just want to slip into something simple?

DL – I always prefer more challenging. I would much rather work on a cable network, obviously the HBOs and the Showtimes, and do something that’s really good and can push boundaries. You know networks can’t because it’s for everybody and they have to cater to advertisers and different age groups. On cable you can push those boundaries which means you can do more interesting things, and I would much rather cater to a smaller audience doing those things than spitting out criminal investigation jargon all the time where I don’t actually get to have an arc.

GC – And speaking of cable, I know that you’re a big fan of Game of Thrones, and you’re keen to get on there.

DL – I would love to be on Game of Thrones. It is such an interesting place to experiment with people’s relationships to power, their relationships to each other, political climates, but in a fantastical world with all these amazing characters, and the scenery is phenomenal, and the writing is remarkable. I would love to be on that show, but we’ll see what happens.


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