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‘Salem’ EXCLUSIVE: Xander Berkeley, Tamzin Merchant Talk Father-Daughter Relationship


‘Salem’ EXCLUSIVE: Xander Berkeley, Tamzin Merchant Talk Father-Daughter Relationship


Yesterday, I let you see into the world of ‘Salem,’ and now it’s time to hear about the new show through its cast. First up, we have Xander Berkeley and Tamzin Merchant.

He might be known for playing serial killer Red John and she might be known for portraying Catherine Howard on ‘The Tudors,’ but now this duo will soon be known for playing father and daughter on WGN America’s ‘Salem.’

On the dark drama centering around witches, Berkeley portrays Magistrate Hale, the reasonable and more liberal Puritan and town leader of Salem. As for Tamzin Merchant, she plays his daughter, Anne. Not only is she a free spirit, but she’s also quite the rebel.

For Berkeley and Merchant, ‘Salem’ has exceeded their expectations in a new drama, as they told TVRage.com while on set. Merchant said the series “constantly surprises and compels.” Berkeley agrees and revealed, “Then there’s the surprise of seeing your costume and trying it on for the first time and seeing the sets for the first time. So, it’s just been a continual. It hasn’t begin to get old, because every time I walk onto the sets, I’m like a kid -- just thrilled to be there.”

As thrilling and exciting as it is to begin a new job, some might find it overwhelming (especially with the large set), but not these two. “It’s a huge scale production, but it feels so authentic that it’s not overwhelming, because everything fits together so brilliantly -- the characters, the costumes -- [and] the background artists are really, really into the project,” Merchant explained. The exterior and interior set is so magnificent Berkeley found that “It’s so drenched with atmosphere that it does a lot of the job for you.”

Now that we know how they feel about the design, costumes and the drama’s creation, how do these two feel about their characters? It’s no secret that Berkeley is known for his villainous characters (‘Nikita,’ ‘The Mentalist’), but will we get to see that side on ‘Salem’? He jokingly exclaimed, “I was promised he was a good guy!” As for whether he’ll go dark, audiences will have to wait and see, but Berkeley likes that Hale “comes across as reasonable.” Oh, and he also assured “[‘Salem’] is going to some darrrk places.”

What about Merchant’s character? Despite being somewhat of a rebel, is she really as sweet and innocent as she seems? Per Merchant, “She definitely has some rather saucy dreams, which are quite exciting. Aside from Anne’s wild imagination and her dreams, she’s definitely more than meets the eye, but she’s actually discovering who she is. She discovers who she is as the audience discovers who she is.”

As Berkeley and Merchant say, ‘Salem’s script is “just fantastic” and “original and brilliant.” So, you should probably tune in, or the witches might put a spell on you. See what else the two said about their characters in the video below.

‘Salem’ premieres Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on WGN America.

- WGN america
- Tamzin Merchant
- Xander Berkeley
- Salem

Written by: akoerner
Apr 14th, 2014, 5:05 am

Images courtesy of WGN america

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