BLACK SAILS is a show that pulls no punches and the shocking death of Miranda Barlow was the most jaw-dropping moment so far. So imagine the eerily pleasant surprise when she came climbing aboard the Walrus to do a little haunting. There were so many questions and who better to answer them than Louise Barns-Boraine, the actress that brings Miranda to life (and unlife). We were lucky enough to have a chat with Louise Barns-Boraine and talk about the death and return of Miranda Barlow and most importantly, just what is she saying in Flint’s dreams?
SC – Miranda was such a complex character. How much of her story were you given up front?
LBB – Toby Stephens and I knew “the twist” from the beginning so that we understood the complexity of their relationship – in Miranda’s words, “this isn’t just some affair”! It was necessary for us know what their lives pre-Nassau were like.
SC – Her death is the most shocking event in the series so far. What was it like to shoot?
LBB – Very hard. Miranda felt very close to me. It was a combination of the excellent writing of the character, the close working relationship that Toby and I had developed over 2 seasons and the fact that my real life husband was playing the character Lord Ashe! It was also a tremendously important scene for Flint and his story – it was where our past, the future we were trying to create and this incredibly fragile reality all suddenly came together and then almost simultaneously exploded. I did get to work with the stunt guys though, and they’re awesome!
SC – Did you know ahead of time that you would be returning?
LBB – I didn’t! I was in LA and at an ADR session for season 2 (redoing some of the sound on THAT scene!!) and one of the executive producers, Dan Shotz popped in to say hi and asked what my availability was. It didn’t take a lot to convince me to put on Miranda’s corset again!
SC – As she has appeared so far, it is along with the spectre of death within Flint’s mind. Would you say she is a reminder or harbinger of it?
LBB – I think Miranda is Flint’s conscience and his connection to the man he was. Initially one could read death and Miranda’s appearance together as some kind of omen of the imminence of Flint’s physical death. But perhaps it’s more about the death of that side of him, the death of his conscience as a consequence of Miranda’s death.
SC – Since you appear to Flint in both his dreams and waking hours, What would you say you represent to him now?
LBB – I wouldn’t want to speak for Toby but the way we discussed it at the time is that she represents the choice, the reminder of the journey. She is the conflict within him.
SC – In the dreams you are constantly talking but we can’t hear what you are saying. What are you mouthing?
LBB – I’ve been noticing on Twitter that people are so frustrated by that! Maybe we should make it a competition? Nothing was actually scripted for me but the directors (those scenes happened in different eps so different directors) and I discussed some options. I eventually went back to my season 2 scripts and chose some important things I’d said. You know how in dreams people say stuff they said in real life but suddenly it’s in this weird context. That’s what I was going for.
SC – Where else can fans see you?
LBB – Well, my husband and our daughter have just relocated to Los Angeles from South Africa (literally 3 weeks ago!) so we’re still finding our feet but I’ll keep you posted….