INTERVIEWS: The Cast & Producers of ‘Siren’ at WonderCon


Happy International Mermaid Day, everyone! The Siren 2 hour series premiere is almost here!

This past weekend at WonderCon, we got the chance to interview some of the cast and producers of Siren. Some topics in these interviews include: the sirens vs. mermaids debate, their characters’ belief of mermaids, and of course, the mermaid/marine biology research they did to prepare for the show.

Siren‘s Showrunners – Eric Wald & Emily Whitesell:

When asked about the siren vs. mermaid debate on why the show is called Siren when it features mermaids, Eric Wald states, “Both are right.” In Greek mythology sirens were depicted as half-birds half-humans with their siren call. “We’ve sort of embraced that broader definition of the word,” Wald adds. Mermaid myths have been around for centuries and a lot of them do contain siren elements to them, so what Siren is doing is just taking the general definition of siren and incorporating it into their lore. The producers then explain the research and detail that went into the show. Not only with the mermaid mythology, but also with the environmental issues our oceans are currently facing. Eric Wald mentions, “It’s really sort of the ‘why now’ of our show. Our oceans are getting trashed at an alarming rate and that’s what’s forced these creatures closer to the surface.” So not only will Siren contain mermaids, it’s also sure to create a great conversation about how our oceans are getting polluted and the damaging effects that’s caused.

They also go into a great dialogue on both how television is a writer-driven industry, and the special effects of the series as opposed to say, The Shape of Water.

Eline Powell (Ryn) & Alex Roe (Ben):

We asked Powell what relationships she was looking to be explored on the show (it was brought up at the Freeform Summit a couple months ago and that got us thinking). Obviously that isn’t what Ryn is initially looking for when she first comes to land; she’s looking for her sister. But Powell points out, “she just simply has to find humans she can trust, in order to help her. Along that journey, there are connections that are growing deeper and deeper.” I guess we’ll just have to tune in to the show to see which human Ryn connects with the most.

Powell also goes into great depth on the research she went through for playing Ryn, the mermaid myths she discovered, and honestly, just how much time she put into playing this character. Eline Powell is going to be the one to watch in this series.

Ian Verdun (Xander), Sibongile Mlambo (Donna), and Rena Owen (Helen):

Rena Owen explains just how much Helen loves mermaids. Answer: Very. “She’s a little obsessed with mermaids you could say.” Helen’s built her whole life and purpose around mermaids and her antique shop. Owen mentions that it’s due to “the very solid foundation of belief” she has. I’m curious if something happened in the past with mermaids that made her so avid on the subject. But Ryn coming to shore might not be the perfect end result for her. “Ryn coming to town is her greatest dream come true but also her worst nightmare,” Owen adds.

For Ian Verdun’s character Xander, his thoughts on mermaids were similar to what the majority of humans think: they’re just fairy tales and folklore. But after seeing proof with his own eyes, he gains a new perspective. “He becomes that person that’s trying to get everybody to believe him,” Verdun mentions. This series just might make believers out of all of us.

Another great point featured in the interview is the diverse characters this show has. Because of Sibongile Mlambo’s character, Donna, children might be seeing a black mermaid for the first time, and be encouraged to swim. Owen also mentions that during the casting process, at the end of the day, the job went to the best actor. And that even the show’s mermaids don’t see race, gender, culture, creed – they like and trust people based on their soul, and that’s just so beautiful!

With all of this information now, what are you most looking forward to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, how are you celebrating International Mermaid Day?

Siren‘s 2 hour series premiere airs tonight at 8/7c on Freeform.