Here we go with part 2 of my conversation with Hannah Levien. We talk travel, why she likes the sci-fi fantasy genre, and her role on new show Siren, not in that order.
For Part 1 where we discuss her role as Victoria on The Magicians and her movie, click: The Magicians Hannah Levien: Victoria’s Not Dead Darn It! Levien likes talking with fans so follow her on twitter @hannahlevien and FB/Instagram @hannahlevienofficial.
TNE: So, you’re also gonna be on a new show called Siren that’s premiering later this month, and right now you’re playing the love interest of one of the characters. So, it seems like right now you’re just in the relationship aspect of your character Janine, but I feel like since you – at least on IMDb – is gonna be on more episodes, is there a potential of you eventually meeting Ryn or having interactions with some of the other characters?. . . .
Hannah Levien: You’ve seen the first two-hour episode?
TNE: Yeah, yeah.
Hannah Levien: Oh, awesome, awesome. And you liked it?
TNE: Yeah. It’s very interesting that it’s a definite twist from The Little Mermaid. How about that? So, it –
Hannah Levien: Totally.
TNE: I’ve always thought that sirens – the whole mythology of that – was just so interesting. So, I was already gonna be watching the show. I saw the panel at New York Comic Con, so that made me even more interested.
Hannah Levien: Oh, awesome, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, fantastic. Well, no, it’s nice to hear that because not a lot of people know much about it. So, I haven’t been asked a question as direct as that yet. So, it’s nice to be able to talk about it.
TNE: It’ll be for later. It’ll be for later, though, okay?
Hannah Levien: No, that’s fine. Yeah. I play Janine, and she is the love interest of Calvin in the show. . . .
TNE: I couldn’t remember his name his initially just because I literally just watched the third episode, and I was like, “Oh, I need to remember his name for my question.” Then I totally forgot it.
Hannah Levien: We do definitely see Janine’s story grow in a sense when we see her become – how – where she really is in relation to the other people in the town. I don’t mean I don’t want to give anything away, but I certainly hope season two sees a lot more of the mermaid interaction storyline. But right now, I think she’s more – I think more involved in the politics of what’s happening between the friendships between characters –
TNE: Oh, yeah, Calvin and Xander. Okay.
Hannah Levien: Calvin and Xander. That seems to be a bit more where my character’s involved right now. But, that said, there are some moments later in the show where – Janine knows everyone in the town, and she is someone who speaks her mind, and there’s definitely a lot of room for her to become involved in various aspects of things that are happening. So, yeah, I think there’s a lot of ways that that character can grow, and I’m excited to see what they do.
TNE: Wait. Doesn’t she own the bar?
Hannah Levien: Yeah, yeah.
TNE: Okay. I was like, “Wait. Didn’t we see her at the bar?” There was so much other stuff happening that that was off in the peripheral, I’m like, “Wait. I thought I saw her.” But it’s like –
Hannah Levien: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, she’s like the town bartender – the slash bar owner – and then obviously she’s having this relationship. . . .
TNE: And there seems to be history between her and Xander, which I’m like, “I wonder if they’re gonna explore that a little bit more as well during the season.”. . . Because I’m like, “Do they have a thing? Or was there like just a brother-sister thing and now she’s involved with Calvin?” and –
Hannah Levien: Yeah, well, I don’t wanna give anything away, but there’s definitely some…drama of the mermaid and kind of the supernatural element of what that means and all of that, and then there are some other storylines that are much more – those relationship issues that everybody has. You know what I mean? Like the real human things. And that’s certainly where my character’s living right now. But I would love her to be involved more in some of the amazing mermaid action. And then, of course, I love Eline Powell who plays Ryn. So, I’d love to get to work with her more. She’s awesome!
TNE: So, I’m assuming you did watch back in the day The Little Mermaid.
Hannah Levien: Oh, yeah!
TNE: Were you – did you even read the original story?
Hannah Levien: I mean I’m sure I’ve read the – ooh, is it based on a fairy tale?
TNE: Yeah, and it’s not – it’s very depressing.
Hannah Levien: I mean I know Disney does their thing. So, I’m not surprised, but – Oh. And, so, did that come to mind when you were watching Siren?
TNE: Not so much of the original fairy tale, but just the mythology about sirens in general and how they call you to your death or whatever. So, that part of it I was like, “Yeah. Yeah, I like that.”
Hannah Levien: . . . . There’s definitely a danger with these mermaids for sure. And – but there’s also a really beautiful curiosity they have about humans or some of them do and . . . . – anyway[.] But I think there’s just so much room for them to explore –
Hannah Levien: What the mermaids are and why they’re coming to shore and, yeah, that whole monster meeting a human and can they be tamed and all this sort of stuff. There’s so much involved! And then, plus, the fact that the sirens do have this power with their siren song and magnetism, you know?
TNE: Yeah, for sure! It seems like you’re in a niche right now as far as the genre of projects that you’ve been working on lately, whether it’s a unicorn in a gas station, or magicians, or just dealing with mermaids. And, so, is there a genre – like maybe comedy or just action film kind of genre – that maybe you wanna work in in the future?
Hannah Levien: Well, it’s interesting because I mean my first big role on American TV was Supernatural. So, again, it’s in that realm of sci-fi fantasy. And I’m also in Colony season three, which is, again, it’s a sci-fi show but it’s much more action-based. I get a gun.
TNE: Okay, okay.
Hannah Levien: So, that is – it’s in the future, but it is more. . . . – there’s a different energy on that show. It’s more violent. It’s more real. You’re working with Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies and Tory Kittles, and it’s action – it’s very action – but lots of big human emotions. But I did get – [I was fortunate to have worked] on the show Unreal as well – which is a comedy – the show on Lifetime.
TNE: . . . . I never got a chance to watch it, and I know – I’ve heard that it was actually pretty good – I just – there’re just so many shows to watch!
Hannah Levien: [L]ike I totally feel you. It’s a brilliant show. Season one is so good and I know they’re up to season three now. I’m in season four. So, about – I’m not even – I think that could be out maybe later this year or next year. But it was so fun playing on that show because it’s a comedy and I absolutely had a blast doing that. And I haven’t done a lot of comedy on TV, so, really good to do something different. But I also really enjoy very – I mean I love playing with time periods, whether it’s future or past – just the costumes, everything like that.
But I really enjoy drama as well. So, I enjoy quirky drama, enjoy straight-up drama. So, I guess I’m open to all things. The thing about sci-fi that I think is so fun is a) I think women get some really cool roles in sci-fi. I think the politics of what men and women are changes when you add magic in or you add the future or the world’s blowing up – it’s like, “Well, everyone’s gotta get down and do their part whether they’re men or women.” You know?
I love that. And then I also love, of course, the costumes, set design, magic world that can be created. [I]t’s just so fun to be a part of that. Working on a set like the magic bridge or even season one of The Magicians in the dungeon, and Supernatural, and with Siren and what they’re doing with the mermaids – it’s so awesome.
TNE: [Y]ou have a good life!
Hannah Levien: I feel very, very fortunate. I actually genuinely love all the characters that I am playing and the shows that I have been fortunate to work on. So, it – look, I’m totally grateful right now.
TNE: [A]nd hopefully since you have experience now behind the scenes, I mean would you consider writing an episode for The Magicians or even Siren or one of the other shows that you’ve worked on?
Hannah Levien: I mean I would love to do that. But those writers are – I mean they’re professional television writers and they do such an amazing job. But I definitely – I’m very curious about the process of that and I mean I think it would be an incredible experience to just be a fly on the wall in their writers’ room or be a bit more involved in that. And hopefully down the line I am able to be a bit more involved in some of the writing on some of the shows I work on, but I also totally respect that they – that this is their job and they are total professionals.
[It] is awesome sometimes on some of the shows I work on I’ll see some of the actors shadowing directors or kind of stepping into the shoes of different roles. And I think it’s an awesome transition to be able to make in the industry. So, who knows?
TNE: Yeah. Who knows what the future may hold? For right now, though, you’re also working on these shows but you’re also, I think, potentially shopping around your movie once it’s done in post-production to maybe a film festival or – Is that in the cards for you?
Hannah Levien: We’re definitely gonna do the film festival circuit, so that’ll be exciting. And hopefully it’ll involve some really interesting travel because I love any excuse to get to travel. I’m Australian, …there’s so much to see.
TNE: [T]he country’s literally surrounded by water. So, it’s like –
Hannah Levien: Oh, yeah. Yeah. We have to go [explore].
TNE: [T]he United States is surrounded by Mexico, and Canada is right up north. I mean, yes, to the east and west is ocean, but, again, there’s so much land and it goes straight down north and south. So, it’s kinda of like the world is our oyster.
Hannah Levien: Totally. I mean you guys are very connected and also the U.S. in itself is so big. There’s a lot to – there’s a lot of cities to explore there. Australia – it’s a huge country but it can feel small in the sense that we only have a few major cities and for anyone that wants to pursue a career internationally, you have to go overseas. And it’s not even a three-hour flight like it is to Canada from Los Angeles or whatever. It’s a fricking ten-hour flight at least.
TNE: Yeah. And I’m hoping that you’ve at least traveled first class on some of those flights.
Hannah Levien: Uh, maybe.
Hannah Levien: Yeah, but I mean, regardless, it is – it’s a long way from home and I do really enjoy traveling. So, I am hoping the film festival circuit opens that up and also doing some more appearances and stuff with some of the shows I’ve done looks like – it looks to be an exciting year of travel. So, I’m excited for that.
TNE: Yeah. Do you get a chance to go home pretty often? Or do you try and just do it every once in a blue moon?
Hannah Levien: No, I try and go every year – at least. I’m one of five kids. I’m part of a big family. So, I definitely need my dose of being home and, yeah, all of that. It’s important for me.
TNE: I’m sure. And I’m sure they’re happy to hear of your travels as well.
Hannah Levien: Yeah. My family – and they – I think – when you live overseas and you’re far from home and they’re like, “What are you doing with your life?” That’s one thing. And it’s another when they’re like, “I respect that your career is based there at the moment and these shows you’re doing are all filming there and you have to be there.” So, they totally are also very understanding and supportive, which is wonderful.
TNE: And it helps now that you have things like Skype where you can just –
Hannah Levien: Totally.
TNE: It’s easier to communicate than it was back in the ‘80s when there wasn’t the internet.
Hannah Levien: Absolutely. Well, honestly technology – like last night was just Saturday night. I’m not proud, but I am proud to say that I Skyped my mom for two hours last night on my Saturday night here.
Hannah Levien: Yeah, definitely.
TNE: We just have to be aware of the hour difference, that’s all.
Hannah Levien: Exactly, yes. It’s a big blessing of technology. It makes us closer to family for sure when they are far away.
TNE: Well, thank you, Hannah, for taking the time to talk to me. Would you mind this being part of a podcast? I feel like our conversation was a podcast.
Hannah Levien: Oh, yeah. Look, I’m totally happy for that as long as, I mean, I don’t sound too – I hope – hopefully – it’s a little early for me. Hopefully I wasn’t um-ing and er-ing and all of that so much.
TNE: Well, I can easily get rid of that if I have to in the recording because it’s – this was recorded, so –
Hannah Levien: Oh, yeah, yeah.
TNE: And it’s easier actually if I was gonna transcribe it – which I may still do that – but I’ll probably do both. I just felt like our conversation flowed really well that I was like, “This would be such a cool podcast.”
Hannah Levien: No, totally. I trust you to make that call. I’m totally happy either way. I’ve definitely had other podcasts be put up. And, yeah, also just like a little mention that if people are interested in seeing any more behind the scenes about the stuff I’ve been doing, they can find me on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook. And there’re also some little things that I post from shooting and all that kind of stuff and just my life if you’re interested, so –
TNE: It’s very interesting how involved – or we feel like we’re a part of people’s lives when we follow them on social media.
Hannah Levien: It’s really interesting. I was just looking at – I follow Reese Witherspoon because I just love her and I love Big Little Lies so much – it’s such a good show – and I looked at her Instagram this morning and she was posting a photo of her when she won the Oscar for Walk the Line. I was like, “I just love this woman.” I feel like I know her. I don’t know her.
TNE: Yeah, exactly. And it’s funny when you feel all special when someone actually responds to you that you like, “Oh, my gosh. They responded to me.”
Hannah Levien: Oh, totally. I absolutely agree. And it’s really nice hearing from fans of the shows when there were all sorts of people commenting the other night and just saying like, “Oh, my God. The mirror bridge” and “Aah.” Just everyone was geeking out including me and just sending little messages. And it’s really nice to have that and to be able to respond and just share it with people. And it’s certainly great to have fans like that on these shows, so, I’m very grateful.
TNE: Well, thank you, Hannah, again, and hopefully we’ll talk again soon.
Hannah Levien: Yeah, yeah. Maybe once Siren gets up and running and all of that fun stuff. Yeah.
TNE: Yes, yes. I’ll get more tidbits of what’s happening.
Hannah Levien: What’s happening in Bristol Cove?
TNE: Yeah, in Bristol Cove. Thank you, Hannah.
Hannah Levien: My pleasure. Have a lovely day.
TNE: You, too.
I might tack on the conversation at the end of a podcast episode of TVTalk someday soon so make sure you tune in! For right now though we have the printed interview so enjoy!
Sound off below in the comments! Are you watching Siren? What did you think so far?