The second season of Freeform’s mermaid drama Siren premieres tonight (January 24) at 8PM, and to promote the new season, we spoke with the siren herself, Eline Powell, about what is coming for her character “Ryn” in Season 2.
The season premiere is called “The Arrival” and it immediately sets the show toward a new adventure. You can see some photos from the season premiere after the interview. But first, here’s Eline Powell!
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: Where do we find Ryn as the second season begins?
ELINE POWELL: Ryn is in quite a lonely place. A lot has happened in Season 1. She lost her sister; she is now in a rocky place with Ben and Maddie. She’s not allowed to go back home. It’s been quite a trying time.
So we find Ryn trying to make the best of her situation. She is a survivor, she does move forward, so her way of coping with all that is to learn as much as she can in the world around her, and try to improve herself, her human side… I mean, she’s a pack animal, and Ben and Maddie were sort of that group, so she is lonely.
But she’s a survivor. She tries to just get over things, but then there’s so much happening!
Is she going to have trouble forgiving the people that were involved with her sister’s death?
Ryn’s a mermaid. Mermaids are in some aspects a little broader thinking than humans, and I think though it will never be forgotten, I think Ryn sees first hand what the feeling of revenge or holding a grudge does. I mean, that’s the whole reason her sister got killed. I don’t think she can just forget about it, but she will try to let it go, because if she keeps the fight going on between her and humans, the cycle will continue. Tune in, but yes. I would say that Ryn is a little bit more of a bigger woman in that situation.
Is it difficult to play a character who is an outsider and is not used to the ways of the surface world?
Yes and no. “Yes” in the sense that it is quite challenging to look at our world brand new, as if you do not know any of the social constructs or identities, or the norms and values that we have. So, you really have to take your thoughts out and try not to take anything for granted or assume anything, to come at it from a very fresh perspective.
On the other hand, I don’t find it that hard, because I think all of us feel or will have felt as an outsider. You all know that feeling that you don’t know the joke, or you don’t know the language, or you don’t know the rules or laws or cultural differences of a country, or songs, or anything like that. You try your best to pick it up, but at the end of the day, even as you learn and you become part of a group or something, you do know where you came from. So, it’s been a challenge and a joy to play. You really look at our society like “wow.” The things we sometimes think, or the things we find important…. a very simple example, the amount of stuff we have. I think of Ryn as a creature who has very little in the sea, and then she enters these houses and cars and roads and cities, and everybody has so much stuff, and clothes, and thinks for God knows what, and she has to learn the use of all of those things… that must be quite mind-boggling, and I quite like the effect that it’s had in my personal life. I’m much more of a minimalist now.
Do other actors who play undersea characters ever ask you for advice on how to perform their lines?
Yes. We do have sort of a little “mermaid group,” if you will. We have a group called Merms, and when they all came, we did a little workshop, so we tried to get our movements a little bit similar. Of course, the joy of an actor is they all bring their own flavor to it, but we definitely always talk about what our world or our group dynamic is, or what they think… how they hunt, or how they look at men and women… we definitely have those discussions, and then obviously we try to speak with similar accents, or we try to have similar language traits and signals.
We definitely meet up. They’re such a wonderful group of people who I now call my dear friends.
One of the new characters has a connection to a Season 1 character. Can you tease anything about that without giving it away?
I will confirm it, and I will say that might be quite interesting for Ryn. That’s all I can safely say without losing my job!
What is an average “underwater” production day like for you?
Underwater days are my favorite days of the year. I feel so happy and good. We try to bunch up all of the underwater days as close together as possible so that we don’t have to have to disperse shooting days in a tank. We try to do as much as we can in bulk. And it is frickin’ wonderful! We just go for it. Obviously, you’re very tired after, but my God, it’s just — I want everyone to experience this. You genuinely do feel like another creature, because the way you move, the way you have to act, it all changes so much underwater. You just feel like a kid again. You can live all those fantasies out that you had during the summer holidays in your pool! So I have the best time in it. It’s taxing. Your body’s tired, you burn so much oxygen, and your eyes are stinging and stuff… but it’s like what they say if you do a lot of sports: The pain always seems to be worth it because you feel great afterwards. I feel my most Ryn when I’m underwater. I can’t say enough good things about it!
So clearly, this was the perfect role for you.
Honestly? I could do this for the rest of my life, I think. I’m supposed to say “I love a challenge” and all of that stuff, but I wouldn’t mind being cast as a mermaid for the rest of my life. I’d be really happy.
Could Ryn ever be a helper of people of both humans and mermaids, much like Helen has been?
I hope that for her. I think that would be her ideal dream. She was torn in Season 1 about what side was more dominant; that confusion only grows in Season 2. She needs to really balance those two parts of her identity, and I think her ideal would be — and she says this in Season 1 — is “I would like to choose.” She would like to be able to do both, and of course the reason why that really can’t be right now, is because there is such a huge gap between their world and our world in this show. But I think it would be the ideal job for Ryn to be the bridge. But there is wishing and hoping, and reality… or Siren reality. But I hope that for her. I think that would be amazing.
What excites you the most for fans to see in Siren Season 2?
Definitely more underwater stuff. Much more knowledge about the mermaid world. And are you guys going to be blown away by some of the journeys other characters are going to go on. Helen. Maddie. Xander too. So much happens.
Siren returns TONIGHT (January 24) on Freeform. Some preview images from the season premiere can be found below!
SIREN - "The Arrival" - With more mermaids landing at Bristol Cove’s shores, the threat of discovery increases. After his encounter with the siren song, Ben tries to cope with the after effects. Maddie’s mom (Garcelle Beauvais) returns to town and tries to connect with her daughter. Meanwhile, Ryn attempts to adapt to life on land. This episode of "Siren" airs Thursday, Jan. 24 (8:00 - 9:01 P.M. EST) on Freeform. (Freeform/David Bukach)GIL BIRMINGHAM