The Serpent star Jenna Coleman says Marie-Andrée chose to ‘ignore the truth’ about Charles
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BBC’s The Serpent tells the story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj (played by Tahar Rahim) who killed backpackers in Thailand, Nepal and India during the 1970s with the help of Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman). However, Doctor Who star Jenna has revealed she believes Marie-Andrée was more of an accomplice than a victim.
“I find her so fascinating,” Jenna began. “She has so much faith in love and is such a romantic that upon meeting Charles she kind of embroils herself in her own incorrect vision of what she thinks this environment is.
“She constructs her own false narrative and is so delusional.
“I think that’s the only way she can remain in the world, knowing underneath what terrible, despicable acts are really happening and she is helping him commit.
“Reading the real Marie-Andrée’s diaries, Charles to her is almost like a religion.
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“Everything is about him. She places every waking breath upon the way he treats her – it’s an utter, utter fixation.
“I do think there’s a choice that she makes – and the choice that she makes is to ignore the truth.
“Because to acknowledge the truth is to put her in a reality that she doesn’t want to be in.”
“She would rather exist in her own reality,” the Doctor Who start continued.
“She has this life and this world with Charles where she’s reinvented herself to almost be a person in the magazines she’s obsessed with.
“And the alternative is that she returns to Canada and becomes a receptionist again, and life becomes that bit more greyer.”
Revealing the greatest challenge of taking on the role, Jenna explained Marie-Andrée’s accent was difficult to perfect.
“Probably one of the toughest things to get was Marie-Andrée’s voice,” she explained.
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“Both her French-Canadian accent when speaking English, and then her French-Canadian accent when speaking French.
“To try and find that was really hard… but again we can hear her interviews so I could hear her real voice in press interviews and her tapes from prison.
“I was learning the French language from scratch, and I’m Northern and before this job I literally could not roll my Rs, so it’s been a vocal journey!”
In Sunday’s instalment, Charles befriends young French backpacker Dominique Renelleau (Fabien Frankel).
He introduces himself as Alain Gautier while Maire-Andrée later introduces herself as Monique.
Dominique falls ill and Charles invites him back to his Bangkok apartment.
Charles promises he and Marie-Andrée will nurse him back to health but something far more sinister is about to unfold.
The Serpent continues on BBC One on Sunday at 9pm.
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