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Jenna Coleman reveals role in The Serpent was 'terrifying' for this reason

The actress plays Marie Andree-Leclerc in the drama

marie monique the serpent© Photo: BBC
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
February 14, 2021
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Jenna Coleman is currently starring as Marie Andree-Leclerc in gripping true-crime drama, The Serpent, but it seems the actress had her apprehensions before taking on the role.

MORE: Where is The Serpent character Marie-Andrée Leclerc now?

Appearing on the most recent episode of the Tables Manners podcast, the Victoria star admitted that the idea of speaking French was "terrifying" to her.

WATCH: The Serpent on BBC - official trailer

"The last French lesson I had I was 7, literally in primary school," she began. "It was pretty terrifying to be honest. When I read the script I was like, 'There's just no way, I can't do it'. I'm also such a big fan of Tahar as well. But it's half French but not just French, French-Canadian."

She continued: "My first day on set, the whole crew were Thai, and all the actors I worked with are actually French and I just landed in Bangkok and I was like 'what am I doing? What is going on?'"

Jenna also opened up about the other challenges the production team faced while filming due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "This job was the job we all call it 'The Serpent curse'. So many things went wrong in the filming of it, so there was this whole other element that went into it. The shoot was supposed to take four months, it then took 13, so we all got to know each other really, really well."

MORE: Real life Herman Knippenberg details how accurate The Serpent is to true events

MORE: The Serpent: real life Nadine Gires reveals truth behind Marie-Andree Leclerc

MORE: The Serpent: Where is Charles Sobhraj now?

jenna the serpent© Photo: BBC

Jenna Coleman as Marie Andree-Leclerc in The Serpent

She added: "I mean it was so much. Then Tahar went to shoot another film as we were going over, so he arrived back bald and really, really skinny. I just remember, he looked at me like 'Okay this is it', and suddenly we watched the news and it was like 'coronavirus, borders in Paris might be beginning to shut'.

"So we had four days left to shoot in Bangkok, and then we got our call sheets and then it was actually 'You're flying home'. We had four days left there, had to shoot in Budapest, got flown home, sat tight for five/six months, then in August we went to finish it. But we finished it in all places in Tring in Hertfordshire."

The Serpent comes to a conclusion this weekend. The final episode will air on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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