Sara Martins (‘Death in Paradise’) interview

Starring French actress Sara Martins as the the straight-talking Camille Bordey, BBC One’s Death in Paradise is a fish out of water story about a quintessential English cop (Ben Miler) posted to the Caribbean island of Sainte Marie.

Written by Robert Thorogood, the eight-part series begins on BBC One later this month.

How did you become involved with Death in Paradise?

“I had worked with France Télévisions before and when they received the script they thought of me. I came in and did a few auditions. They were looking for someone who would work well with Ben Miller and we met and got along well from the start.”

You have played policewomen in the past. What attracted you to the role of Camille?

“What I loved about Death In Paradise is that it isn’t a procedural cop show. The team work on a fictional island – Saint-Marie – which doesn’t have any forensic or ballistic facilities, the team has to rely on their expertise.

“The show is focused around the relationships of the team – and the teasing between the French and English cultures. In that respect it is a very classic show – it could almost be set in the ’50s. Camille is a great character; she is very strong and enjoys a challenge and I felt her connected with her.”

Did the teasing about the French and English culture spill over screen too?

“Yes. It’s funny I didn’t know how French some of my mannerisms were until I worked on this show.”

How do Camille and Richard get along?

“Their relationship is like cat and dog. It’s one of those relationships where they are both very intelligent and enjoy a challenge but the way they do things is very different. It is very much an attraction/repulsion relationship!”

How did you find working with Ben Miller?

“Ben was fantastic to work with; we got on really well from the start. He is an incredibly hard worker. Sometimes scenes just work naturally and are very easy and sometimes you need to work harder on them. Ben would never give up on a scene no matter how long he’d been working that day. I learnt so much from him.”

You have a lot of the stunts in the show. What was it like performing those?

“Well, I did have a lot of stunts until I broke my Achilles tendon!

“I was performing a scene where Fidel (played by Gary Carr) was going to run and jump on to a boat. I was saying to the director I really wanted to do it too. Gary and I started running and I managed to slip and break my Achilles tendon! I had to go to London for surgery and rest it for two weeks before I could go back to Guadeloupe. I hope viewers will never guess though as it is hidden so well on screen.”

What was it like filming on Guadeloupe?

“It was an incredible island – very hot. One of my favourite things was to get up early in the morning, sit on the beach and watch the sun rise – that was beautiful.”

Will you dub Camille’s voice for France Télévisions?

“Of course! It will be very odd working with the actor voicing Ben’s character. I will have to stop myself from saying: “No, Ben said it like this when he performed it.””

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