Alex Moreland speaks with Amber Rose Revah, star of new Netflix show The Punisher…
How did you first get involved with The Punisher? What attracted you to the project?
My agent sent me some scenes that were mocked up by Steve (Punisher Showrunner) for audition purposes for this character. She was an interesting, complex woman and the stories she was telling captivated me. I wanted to be part of the project and developed my idea of what this character was. I met with our first Director and discussed the character further, then was flown to LA to meet the Marvel team and work on it with them.
After input and adjustments from the Netflix team, we came to a vision of what we wanted this character to be and I was delighted to be part of the project.
Can you tell us a little bit about your character? What makes her stand out in the ensemble?
Dinah is American with Iranian background. She is a highly trained Homeland officer who has been stationed on the ground in Afghanistan. She has a strong sense of patriotism for America; a country that has given her parents the opportunity to flourish. She is used to doing things by the book, but her sense of what is right and wrong is thrown into disarray when she is brought back to New York. She is courageous, confident, and very physical.
What was your approach as an actress – how did you get into character?
I was fortunate to connect with actual Homeland officers in New York while I was there filming the show. They were very kind with the information they shared with me and I bombarded them with questions on everything to how they handle incidents to the psychological effects they have faced through trauma in the job. I had intense physical training with our brilliant stunt team and armourers.
With your character acting as the law enforcement pursuing The Punisher, do you think it’s fair to describe her as the antagonist?
I would say that at times there are elements of respect, mutual understanding, even a degree of admiration between Dinah and Frank, as well as conflict. Life is complicated and their relationship reflects this. I think the short answer is no!
Why is the story of The Punisher worth telling – what makes it relevant in 2017?
The key theme of what it is to be a human being is always relevant. Our passions, whether love or hate, forgiveness or revenge, are all part of the puzzle of our lives. We live in a confusing world, filled with uncertainty and tension, and need to shed some light on the issues we all face.
What do you think makes The Punisher TV series stand out amongst the other Marvel properties?
It goes into personal relationships in greater depth than some other series, and this is what makes the series riveting: we can all identify to some degree with the personalities and the dilemmas they face. Dinah has a loving mum, who is also somewhat judgmental/critical and while she is supportive, there is also some degree of conflict there.
On another note – how did you first get into acting?
I started professionally aged 17, making blunders, growing as a person and actress and learning along the way. With each job and each location I filmed in, I was fortunate to work with well-established actors, directors and producers that thought me so much. I have a degree in contemporary performance which is a very different art to what I pursued.
Is there any advice you have for people looking to become actors and follow your career path?
Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy. My 3 Es.
Is there anything you can tell us about any other projects you’re working on at the moment?
The empowerment of women is very important to me and I am working on setting up a Martial arts school for women which teaches UK kempo. I’m also working on a script of my own with a writing partner.
Finally, then – what would you most like someone to take away from your work, both on The Punisher and in general?
I want to break the mould of what Hollywood sees as a leading lady. If I can inspire at least one person as so many others before have inspired me then I’m quids in!
Amber Rose Revah, thank you very much!