Strike Back is a British/American action and military television series, based on a novel of the same name by novelist and former Special Air Service (SAS) soldier Chris Ryan. The series follows the actions of special forces soldiers who work for an elite part of MI6, only known as Section 20., a secretive branch of the British Defence Intelligence service (DI), who operate several high risk, priority missions throughout the globe.
Playing a nurse...
When you first meet Danni it appears that she's part of the medical team that's assessing Porter for his reactivation. They have a little flirtation that leads to something more and there's a lovely reveal when you realise that she isn't actually a nurse and part of her remit is what's known as honey traps. It's a nice device and presents the opportunity to discover the other side of John Porter.
Porter and Danni...
There's an ambiguity to how Danni and Porter's relationship has been written, and to how it's being shot. How much of it is an emotional relationship and how much of it is physical? How much of it is real? How much is memory? And how much is fantasy? I think it'll be interesting for the audience because they'll be seeing it more from Porter's point of view than anybody else's, so they won't necessarily know how much is real.
Why Strike Back...
I thought the concept of the scripts was very clever and once I heard who was involved it didn't take me long to sign up. It's a great project and the production values are fantastic. I've been more and more impressed with the dramas that have been coming out of Sky so it was a natural conclusion that I wanted to take the role.
Research for the role...
I have a bit of a military background because my dad and uncle were both in the army. It wasn't the SAS, but as an army kid I feel that there's something in my bones. I have a base understanding of military life and it's nice to be able to draw on that.
Being left out of the action scenes...
I took the role knowing what Danni was going to be and didn't expect anything more. The first scenes we shot were of her as the nurse, but she's still a sergeant, so she's got her stripes and she's in desert combats and camouflage. I felt good in them, the desert boots worked, so I think that if there was an opportunity for her to get out into the field she'd be able to handle herself. But when they've had the firearms on set, I have to be honest and say that I've felt nervous. I know they're plastic, but it is a bit uncomfortable.
It's always a privilege to shoot abroad and experience different cultures. It's been lovely because our crew is predominantly South African and it's a pleasure to come into work every day and chat with the drivers and people on set and learn about the country.
The pace of Strike Back...
It's very fast. The script's a real page-turner and it has a great pace. There aren't any wasted scenes in this. The control room and Section 20 scenes aren't just fillers and a break from the action; they're integral to the stories. There aren't any wasted moments, everything matters.
This is a very exciting project to work on. When Andrew Lincoln and I film in the control room, Jodhi May is actually out on location filming a live feed to us. There's the constant pressure of the clock that's counting down every second we're losing, so you get this sense of immediate action.
There are a lot of current affairs involved across the six episodes that I think will appeal to the audience. Dramas that involve a team of people working in a pressurised profession, plus all the sort of nuances of hierarchy and hidden agendas, are always thrilling to watch. I think this is going to be brilliant, I really do.
Danni Prendiville Photos
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