Servant’s Nell Tiger Free Talks Heroes And Villains And Working With M. Night Shyamalan [Exclusive Interview]

Are you one of those actors who’s able to watch your own performances and actually enjoy it as a viewer? That’s my way of asking whether you’ve watched “Servant” throughout these four seasons or not [laughs].

There’s very little of stuff that I have done that I have watched all the way through. “Servant” is an exception to that. I have seen every episode, and that is largely down to the fact that I love my castmates very much and I want to see their work, and I want to see this beautiful crew and all of the effort that they put into this show. And I want to show my support and watch it.

It is difficult to avoid me in the show. I do tend to pop up quite a lot, so I have to sit through that [laughs]. I’m very self-critical; I will beat myself up after every day at work, and watching myself is no different. But I think I need to grow up and actually learn to appreciate the work and sort of rid myself of any vanity, or any self-criticism, and just enjoy it for what it was, which was a lot of hard work, and hopefully a good story. But it is difficult to detach and just watch it as if it were anything else, because you’re like, “Oh, I remember that day. It was really cold.” [Laughs]

I’ve loved how Leanne and Julian have become this unexpected pairing over the series. I can’t imagine predicting that from the first season onwards. When you first joined the show, what did you think? Do you ever envision Leanne and Julian becoming so intertwined?

No, I didn’t envision myself in Rupert’s arms [laughs]. I really didn’t know where they were going to go. I mean, I knew that there was most likely going to be some sort of romantic relationship between me and one of the characters. My original guess was actually Dorothy. I thought that it would maybe go down that way. We all were actually talking about it when we first joined the show, because we knew that something was going to happen, but it was just with whom. And it being Rupert, I think, being Julian was a very interesting, cool choice. I think that they’re such unlikely lovers. You would never put them together, personality-wise. And I think they give each other this weird comfort, this weird solace. It’s like two broken people just existing in their own darkness together. And there’s a strange levity in that. Hurt people attract hurt people.

There you go. Well said.

I read it on a postcard somewhere [laughs].

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