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The Hottie Stop interviews Hannah New, star of Black Sails!

01.12.2015by: Eric Walkuski

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Hannah New is a beautiful, fresh face in a sea of decidedly scurvy ones in "Black Sails", Starz's pirate drama that is about to enter its second season. But don't let that pleasant appearance fool you; her character, Eleanor, is no angel. In fact, the saloon-keeper is one of the most influential people in all of Nassau (the show's main setting), dealing with dangerous pirates regularly and smuggling goods into the port. She's got a foul mouth and an even fouler temper but, of course, there's a tender heart beating beneath the angry exterior.

Hannah, on the other hand, is as polite and personable as could be. The British actress is just now making waves thanks to her participation in the acclaimed series (which has already begun shooting its third season), as well as a turn in Disney's box office smash MALEFICENT as Princess Leila. It's a good thing we caught her when we did! In the below interview, Hannah and I speak about her character's many intriguing traits, being nude on set, shooting sex scenes with co-star Jessica Parker Kennedy (yowza!!) and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (yes, she just did it).

First off, I have to congratulate you, because I see that you climbed Mount Kilimanjaro recently.

Yes! Thank you very much!

So awesome. What was behind that decision?

It was one toughest challenges I've ever taken on. It was prompted by a friend of mine who runs a preschool for children who are orphans or vulnerable children in Cape Town. I was visiting there between shooting "Black Sails," and I've done volunteer work before I became an actor, and I would teach them English and just became part of the project. We needed to ensure we had enough money to keep up with the town's rebuilding costs, so we took on because it's the highest mountain in Africa and that's very symbolic for how tough a climb it is for these kids in these townships to graduate and get their education. So it was an incredible experience; there were a few moments where I thought I wasn't going to make it, but thank god we made it because a lot of people were depending on us.

How long does it take?

A week!

That's intense. So where are you on season two of "Black Sails," have you filmed everything already?

Yeah, season two is all in the can and we're really pumped about it premiering at the end of the month, and we've even started season three. We've already shot one and a half episodes.

What has the past year been like for you?

It's been amazing. When you're involved with something revolving around pirates, you realize there are so many people who are knowledgeable about it, who love the genre, and are excited about a show that combines history and fiction in a gritty and real way. That was exciting to me, that people responded to it in such an intelligent way. And since we film in South Africa, we kind of live in a bubble, the only time you hear about the show is when somebody tweets at us. And I haven't really done Twitter before, I actually have found it really interesting to see how people are reacting to the show and hear the questions they have and what they love about the characters. It's been fascinating.

I know you've now attended a couple of Comic-Cons, were those weird experiences for you?

The first Comic-Con we went to- hardly anyone had seen the show because we only put out the first episode, so it was great because they ended up being super enthusiastic about it. The second one was just incredible, because people had seen it all and they were coming in their full pirate gear. For me, having that interaction and seeing the enjoyment people get out of it is such a blessing.

How would you say you're similar to Eleanor? If at all.

I think there are a lot of elements to Eleanor that I had as a child, the tantrums... [laughs] The kind of stuff you try to walk away from as an adult. She's still very admirable because she's so driven and because she has a vision and she judges people on their merits. I think I really admire that in a person, someone who breaks the mold of what's expected of her as a young woman. I think that's inspirational to any woman.

The character has a bit of a potty mouth. Can you relate to that part of her?

Um... depends on how many drinks I've had. [Laughs] So funny, because my mom has said, "she uses such bad language!" She not worried about the violence or anything else, just the language! At the end of the day, she would have had to be very imposing. We could have used the 18th century equivalents, but I think they would have been ridiculed as these ridiculous insults. "Scurvy-ridden scoundrels!" It just wouldn't have given it that sense of reality that people can relate to. I know a lot of young women who don't have any qualms about throwing those four-letter words around, so I've got a lot of inspiration.

Things get pretty racy too frequently; are you comfortable with shooting nudity?

I think it's always going to be awkward, and it's always going to be a strange thing to do. But one of the most amazing things is that it always feels like a safe environment while we're doing it, and we also have a very detailed process that we go through with production to ensure that everything in the scene means something. Every single move, every single interaction between characters, has to read like a dialogue. There are things in those scenes that are very intimate details for those characters, which is someone is really tuned into it will see. You always have to think about who these people are, so having scenes where you have to explore that physically is kind of interesting. As long as it's done in a safe environment where you place an enormous amount of trust- we're a very close cast, we hang out together and have a huge amount of trust in each other. The same goes for the crew and the whole production staff.

How about your sexy scenes with your co-star Jessica Parker Kennedy, that coupling is a big fan favorite. Were those challenging?

Jessica is just one of the most genuine and truthful actresses I've worked with. I actually did my screen test with Jes, and I kind of knew that I'd be able to work with her. Max really brings out a side of Eleanor that is incredibly vulnerable, she's one of the only character's Eleanor is really truthful with. I think that's a really scary thing for her, because she realizes how vulnerable she is with her. She has to pull back emotionally, because it'll pull her away from what her bigger vision is. She makes some really disastrous choices because of her relationship with Max, because Max is someone she can really confide in. I just love playing out that side of Eleanor, because it makes her human.

After reading up on you a bit, it's clear that you've been something of a world traveler your whole life. What are some of your favorite places?

I get itchy feet if I haven't been somewhere in more than a few months. I'm like, "Hmm I think I'll go exploring!" To me, being able to experience different cultures and being able to immerse myself in a culture and get to know the people is one of the most exciting thing about being on this earth. My initial journey into that was in South America, that was my first insight into being an independent traveler, so I'm very lucky that my job allows me to do that now. I think I'd go nuts if I were stuck in an office, I'd probably bounce against the walls. It's something I'll continue to do throughout my life, I'm sure.

Who is the one actor or actress you'd like to work with in the future?

Oh, wow. Okay, the are so, so many. Obviously I'd love to work with somebody with a long list of incredible roles, so obviously Judi Dench or Helen Mirren. People who have had an incredible career path and you could learn so much from. As a young actress, I think that would be a very good place to start.

Thank you so much for everything, good luck with the upcoming seasons of "Black Sails."

Thank you, it's been a pleasure!

You can follow Hannah on Twitter HERE or Instagram HERE. The first season of "Black Sails" is currently out on Blu-ray; you can order it HERE.

Source: Movie Hotties



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7:19PM on 11/08/2016
Love this show, love how she is kind of the black widow to the protagonists. Hell, Captain Six Pack paid the price for hitting that.
Love this show, love how she is kind of the black widow to the protagonists. Hell, Captain Six Pack paid the price for hitting that.
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2:12PM on 01/12/2015
Ooohh. A New hottie to drool over!
Ooohh. A New hottie to drool over!
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