When she isn’t jamming to her Latin inspired music with an accordion, you might find Natalia busking on the underground for alcohol. Either way you might never meet a character both so intriguing and diverse with a positive desire for innovation. Having starred in both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, Natalia Tena isn’t short of talent and with her band, Molotov Jukebox, set to play Nottingham’s Bodega in support of their new album, Platform caught up with her for a chat.
You’ve gone from busking on the London underground to the phenomenal Molotov Jukebox- very cool name but also quite original, what is the inspiration behind it?
Well we weren’t even a band and this bloke Sam and I were into busking for booze at music festivals. I had just started to teach myself how to play an instrument. Sherl Walters came up to us at this festival like ‘what are you?’ and Sam in his moment just came out with it. We’d been going talking about a lot of shit names before but that was it!
Your Carnival flower album is known for being unique by it’s blending of genre’s and different music styles. Should we expect the same thing from tropical Gypsy?
No – well, actually yes and no. With Carnival flower we got a bit over excited we got together any song we liked the sound of. I remember wondering why are rapping?’ It was a learning curve as songs are like chapters in a book. When we got crowd funding from the pledges we realized that people actually liked what we were doing! We thought we have got to deliver. So I pulled my socks and bra and said ‘lets go!’
Some of your preparations for Tropical Gyspy look insanely fun, what’s been the best part of the preparation process?
Its very scary writing an album, It can drive you fucking mad if you haven’t got anything planned and you turn up in the studio without a demo. It can lead to arguments but what I did with Pineapple girl was took a 45 minute walk outside just a moment of pace and quite and it just came to me.
Now slightly moving to your acting career, you have played some amazing roles, one of my favorite being Osha in Game of thrones. How did you take playing this wilding role, what was the hardest part of it?
I think trying to find her was pretty hard. I tried to find her through a Brazilian book character but ended up settling on a raccoon. Her animalistic nature as a wilding was quite similar to it.
Tonks as well in Harry Potter is a great character, what was it like being on the set? How did you find being part of such a huge franchise?
I hadn’t read the book. I knew that Tonks wasn’t a very large role but I also knew it was just as important. I remember arriving at this convention and there were screaming fans all shouting my name, I was surprised they knew who I was because at that point was I was just like ‘ wow I got a job!’
Which would you say you prefer the most acting or singing and why?
I prefer it when I can do both. Last year when I did Super Bob with Derek Cleaver, I loved it but I craved my job that summer. This summer I will be mainly touring especially festivals. The plan overall is go to South America last year we did Mexico which was great and in September we will be heading to Ukraine.
You’re doing a lot of festivals this year. Do you have a favorite?
Obviously I love Glastonbury. We actually saw a comedy gospel band there, it’s a change if you don’t want to go to the grimy DnB type and they’re an incredible band . I actually had a bad experience at Glastonbury because of really heavy equipment but I really like the Well Med festival. It had incredible music , top musicians of the world, treat the artists really well and great quality of music.