Eline Powell swims again as Freeform’s ‘Siren’ returns

Others also play mermaids in Freeform show’s new round

(From left) Sedale Threatt Jr., Eline Powell, Fola Evans-Akingbola, Alex Roe and Rena Owen star in “Siren,” beginning its second season Thursday on Freeform.

When you’re playing a mermaid, it certainly helps to like water.

It’s a good thing that Eline Powell does, since she’s spent more than her fair share of time in it for Freeform’s fantasy-drama series “Siren,” which begins its second season Thursday, Jan. 24. She resumes the role of Ryn, who now has more of her own kind to deal with – and their agenda might not be a friendly one. Alex Roe and Fola Evans-Akingbola also continue as researchers who try to help Ryn navigate her existence in the town of Bristol Cove.

“The water is my best friend at this point,” the pleasant Powell confirms. “Natural ocean water is really cold, but they heat up the tank sometimes, and that’s quite a nice experience.”

Powell reports that evoking a mermaid as naturally as possible has gotten easier: “That goes with the show training me and our just shooting so much, but I’ve also gotten my freediving license and my scuba-diving license, and I’m starting to notice that my eyesight is better under water and that I can hold my breath longer. It really feels like my body is adapting more and more … which is great, because we want to do better and better with the scenes.”

While “Siren” has put her front-and-center, the Belgian-born Powell also is known for her relatively brief stint on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” on which she played Bianca of Braavos during the sixth season.

Eline Powell returns in Season 2 of “Siren,” which begins Thursday on Freeform.

“I always assumed that because the length of which I was on screen for that was so tiny, nobody would really make anything of it,” Powell reflects, “but it’s still something that people remember me for. I’m very grateful, and I’m glad I can say that I was in ‘Game of Thrones.’ It’s really quite sweet, though ‘Siren’ will be the one that lasts a bit longer for me.”

While she’s happy with her identification with her current show, Powell also appreciates what her family is known for. Her pharmacologist father founded a biotech company (with her mother) in their homeland and a molecular diagnostic company in Switzerland, and he has been a leading force in the treatment of the HIV virus.

“I love talking about them, because I am so proud of them,” Powell says. “They’ve achieved so much by just following their dreams, and I wanted to do something that I could do all on my own. And now, I’m living my dream, but our phone calls are very different.

“My father will call and say, ‘I am traveling to Africa to help with this new fever outbreak.’ And I will say, ’Oh, Dad, that’s great! I put on a mermaid tail and swam around.’ ”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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