The Pennyworth star talks the show’s new season and the journey from Leicester to Hollywood

It hasn’t taken Harriet Slater long to leave her mark on the acting world. Beginning her journey at the age of 19, the Leicester-hailing and London-based talent catapulted herself out of the depths of drama school towards an array of captivating roles, not least on HBO Max’s Pennyworth, now in its third season. The adaptation of the DC Comics series follows Alfred Pennyworth, butler of the Wayne family, made famous by Batman. Slater’s character in the thrilling show, Sandra Onslow, a club singer and subject of Pennyworth’s affections, has evolved in the show’s three seasons, and in this installment, she looks set to be more integral than ever.

“This season Sandra got kick-ass!” Slater tells us below. “She’s gained a lot of success and independence, but that’s come at a cost. And of course, for better or worse, she still manages to find herself caught up in Alfie’s world.”

Game-changing roles wouldn’t appear to be in short supply for Slater, however, as she also prepares for the release of horror film True Haunting, starring alongside littleknown names like Wonderland’s Autumn/Fall 2022 cover star, Jamie Campbell-Bower. And, if that wasn’t enough, she’s also set to appear alongside acting legend Harrison Ford, in the next Indiana Jones film.

With an ascent moving at such pace, we thought we’d catch up with Slater to get the low down on her career, life and plans for the future. Head below to read our chat right now…

Hey Harriet! How are you doing today?
Hey Wonderland! I’m great, thanks!

Season three of Pennyworth is on the way. Firstly, congratulations on returning to play Sandra Onslow! Where do we find her now in this instalment?
Thank you, I’m thrilled to be returning for season three. This job is always such a joy to go back to and I got to be involved in a couple of action sequences this time round. Sandra got kick-ass! Season three starts five years on from season two and her whole life has changed. She’s gained a lot of success and independence, but that’s come at a cost. And of course, for better or worse, she still manages to find herself caught up in Alfie’s world.

You contribute not only acting prowess but singing to the show, voicing its recent trailer. How do you find flexing that facet of your creativity?
I love it! Musical theatre was a big part of my life growing up, so I’m really grateful for the opportunity to flex that muscle. And the whole recording process is so much fun. That song over the teaser trailer was written for the show, which was a first because in seasons one and two I sang covers of existing songs, so that was a cool moment.

You grew up in Leicester, how have you found the transition from a smaller city like that to the bright lights of Hollywood?
I’m laughing because I was literally in Hollywood for the first time last week and I wasn’t very cool about it. I gasped when I saw the sign. Leicester was a really great place to grow up because I was surrounded by theatre. The Curve was always creating great community productions and The Little Theatre was where I had my first real introduction to performing – I owe a lot to that place. But I’m a bit in love with London. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now.

We know you’re a double threat, but what’s a talent that barely anyone knows you have?
I came second in the two-kilometre speed walk on my Year 9 sports day. I was useless at P.E. so I put myself through a rigorous training schedule and sped walked around the neighbourhood for weeks. It’s all in the bum wiggle.

You’ve also been working on a ’70s horror movie, True Haunting, alongside big names like Jamie Campbell Bower and Erin Moriarty! What a dream team! Tell us about the relationship you shared on set?
Dream team indeed! I couldn’t believe my luck getting to work with those guys. They were a total joy to be on set with. Their work ethic was clear from day one and their emotional commitment to every scene was inspiring. I learnt so much from them. We had a lot of fun as a cast off-set too because we were shooting out in Serbia so we were kind of forced to all hang out on the weekends!

You barely seem to have stopped in recent months, also ticking off a role in the upcoming Indiana Jones alongside Harrison Ford! Can you talk us through the moment you found out that you got that part?
That was a total pinch-me moment. I’d auditioned a couple of weeks before but I had no idea what the project was because the tape was for an untitled studio film and the names had been changed… so it was a total surprise when my agent called and told me I’d got the job – and then told me what the job was! I was over the moon and so grateful to be a tiny part of such a huge franchise.

You’ve made your way through a lifetime’s worth of amazing roles in just a couple of years. However, what is one part that you would love to play, that people might not expect?
I’d love to be involved in something that centres around dance, like Fosse/Verdon. That show was amazing. I danced as a child and I still go to classes now and again but I’d relish the opportunity to train intensively for something.

What’s next on your to-do list for today?
I have a mountain of laundry that needs doing and then I’m going to watch some more of The White Lotus. I’m late to the party but isn’t it great?

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