Jenna Coleman Covers AMAZING Magazine | Issue 2
Jenna Coleman is navigating new waters as Johanna Constantine in the Netflix adaptation of The Sandman. Here the Victoria actor talks comic books, exorcisms and how Doctor Who prepared her for the DC Comics fandom.
“In terms of a female comic book character, I love the fact that she’s rough around the edges,” says Jenna Coleman, talking about her role as Johanna Constantine in the highly anticipated Netflix series The Sandman. “From Allan’s scripts she just leapt off the page and felt so textured, and layered; the cynicism, the wit, being such a lone wolf warrior, having this empathy and big heart, but having to not let anybody in. It really lent itself as a female role and I feel like, in the comic book world, there aren’t many female roles like that either.”
The Allan in question is showrunner Mr Heinberg; he developed the show alongside Neil Gaiman and David S. Goyer, adapting it from Gaiman’s comic book of the same name. Published by DC Comics, the original series ran from 1989 to 1996 and followed the often-dramatic adventures of Morpheus (aka Dream), the king of dreams. Coleman’s character was the male John Constantine, who first appears to help Morpheus locate his stolen pouch of magical dream sand and in exchange is cured of his frequent nightmares. Johanna was actually another character – one of John’s ancestors from the 18th century – but Coleman’s Johanna is confirmed to be a direct replacement for John.
“We played a lot with costume,” says Coleman, who previously transformed into Queen Victoria for the ITV historical drama Victoria, and time travelled back to the 1970s in Netflix’s The Serpent. “The visuals were really interesting, because the original comic book character is a chain-smoking Liverpudlian, so we went down that path with a version of that and the iconic Mackintosh coat on. It made me look more masculine, I guess, and myself and Allan wanted to take those roots and make Johanna a more upgraded version. We kept her quite sharp and sleek.” Johanna did maintain some of John’s rough and tumble, though; she swears like a sailor, with some choice quotes including, “Jesus f**k”, “run along and f**k off back to hell,” and the cleaner – but no less comically delivered – “Get in line, bruv, can’t keep God waiting.”
The character is a detective with the powers of a sorcerer and is perhaps most notably skilled in performing exorcisms. Reimagined for the screen several times, he was played by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 film Constantine and portrayed by Matt Ryan in NBC’s live action Constantine TV series, and in various animated Justice League properties. A new HBO series revolving around the character is currently in development, though casting has not yet been announced.
For Jenna Coleman's full interview and shoot, plus other AMAZING women, fashion and lifestyle features, order your copy of AMAZING issue 2 now.
Jenna Coleman wears Chloé
Photographed by Guy Lowndes
Styled by Toni-Blaze Ibekwe
Words by Jennifer Lynn
Makeup by Naoko Scintu at The Wall Group using Shiseido
Hair by Bjorn Krischker at The Wall Group using ORIBE
Nails by Sabrina Gayle at The Wall Group using CHANEL Le Vernis in Pensée and CHANEL La Crème Main
Production Director Morgane Millot
Photography Assistant Wilbert Lati
Styling Assistants Yasmin Williams and Ellis Kerwood
Special thanks to the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square