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Jenna Coleman on preparing for Sandman role: "I was walking around doing exorcisms as I'm doing my groceries"

Jenna Coleman as Joanna Constantine
(Image credit: Netflix)

Jenna Coleman had a quite peculiar way of preparing for her role as  Johanna Constantine in Netflix's The Sandman. The former Doctor Who actor plays two versions of occult detective Joanna Constantine: 18th-century aristocrat Lady Johanna Constantine and her present-day descendant – the latter of whom is an "upgraded" version of The Sandman's John Constantine. 

When asked how she prepared to play arguably the most unique version of Constantine ever seen on screen, Coleman laughed and replied, "Approaching [the role]? Um, a lot of learning how to do an exorcism."

"I had to learn Latin," she said during a press room interview at San Diego Comic-Con with Total Film. "It was really funny because I was learning French at the time for The Serpent and at the same time learning Latin for the exorcisms on [The Sandman], which are very, very different. I was walking around London and I was like, my God, it's insane, I'm walking around talking to myself, doing exorcisms, like as I'm doing my groceries."

Coleman also spoke to Johanna being an "upgraded" version of the comic book hero,  explaining that this particular iteration of Constantine has "risen in the ranks and is now Exorcist to the Queen." While she didn't watch to the NBC show, she did look to Keanu Reeve's Constantine for comparison. The actor played the occult detective in a 2005 standalone Warner Bros. movie.

"With his version in particular, it was so clear to me what to do off the page," she says. "said. "I was like, actually, I kind of want to take this, this Jo Constantine in this form and, and run with it."

The Sandman premieres August 5, 2022 exclusive on Netflix. For more, check out our lists of the best Netflix shows and the best Netflix movies

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more. Her first collection of poetry, "FINAL GIRL," sold out of print. Her second collection, "Sad Sexy Catholic," is forthcoming in 2023.