Sky’s Intergalactic is a highly anticipated sci-fi drama centred around a diverse cast with strong Black female leads.

The action-packed 8-episode series set in outer space and follows Ash Harper, a young cop and galactic pilot wrongly convicted of a treasonous crime whose fellow convicts break free and go on the run across a distant galaxy.

In her breakout role, Diany Samba-Bandza stars as Genevieve who has the ability to make her long dreadlocks do whatever she commands – including kill people. The actress is a multi-skilled creative performance artist whose work expands to scriptwriting, dancing in music videos, and sketch comedy as well as TV, Film, and Theatre.

We spoke to Samba-Bandza about her character, working with Sharon Duncan-Brewster and her hopes for her career post lockdown…

Please introduce yourself…

My name is Diany Samba-Bandza I am French Congolese; Born in France, raised in London, my parents are from The Republic of Congo. I am 25 years old and counting … I am an Actor and all-around creative at heart, even though it took me getting paid to finally admit it.

Please share a word or sentence that best describes your life right now?

Lockdown’s silver linings.

You star in the new Sky Original sci-fi drama Intergalactic can you tell us about your character and how integral she is to the story?

I play the role of Genevieve, who was raised to fight and to protect her mother. She has lived a very sheltered life and has limited knowledge of the world outside of organized crime. After she and her mother are arrested and put on board the prisoner-transporting spaceship, they decide to take over the ship with the help of a few other criminals. Genevieve holds the key to the mutiny.

Diany Samba-Bandza as Genevieve in Intergalactic

What were your initial thoughts when you first read the script?

My first thought, after reading Genevieve’s character breakdown and going through the audition scenes, was “I have to get this”. I normally distance myself from an audition after I have done it, for my own sanity, but for some reason this script wouldn’t leave my mind. It was the badass action and complexities of her character that did it for me. There are so many fun and unique roles I would have been more than happy to audition for, but Genevieve’s just spoke to me.

Sharon Duncan-Brewster plays your hard-hitting mother who leads the uprising of the prisoners, and you seem to be her second in command. Both characters come across as a little off-kilter … or are they just passionate?

They are definitely an odd pair lacking in people skills, but I think it comes from trauma and their own experiences of the world. They are extremely driven; in control, but up until now they’ve only had to support each other, so they are forced to make some adjustments when it comes to dealing with other people’s lives. (Side-note Sharon’s amazing!)

Dystopian films and TV series are quite a favourite with fans, my favourite being The Handmaids Tale. Out of all the recent releases, which would you have loved to be a part of?

I’m in the middle of watching The Handmaids Tale and I absolutely put it up there with my favourites. As for any others, Black Mirror is awesome! I would love to have been a part of it. One of my favourite episodes was Bandersnatch, I think I spent like 3 hours watching/playing it. It would’ve been so cool to play any of the characters if it meant being a part of a revolutionary style of filmmaking.

As an up-and-coming actress, do you make a conscious decision to choose specific roles that you think will elevate your career, or do you go off how the character resonates with you?

I don’t think it’s the character you choose that elevates your career, I think it’s finding that connection with a character that does so, and that can be with any part. Finding that relatability in all roles can be hard, but it’s like the moment you realise you have something in common with the mean girl in school – it’s possible. And whether it’s an Oscar-nominated film or not, you can find a win in your own personal progress as an actor each time you perform.

What was the best thing about filming on a ‘spaceship‘ – did it feel like you were really in outer space?

The best thing is that they built the entire spaceship! It was incredible. When we had a tour of it on our first day I felt like a big nerdy child. The attention to detail was just chef’s kiss which only helped boost our performances since we didn’t have to imagine a thing.

Do you think you’d be able to survive in a world like that in Intergalactic?

In real life I can barely get on a plane without shedding a tear, so I don’t think I’d manage a real spaceship, and I am also a lot less kick-ass than Genevieve, so I definitely think I’d need to find a different hustle to survive the world of Intergalactic. Maybe a spaceship pyramid scheme, or galactic influencer?

(l-r) Eleanor Tomlinson (Cady), Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Tula), Diany Samba-Bandza (Genevieve) cast Intergalactic
Photo credit: Sky UK Limited

What is your favourite sci-fi series/film/franchise of all time?

Before starting Intergalactic I was not a huge fan of watching sci-fi. I preferred reading sci-fi comic books, graphic novels, and Manga. My favourite being Prism Stalker by Sloane Leong, which I recommend. But since finishing shooting, I have dipped my toe in sci-fi series/films more and more and I’ve almost fully converted.

What were the most and least productive things you did during lockdown?

The most productive things I’ve done have been painting, scriptwriting, and picking up neglected hobbies. And the least productive things have been not doing any of the above and just eating in bed all day.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like us to know about?

I have one really cool project that was postponed because of Covid-19, which hopefully can go ahead soon so I can start sharing more about it, but for now, it’s confidential.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

  • A book you have to have in your collection –  A new and random comic book/graphic novel.
  • A song/album that defines the soundtrack of your life to date – The Lion King: The Gift (Deluxe Edition) by Beyonce
  • A film/TV show that you will watch whenever it’s on repeatedly  It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
  • What’s made you sad, mad, and glad this week: Unfortunately in relation to what’s been going on in the news quite a lot has made me sad and mad. What’s made me glad is that through answering these questions I am reminded that I am currently living my dream.

Intergalactic airs on Sky One at 9pm and is available as a box set on NOW, Friday 30th April 2021