Winter may well be coming but no one seems to have told Game of Thrones actress Natalia Tena.
Well known to fans of the fantasy blockbuster as the wildling Osha and her appearances as Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter franchise, Natalia also leads a double life as the frontwoman of Molotov Jukebox, who bring their unique and unseasonal mixture of sizzling tunes and carnival vibes to Chester next month after a busy 2016 which saw them release their Tropical Gyspy album.
“We tried to make our last album as a mission statement of what we are,” explains Natalia.
“We realised we were a mixture of Latin American and Eastern European and Balkan sounds, but trying to use that as a description is very boring so we just thought ‘tropical gypsy’ and then someone said ‘let’s call the album’ that and it stuck.”
A busy year saw Natalia and the band take to the main stages of festivals such as Secret Garden Party, BoomTown Fair, Lindisfarne Festival, Kendal Calling, Lakefest and Blissfields as well as playing international shows in Germany, Ukraine, Spain, Italy and Belgium.
“For me the highlight was the Secret Garden party where we played the main stage, ” remembers Natalia.
“It was a big thing for us because Sam (Apley, violinist in Molotov Jukebox and Natalia’s boyfriend) and I actually started the band at Secret Garden.
“We were wandering around busking at the festival six years ago and decided to call ourselves Molotov Jukebox. To go from that to being on the main stage and having a sea of mad hatters dressed up and just having it to our music was incredible.”
“Sometimes you doubt yourself as a musician and you worry that your band isn’t going anywhere and then suddenly something like that happens and it’s an affirmation you're doing ok and you’re on the right path.”
As fan favourite Osha, the 32-year-old’s experience of Game of Throne’s huge wide world appeal has seen her become a regular at conventions and she has no problem discussing her association with a show regarded as the most talked about on television.
“I had three years off so it felt like I wasn’t really in it anymore,” she laughs.
“I’d got on with loads of other projects and the band in between series three and six and when I got the call I was really excited about getting my teeth back into it. And then I had to die which was all a bit sad!
“I would have loved to have been in it a bit more but I was very happy with my death which I thought was a very good death!
“I just wish I’d managed to kill a few more people and taken some of them with me.”
Having just finished work on a film in which she co-stars with her fellow Game of Thrones star and best friend Oona Chapman, Natalia is looking forward to a more relaxed Christmas at home in London where she lives on a house boat moored in trendy Little Venice.
“Unless you’ve got a rare acting job there’s a period when there’s just nothing to do,” she adds.
“So this Christmas I’m looking forward to sitting round on my boat in my pants with a good book and my cat and maybe a glass of wine.”
Molotov Jukebox play Chester Live Rooms on Thursday, December 1. Tickets cost £12 and are available from www.seetickets.com
See full story in the Chester Leader