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Natalia Gastiain Tena was born on 1 November, 1984 in London, England to Spanish parents Maria and Jesus Tena. She portrayed Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter films. Nat grew up in England but is connected to her Spanish roots, learning to speak fluent Spanish as well as English. At an early age it was clear she was drawn to the arts, taking up piano, violin, and accordion as well as having a fascination for painting and the circus. Alongside a growing number of film, TV and stage roles, Tena is also a musician who currently plays accordion and sings with the band Molotov Jukebox. Natalia is an atheist. She is also known for her role as Osha on Game of Thrones.
Behind the scenes
- Tena attended Bedales School, whose other alumni include Minnie Driver, Lily Allen, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
- She is British, of Spanish descent, and speaks fluent Spanish.
- Her favourite actress is Helena Bonham Carter, who portrays Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films; Bonham Carter's character is the aunt and murderer of Tena's character.
- She had not read the Harry Potter books or seen the films before getting the part of Tonks. She went to the audition completely last moment after getting a call from her agent, not even knowing who she was auditioning for, got there late, sweaty, and tripped into a table. The director, David Yates, laughed and by her second audition (which she was surprised to get a callback for), saw in her the same energy and personality he was looking for in Tonks.
- The most fun she had filming Order of the Phoenix was the broomsticks scenes due to the enormous green screen set. She compares the broom riding machine to riding a mechanical bull.
- Despite her relatively small roles in Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, Tena is one of a handful of Harry Potter actors to be active on the SF convention circuit, such as SuperCon where she was captured on video engaging in mock duels with fans. Her band, Molotov Jukebox, has also performed at some Potter-related gatherings.
- She also hosted a behind-the-scenes tour of the Harry Potter sets, and sang a blues song, for Trailing Tonks, a featurette included on the Order of the Phoenix DVD and Blu-Ray editions. During the featurette, she can be heard singing a Christmas-related blues song while in costume as Tonks.
- Her favourite Harry Potter character is Molly Weasley.
- During the movies filming, she and David Thewlis (who act as Remus Lupin, and his husband) became very good friends.
- Coincidentally, she shares her name and surname initials (N. T.) with character she plays.
- On her 18th birthday instead of getting a cake, her parents got her a broomstick.
- Acting in theatre vs. films: "What I like the most is theatre. I like it 'cause you lose yourself to it. There's no camera, you are not important, the one that matters is the audience. Doing films is so different. I don't have the same connection."
- On acting in the future: "I would love to do a very quiet role, a girl that doesn't say any word and is always polishing her nails and stuff, something completely different than what I am. Because I’m always the crazy girl. Always. I would like the repressed girl."
- On her experience with Harry Potter: "It has been exciting, so great. There is so much to do and to see and many enormous people. It's overwhelming."
- Auditioning for Tonks:: "I was doing a play. My agent calls and says 'You have to come down today before your show. Come to London today and audition for Harry Potter'. I thought I was going to be an extra or some kind of a witch. I didn’t know anything. I walk in late and sweaty from being on a bike all day. Then I trip and fall into a table. The director laughs and I'm like 'um..Hi, I'm not always like this..' But the part is really clumsy, you know, she’s a very good witch, but in the book - I'm done reading it, finally, and she just keeps falling over, and she's a metamorphagus, so she can change shape and she's in the Order. But she's the youngest and she’s a bit kind of like, kind of a rebel, a bit kind of a silly playful little girl, and so even if she’s quite cool, she just keeps tripping up the whole time."
- On getting the part of Tonks: "I practically knew nothing of the films, I was not following the books. After the first audition which was fatal, the worst of my life, I was surprised when my agent called and said 'that was terrible, but they want to see you again."
- On Director David Yates: "He is a really sweet director, when you enter to a room, he's like 'Oh, How are you?'. Like a child, when he's thrilled, he jumps. And he's so sweet and gentle. And I'd never saw him yell, he was never upset. 'Cause most of the directors you work with, they have a bad day or they're upset, the same thing happens with actors, and they get mad with the camera man, with guy that does the light. But he is nice with everyone. A really awesome person!"
- On her style/fashion: "I don't have a favourite type of clothing, I change my look a lot, sometimes I want to be sexy, other times I prefer to be comfy and boyish. I remember when I was younger, I used to change my hair a lot. When I was depressed I had it black, and I cut it myself. And when I was happy I had it orange or had another piercing. You know!"
- On Tonks' destiny: "Like a lot of people, I love a bit of blood and gore. I was a bit sad that Tonks didn't get a death scene in the book! I was really hoping that Bellatrix would kill me in mid-air while I'm stabbing her with a wand. But apparently you just see me dead. But I love that you get to see my son when he's older."
- On Deathly Hallows script: "I've read Part One and it's brilliant, I wasn't so sure about the last movie but this one I was like, 'Yeah, they got it spot on'."
- "...and I like the last because it's trial times. You really get a sense of what everyone is worth... I really got a sense in the script that while Harry is important, it's his mates that do the lot. Actually, if he didn't have these two mates, he really wouldn't be winning. He needs everyone to believe."
- Game of Thrones (2011), HBO TV Series, as Osha
- T in the Park (2011), as Morello
- Bel Ami (2011), as Rachel
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), as Nymphadora Tonks
- Ways to Live Forever (2010), Sam's nurse
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), as Nymphadora Tonks
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), as Nymphadora Tonks
- Womb (2009), as Rose
- Lesson 21 (2008), as Thomson
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), as Nymphadora Tonks
- Afterlife (2006), TV Series, as Gemma
- Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), as Peggy
- The Fine Art of Love: Mine Ha-Ha (2005), as Vera
- Delusions of Grandeur (2004), as Suzy
- Doctors (2002), TV Series, as Amy Emerson
- About A Boy (2002), movie, as Ellie
- Othello (2009), as Desdemona
- The Clean House (2008), as Matilde
- Nights at the Circus (2006), as Fevvers
- Bronte (2005), as Bertha Rochester and Catherine Earnshaw
- Sitting Pretty (2005), as Zelda
- Gone to Earth (2004), Hazel Woodus
- Natalia Tena Net - fansite
- Natalia Tena at the Internet Movie Database
- Natalia Tena on wikipedia