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Jamie Harris Discusses Bringing His Character to Life for Carnival Row Season 2



British actor Jamie Harris returns to screens in season 2 of Carnival Row.

Carnival Row portrays the story of a human detective and a fairy who rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world, where the city’s uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.

Harris is no stranger to the set, as the actor previously featured periodically in season 1 of Carnival Row as Sergeant Dombey. Now, Dombey makes a comeback as a series regular of season 2.

Throughout production, Harris was challenged to navigate Sergeant Dombey’s complicated relationship with the mythical creatures of “Carnival Row.” Before stepping foot on set, the actor first explored the depths of his character to gain insight and understanding of who he had to become. 

“It’s all background work you have to do before you ever get on the set. And once you break that down and you see why he does what he does, and you can justify it, it brings the strength of character, and it also brings morality, and I think compassion to him,” Harris said.

Harris’s journey to connect with his character did not come easy, and the actor sought his acting coach’s help to bring his character to life.

“I went to a great acting coach who said to me, look, there’s nothing more boring than playing a racist or a nationalist, but there’s nothing more interesting than to find out why he is that. So I did a lot of research,” the actor said.

Harris’s research heavily affected season 2 of Carnival Row; after a conversation with the show’s executive producer and writer, Eric Olson, the pair collaboratively created episode 4, highlighting Sergeant Dombey’s family history. To Harris, this episode gave his character “a lot of depth and humanity.”

When reflecting on his role as Sergeant Dombey, Harris’ biggest takeaway has been the strength he got from preparation.

“The more that you’ve done the work on the character and you know your lines, and you know everybody else’s lines, and you know where your character is set in the scene at the particular part of the story, it gives you a freedom that you otherwise may not have,” Harris said. “A freedom to enjoy it. A freedom to take chances. A freedom to literally be in the moment. I think preparation is everything, so it’s the most important part.”

In 2023, fans can look forward to more news on Harris’ upcoming film, Brave the Dark, and a new documentary.

“I did a movie I’m very honored to be a part of called Brave the Dark, directed by my oldest brother  Damien and starring my middle brother Jared Harris.  I do a rather lovely little cameo in it, and I’m looking forward to that being released,” the actor said. “We also did a documentary on our father, which got into the Venice Film Festival, and that was a very emotional experience.  Although it was a long hard work getting it together from everybody, and I was very glad to have gone through it, it was exhausting and especially as a mother who was a big part of the movie,  unfortunately, passed away without ever getting to see the final cut of it.”

Carnival Row season 2 is streaming on Amazon Prime, with new episodes releasing every Friday.


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