Marlo Kelly reveals how she landed a killer role in Netflix’s 3 Body Problem

Life's never going to be the same for the Aussie actress
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Marlo Kelly literally didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she auditioned for the top-rating Netflix hit 3 Body Problem, the latest big budget blockbuster series by the same people behind Game of Thrones.

“I genuinely didn’t know anything about it until I got the job,” Kelly, 27, tells WHO over Zoom from her home in New York. “Even while I was auditioning, everything was very secretive.”

But with millions around the world making the show – in which she plays a trained killer who disposes of those who might stand in the way of an impending alien invasion – their latest bingefest, Kelly’s days of flying under the radar are in the past. “The phone’s ringing more and there’s been a lot of great feedback which has been fantastic.”

Given who is behind this project – GoT’s David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with Alexander Woo (True Blood) – did you suspect it was going to be as big as this?

I had a feeling from the initial audition because typically if they’re not telling you anything … it’s probably something pretty big and they’re being secretive for a reason. I had an inkling from then and obviously as I started to learn more, that kept just growing and growing and growing. And then as soon as I had my hands on the source material and was reading the books, I was like, “Well, this thing is huge, this is massive.” [I realised] there’s no way you can make this and it’s not gargantuan.

Was that at all daunting or were you just along for the ride?
It was just really exciting. I was a massive Game of Thrones fan, I really loved that series. One of the things that really attracted me to 3 Body Problem was that and that gave me so much trust in it, that the characters in Game of Thrones were often really odd but very clever, and the way that they were portrayed was always really interesting and unique. So I felt very comfortable and very safe. It was more exciting than it was scary.

Marlo Kelly as Tatiana in a scene from 3 Body Problem
Kelly plays trained assassin Tatiana (Credit: Netflix) (Credit: Netflix)

And have you watched any of it yourself? 

Yes! For me, this has been one of the most rewarding watching experiences because I genuinely didn’t know what a huge portion of the show was going to look like. I got to have that incredible excitement and delight and joy watching it just like everyone else. And I was completely addicted and I binged the whole thing which is a really weird thing to say about a project that you’re in, but I think it was because there was so much that was unknown.

Jess Hong stands opposite Marlo Kelly in a scene from 3 Body Problem
Kelly has binged the whole season – just like the rest of us! (Credit: Netflix) (Credit: Netflix)

Your character Tatiana – what was fun and interesting about playing her?

All of it was fun and interesting because she’s so unusual. Her job is that she kills for the [aliens]. So I had to learn how to look like I’ve spent my entire life training to kill people. Which is not easy [laughs]. We didn’t necessarily know what all the scenes would entail, so the stunt team decided they would teach me everything.

Well, that’s a cool thing to have in your toolbelt professionally. And maybe personally?

Definitely just professionally.

Marlo Kelly in a scene from Home and Away
Like many before her, Kelly cut her teeth on Home and Away

How to watch 3 body problems in Australia

3 Body Problem is streaming now on Netflix

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