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Everything to Know About Sara Martins, Who Plays Cala in Peacock's Those About to Die

Martins plays Cala, a Numidian mom who’ll fight like a lion to reunite her shattered family.

By Benjamin Bullard

Those About to Die is now streaming on Peacock, with the inimitable Anthony Hopkins (as Roman Emperor Vespasian) leading an ensemble cast across a sweeping story of survival and political intrigue set right at the height of the Roman Empire’s rule over the ancient Mediterranean world.

Gladiators’ games serve as the cruel and sometimes calculating backdrop for the Peacock-original series and its many interconnected characters, including those like the skilled hunter Kwame (played by Moe Hashim) — a Numidian provincial native who’s captured into Roman slavery alongside his two sisters. Desperately chasing after them with hopes of a reunion is their quick-thinking mother Cala, who’s passionately portrayed by Portuguese-French actor Sara Martins.

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Who is Those About to Die star Sara Martins, who plays Cala?

Vaura and Cala on Those About To Die Episode 106

Born in Portugal but raised in France, Sara Martins got her screen start in the early 2000s in French-language TV and film, before eventually crossing over to take on English-speaking roles in a growing list of UK productions — including the popular Death in Paradise crime drama-comedy, where she played Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey through the show’s first four seasons. From there, Martins would go on to land one of her first roles on the Hollywood side of the Atlantic, playing the girlfriend of a drug dealer in NBC’s 2015 thriller series American Odyssey.

With a wealth of international acting experience already under her belt, the 46 year-old actor makes for a natural fit amid the eclectic ensemble cast of Those About to Die. As Cala, Martins plays a resourceful mom who’s determined not to let her low provincial status stand in the way of saving her children from death by slavery — even if it means encouraging Kwame, her captured son, to angle for a violent gladiator’s gig rather than being shipped off with his sisters to face certain death in the empire’s grueling tin mines.

RELATED: Those About to Die: Everything to Know About the Cast & Characters in Peacock's Gladiator Series

Those About to Die comes from creators Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan) and blockbuster film director Roland Emmerich (Stargate, Independence Day), and their epic vision aims to encompass the sprawling vastness of the Roman Empire in all its diverse grandeur. Martins (find her on Instagram here!) plays a big part in showing just how far Rome’s influence was felt on shores far from the Eternal City, with Cala’s desperate quest to reunite her severed family plucking them from the sleepy sands of Numidian north Africa and thrusting them straight into the busy, blood-stained gladiatorial arenas of the capital itself.

Catch Sara Martins alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the ensemble cast in Those About to Die, now streaming on Peacock.