BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Celina Sinden had no idea who Jodi Arias was when the script for the new Lifetime movie, “Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias,” came across her desk. She was unaware of the story because Sinden grew up in England.

“It wasn’t a story that reached me, so I kind of came at it with fresh eyes,” Sinden says.

The story that most people already knew was that in 2008, Travis Alexander was murdered in Mesa, AZ by his ex-girlfriend, Jodi Ann Arias. He had 27 knife wounds and was shot in the head. Although Arias claimed she killed Alexander in self-defense, she was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 and given a life sentence without the possibility of a parole.

Lifetime broadcast “Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret” in 2013 with Tania Raymonde portraying the convicted murderer. It became one of the most watched films in the cable channel’s history. Company executives look to “Bad Behind Bars” to be just as popular when it debuts at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 on Lifetime.

Bad Behind Bars” picks up the story of Arias just after she has been arrested and sent to prison while she awaits trial. She charms her way through prison and befriends Donavan Bering (Tricia Black) and Tracy Brown (Lynn Rafferty). The three inmates became inseparable with Bering and Brown willing to do anything and everything Arias asks.

Donovan gets released from prison as the trial of Arias draws near and she agrees to be defend her friend to the world. But when the details of the case are revealed Bering refuses to continue to do her former friend’s bidding.

Once Sinden became aware of Arias, it became clear to the London native why the public – and the cable channel – has been so fascinated by her story.

“I can see why she captivated the public. She is a very charismatic character. Very complex. So I was very drawn to her completely,” Sinden says.

Before taking on the role in the Lifetime movie, Sinden spent years working in London’s fashion industry. After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama she started acting. Her best known credit is portraying Greer Castleroy for four seasons on the CW Network series “Reign.”

The Lifetime movie is the first time Sinden has played a murderer. That is why it took time for her to finally figure out how she was going to play the character. Sinden in past efforts has looked at the costuming to give her the first clues but in this case, her on-screen wardrobe mostly is a prison uniform.

“I tried to use her voice as much as I could to step in and being Jodi,” Sinden says. “One of the really interesting things about Jodi is that when you see footage of her – and there is so much to see online – she doesn’t come across as what you think a killer would be.”

Sinden’s approach was to ignore all of the elements of the crime and focus on Arias as a character. This allowed her to play the relatable side of Arias. Although Sinden didn’t talk with the woman she was portraying or any of her family, she got some help from the real Bearing and Brown.

“We could make sure – as best we could – that we were telling the most accurate and respectful version of Jodi and the events that happened while she was in jail,” Sinden says.

Sinden has portrayed characters based on real people and always took the opportunity to talk to them to get details for playing the role. She isn’t certain she would have wanted to speak with Arias before filming because she knows she is a manipulative person and that could taint her performance.

But if Sinden had made contact, the question Sinden would have asked would have to do with whether Arias truly believed she would get away with committing the crime.

“Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias” is the latest in a continuing strong of Lifetime movies that deal with women dealing with dark situations. “Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini” starring Jaime King debuts at 8 p.m. Jan. 28 and “Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation,” starring Jennifer Grey, launches at 8 p.m. Feb. 4.

Tanya Lopez, executive vice president of scripted content for Lifetime, explains that the reason the cable company has made so many films in the genre is that they have found that women love to learn something different.

“They love to learn about other women,” Lopez says. “They love to learn about why people do what they do. And when it comes to true stories, it is even more fascinating.

“I think that is sort of what we had learned over the years. Also, we want to be able to tell the audience what they didn’t know. What they didn’t see.”