HomeTV'The Rings of Power's Morfydd Clark Reveals "Interesting Villains" in Season 2

‘The Rings of Power’s Morfydd Clark Reveals “Interesting Villains” in Season 2

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Before Collider’s screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power last week, Editor-in-Chief Steve Weintraub spoke to the cast and crew behind Prime Video’s most successful series in history. During his interview with Morfydd Clark, a standout actress who took on the part of Galadriel for the show, they discussed what an experience it was to step into such an iconic role and film Season 1’s big reveal.

Rings of Power takes fans back a thousand years before the events of Peter Jackson’s trilogy to a younger Middle-earth. Set during the Second Age, the Galadriel we meet, Clark’s portrayal, is far removed from the restrained composure of Cate Blanchett’s. Instead, Galadriel is a warrior, Void-bent on exacting revenge for the death of her brother, Finrod (Will Fletcher), which is the drive that keeps her fighting the evil she believes has returned to Middle-earth.

During their interview, Clark talks about the skills she had to master in order to become Galadriel, and the thought behind taking on such a significant role. She also shares how she immerses herself in J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe, filming the season’s big reveal, and whether she believes Galadriel was swayed at all by Sauron. For all of this and her Season 2 tease, you can watch the video or read the full transcript below.

COLLIDER: I love the first season. I’m really happy to get to talk to you. I’ve read that you are from Wales, and I’m just curious if that means that you are an AFC Wrexham fan.

MORFYDD CLARK: Oh, I’m so into that. It’s been so exciting for us. My mom actually grew up near Wrexham and I spent time as a child in Wrexham Farmers Market, and I just can’t believe it’s happened, still. And yeah, it’s also led to the– I think Ryan Reynolds’ film was one of the first, the first film on Netflix to have Welsh subtitles. Just like an incredible thing to happen to quite a small, slightly ignored place. And also Wrexham fans are amazing.

He turned me into a fan, and I think that Season 2 is going to be amazing considering what will happen at the end.

CLARK: Yeah, and I know people there because of where my mom’s from, and it’s just been amazing for the community. They’ve created jobs and they’ve also been very generous with how they’ve trained people up through that documentary, so, yeah, it’s fantastic.

We’re on the same page. So when you were offered the role, I’m just curious, was there any debate in your mind about taking it? Because it could be a 10-year job.

CLARK: I’ve always wanted to do something where I could revisit a character because you feel kind of a grief when you say goodbye to them. And so, I was really excited by the idea that I could be with this character for years and see her change, and also kind of be with a group of actors for that much time. It’s something that I hadn’t done before, and being on stage, being in a movie, being kind of one-off in a series, or being in it completely from season to season, it’s so radically different. And so really this was an itch I really wanted to scratch. I can’t believe that I’ve got to be in a recurring character, and she’s Galadriel.

'The Rings of Power's Morfydd Clark Reveals "Interesting Villains" in Season 2
Image via Amazon Prime

You’ve learned, I’m sure, a lot of new skills since joining the series. What’s the one that you are most surprised you’ve learned and mastered?

CLARK: There’s two; the first one was, I thought I could swim, and then after my first swimming lesson, he was like, “Okay, so we need to go back to basics,” and I was like, “Oh, what? I thought I could do this.” So now I can properly swim, which was a skill I didn’t really know I needed to learn. Now, I can’t believe I was ever in the sea.

Something I just never thought I was going to be able to do was the two-handed sword fight because I’m very unambidextrous, and that was amazing. That came through encouragement and the most incredible teaching from loads of people within the stunt department, and my wonderful stunt double, Rosalie Button, kind of really believing in me. I also kind of got to watch her for five episodes, doing lots of my stunts, and she’s a dancer and stuff, which kind of worked really well for me to observe her, as someone playing an elf. So yeah, to be able to do the whole of that double-handed sword fight stunt was something I never imagined. And it’s so fun, like it’s as fun as you think it is. My inner child was just going bonkers.

Since we can talk about spoilers for Season 1, talk a little bit about filming the big reveal at the end and how you and Charlie [Vickers] maybe talked before stepping on set to talk about the scene. Or was it one of these things where you didn’t talk about it and you got on set and that’s where the magic happened?

CLARK: No, we talked about everything a lot, and we had a lot of time because of the weird circumstances in which we kind of filmed this. So, no, we discussed it loads and we were so excited for it finally to happen. We kind of rehearsed, but Charlie had never really gone full Sauron until we were on set. So that first time where he actually was like, “I’ve had many names,” I was like, “[Gasp] I’ve never seen Charlie like that. It’s kind of frightening!” I felt like we’d earned that moment as well. Charlie is a wonderful actor, and also a wonderful man who made me feel super comfortable, and I think that meant we could really kind of push ourselves and create this chemistry between these characters. But then it, ultimately, was really satisfying when we saw it crumble, so it was really fun.

How long did you actually spend filming that scene? Was it all in one day?

CLARK: No, we had three weeks to shoot the first reveal and then the bit on the raft. And the bit on the raft was really fun because we explored loads of different things and then ended up with that kind of screaming, of two forces against each other. What was really funny about that was that it was obviously so much secrecy, but occasionally, as actors, you kind of forget your lines, and Charlie forgot the line, “What will they say when they know that Sauron lives because of you?” and called line. Then Hamish [Gough], the first AD, on the massive speakerphone said that, kind of booming, throughout the whole studio and beyond, and that was very funny.

But also, it was really fun to go back to the raft because we’d filmed loads of that at the beginning, and it was good for us as actors that we were going back to this familiar place. But it was just so much fun. It was such drama, it felt like Shakespearean, which I loved.

'The Rings of Power's Morfydd Clark Reveals "Interesting Villains" in Season 2
Image via Amazon Studios

Do you think there was any, even the smallest percentage, of Galadriel that was drawn in by Sauron, or do you think it was completely 100% no chance?

CLARK: I don’t know. I kind of want to keep it ambiguous, as well, but I think the thing with Galadriel is that she knows that should she go to the dark side things will be catastrophic. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the gift of foresight would actually feel like, and I’m like, “Is it just like increased anxiety in a way?” Because you have all these ideas of what could be, what could be, what could be, and I think one of her big “what could be’s” is like, “What if I’m bad?” But I don’t know. I mean, they definitely vibe because they’re very powerful, but I’m not sure.

When you were cast, or even now, how much did you feel that you wanted to read everything, learn everything about Lord of the Rings, because you know you’re going to run into fans that are going to ask you really deep questions, and how much is it sort of like, “I can only–” you know what I mean, where is that line?

CLARK: I really wanted to be very immersed in the feeling of Middle-earth because I think that a big part of his writing isn’t just about the characters, but it’s about the world itself and what it means to exist within that world, do you know? Where there are Balrogs and things have significance, and so I just bought The Silmarillion audio book and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit audio – I’d never read The Silmarillion.

And I just had them on all the time. If you saw any of our cast walking around Auckland with headphones in, they probably weren’t listening to music, they were listening to The Silmarillion. I just wanted to be more immersed in it.

Now I feel like I know quite a lot about it. But I think what’s quite nice about the Tolkien community – because his writing was so vast – is that nobody feels they’re completely an expert on it. And it’s quite a nice place to be that everyone kind of is happy to learn from each other. You’ll be an expert in a particular part of it, say, you’ll meet different people who have very different insights and kind of the philosophy of it as well. I mean, you could just talk about it and learn about it forever, and I’ve started that journey now, and it’s really nice.

'The Rings of Power's Morfydd Clark Reveals "Interesting Villains" in Season 2
Image via Amazon Studios

I know you’re filming Season 2, and I am a huge fan. What can you tease about Season 2, and how has it been going?

CLARK: What I can tease about Season 2 is, there are some very interesting villains coming.

All eight episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1 are available to stream on Prime Video.

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