LIZZIE ANNIS and ZACH WYATT on THE WITCHER: BLOOD ORIGIN: “Sapkowski’s universe is really rich and evocative”
Lizzie Annis and Zach Wyatt, stars of The Witcher: Blood Origin, talked to us about Netflix’s new show and their brother-sister relationship in it.
Have you been acquainted with the literary sources while embarking on that new journey?
Zach Wyatt: I only knew the universe from the TV show when I got the role, thus, Andrzej Sapkowski’s books were something completely new for me. The whole universe feels incredible to me.
Lizzie Annis: The auditions became my introduction to the whole world. Later, Declan showed us some literary sources, and we quickly understood how rich, and evocative it is. Diving into the universe was really exciting! Then, there was a TV show and I became truly acquainted with it. I just needed some time!
Tell me something about the relationship between your characters, Zacaré and Syndril.
LA: They are celestial siblings with some difficult past that still cannot be left behind. Because of that, they truly care about each other…
ZW: Just like we do in real life!
LA: … and it was wonderful to work on understanding that bond and showing it to the audience. On the one hand, we have some great action-packed scenes in the show, but we also got some sequences which depict our deep relationship. Sometimes it was a physically involving experience, yet it felt like we are a part of a really self-conscious story, Not only our characters were affected by that journey, but also we felt it as the actors.
ZW: Lizzie was the first person I met on set: we got more time to spend together with each other, and we started a dialogue that we kept open and later continued in the series. You need to understand the actor who plays the character, that is the first step of the whole process of “bonding”.
LA: Even my character has a romantic story that is visible in every episode; that love has been developed many years before the starting point of the show, so it is already shaped. Such uniqueness makes my heroine even more likeable.
The story bonded us: we even thought about doing some tattoos to remember the moment, but the copyright issues, unfortunately, stopped us… [laughter].
ZW: During that experience, we realized how much we need each other as actors. As performers, we need to rely on other people, so the scenes we shoot will be as ideal as possible. Creating such amazing work with so many talented people was a privilege. I am so grateful that I could appear in The Witcher’s universe. We should also add that working with Lenny Henry, a great actor with a fantasy portfolio, was really helpful! He gave us a lot of acting tips that allowed us to work on our characters.
The dialogues are put through contemporary language, yet your show is set in a medievalesque fantasy universe. Was it difficult to work with such contrast?
ZW: This is the beauty of that show. Blood Origin is an epic show that is truly accessible to everyone. Although it mixes various traditions or myths, the whole dynamism is underlined by such fluid action, its heroes are still talking in “our” language and have a lot of similar personal matters like us nowadays. The writing is a testament to the fact of how self-aware is that fantastic show. Our writers knew how to “sell” that story to the viewers and how to make it fresh and engaging at the same time. They have such imagination that the script gave some sort of freedom to the actors. It helped us to understand the story’s circumstances, but we had a lot of space for ourselves. Most of the scenes we discussed together and came up with some attractive outcomes. We had so much fun!
LA: We connected to that world and collectively felt that we created something valuable. From this point, The Witcher universe is officially expanding.