Mirren Mack on Playing a Villain
Dec 26, 2022
In Netflix’s four-part prequel series, The Witcher: Blood Origin, showrunner Declan de Barra and creators introduce The Witcher fans to an all-new cast of heroes and villains. Set during a golden era of the elven-ruled Continent, 1200 years prior to Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a band of seven misfit warriors rallies together to stand up against an unstoppable empire.
Not only does Blood Origin chronicle the events that lead to the “Conjunction of Spheres,” and subsequently the fall of the elves, but it also tells the legendary tale of the multiverse’s first proto-Witcher. Following the clashing of worlds, a Witcher will become invaluable when the realities of men and monsters, and elves collide. The cast of the limited series sees The Witcher’s Joey Batey reprising his role as Jaskier, Minnie Driver as Seanchaí, Michelle Yeoh as Scian, Sophia Brown as Éile, Laurence O’Fuarain as Fjall and more.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
Ahead of The Witcher: Blood Origin’s Netflix premiere, Collider’s Steve Weintraub was able to sit down with Mirren Mack, who plays Merwyn in the show. During their interview, Mack tells us what it was like to portray someone considered a villain, and having to put aside her own morals to “give ownership to Merwyn.” She also gives a little insight into who Merwyn’s character is in the series, and shares which scenes she enjoyed filming most. You can watch the interview in the video above, or read the full transcript down below.
COLLIDER: How much fun was it actually playing someone who is pretty evil, but also thinks they’re doing the right thing?
MIRREN MACK: Oh, do you know what, this was a big challenge, but the only way I could justify it to myself was that she was so thinking that she was in the right, that she was saving people, so this was it. It was so much fun, I loved the whole filming process, and having to give ownership to Merwyn making those decisions that I personally can find quite tricky and horrible. So yeah, it was great fun.
Image via Netflix
What have you actually been telling friends and family about the prequel series? What have you been teasing them?
MACK: Well, I’ve just been telling them… I haven’t given it away, anything about myself, or what Merwyn does, but I’ve said, “Oh, it’s set 1,200 years before The Witcher that we know, and it’s an Elven world, so expect ears. And I play a princess who lives in the Continent and is in a very patriarchal monarchy, and who wants not to be married off as a pawn, which is what she’s destined to do, but who wants to have a voice and be an architect for the golden era.” That’s what I’ve been saying.
You have some fantastic makeup and costumes. Talk a little bit about the makeup and the costumes, because I’m assuming it made it so much easier to play this character.
MACK: Oh, it was so special. It really felt like a huge collaboration between the different departments, costume, and hair and makeup, and myself all making Merwyn, because they had such beautiful and brilliant ideas about her that I couldn’t even dream of. So coming together was amazing. We wore loads of Iris van Herpen dresses, and that was so exciting, and all the makeup Deb Watson and her team did, it was so intricate and we spent so much time together, it was a great experience.
My last thing for you, you have some really fun scenes, which was the one that you were actually most excited to film? When you read it on the page, you’re like, “This is going to be great.”
MACK: Ah well, I got to sit on a horse, which I’ve never really done, and so that was exciting. And there was a noise that made it rear up in the air and [everyone was] like, “Stop filming!” But I felt like Merida from Brave, I felt like I [was] Robin Hood, it was great.
Image via Netflix
Have you seen any of the episodes? Can you watch what you’ve done and enjoy it, or do you just cringe as you’re watching something?
MACK: Well, I haven’t watched any of the episodes, but I think I find it quite difficult to watch myself, but I’m so excited about the storylines that I’m not a part of, that I’m going to force myself to sit down and watch it. I want to watch everyone’s work that they’ve done, all the costume, the hair, and makeup, the set design, so I’m just going to ignore that it’s me [and just watch it] anyway.
The Witcher: Blood Origin premieres exclusively on Netflix on December 25. For more, check out our interview with cast members Joey Batey & Lenny Henry.
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