I want to take it back to the beginning. What intrigued you initially about a character like Ciri?
When I got the audition, I think what made me want to play the part was the fact that I googled it and was like, “Yo, this is going to be big.” It was weird because I thought that before, and then I filmed it and was like, “I don’t know what it’s going to be. Maybe it’s just not going to work out at all.” There were so many people who were fans of [the story], so I was like, “Surely, even if it doesn’t do well, people will watch it.”
I was at the age when you are trying to get in there. … I wasn’t going to be like, “No, I’m not going to play Ciri.” … That would be a bit mental. But even if I had all the choice in the world, I was especially into the idea of being in a fantasy show or movie. When I was 14, one of the movies that I really loved… I don’t know what it was about it, but it was Snow White and the Huntsman. So when I saw the role of Ciri, I was like, “Oh my God, that’s kind of like a similar thing, a princess who escapes and becomes a warrior. And then I googled her, and she just looked super cool, so why wouldn’t you want to play her? I remember seeing the role and being like, “This is my dream role.” And I remember thinking… When you’re an actor, you are always too small, or you are too blonde or whatever, but with this, I was like, “I look right for it. This is the one.” I felt very passionate about getting it.
How does a character like Ciri challenge you both as an actress and personally?
With every role, there are always challenges, and it’s almost always the same challenge, which is you are problem-solving the whole time and deciding which direction to take something. There is a lot of chatter about “Oh, well my character wouldn’t do this,” and I’ve got myself saying that, but ultimately, we do stuff that is out of character every day on a daily basis. So I think having that choice of “I could do this scene in this direction or that direction” you learn to just go with your instinct. Once you embody the mentality of the character, then the instincts as to what you do within the context of a scene comes way quicker if you get the mind of them.
To be honest, challenges with season two were just that we didn’t shoot in order at all. We were all over the place. It was like episode one, then episode five and episode three and episode seven and episode four. It’s hard enough to keep up with The Witcher [story line] anyway, let alone shooting muddled. So that was definitely a challenge.
Personally, a challenge I had with regard to season one was that I was going through that stage in my personal life where I was turning into a woman. Having a show come out where I looked so young and no makeup—in fact, not just no makeup but white paste on my face and gray hair and bleached eyebrows—doesn’t make you feel particularly good about yourself. So I went through a little chapter where I was having a crisis of like, “Oh my God, this show is coming out, and I feel like I’m getting older, but everyone is going to see me as this 12-year-old.” I felt a bit insecure about it.