Welsh actress Morfydd Clark has been locked down in New Zealand since February, after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Amazon Studios’ Lord of the Rings TV series, but she says homesickness is a “small cross to bear” for the chance of playing elven queen Galadriel.
Clark told NME via Zoom: “It was very clear that I needed to stay here. I’ve certainly been homesick, but it’s a really small cross to bear in comparison to what’s going on at the moment.”
Lord of the Rings resumed filming in July and Clark has been back out in the wide open spaces of Middle Earth (Auckland, to be exact).
The experience of being 12,000 miles from your loved ones, having just started work on the series when the pandemic struck, must have been tough to deal with initially.
“It’s definitely strange going into lockdown with people that you have just started working with,” she said. “But I think we all treat each other like family. Sure, you’ll occasionally get annoyed by people, but you still like them… because you don’t have a choice. I think this time I’ve spent with the cast will be useful on set. But I obviously worry that the audience will be able to see in our eyes that certain sections were filmed pre-lockdown and some afterwards.”
Clark’s friends and family have helped prep her for the role. “My friends love [The Lord Of The Rings]. Whenever they came back home to Cardiff from university and I came back from drama school, we’d hibernate in one house and watch all three films back-to-back. But, when I told them I’d been hired for the series, they were like: ‘Oh, really? We’d been so looking forward to that but now it is just going to be you in it we won’t be able to enjoy it as much.’ That was very sobering to hear!”
The Lord of the Rings series will be set thousands of years before the films, in the Second Age of Middle Earth. The characters and events are based on things alluded to in JRR Tolkein’s novels.
While none of the Lord of the Rings film stars were cast in the Amazon series, Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins) has let it be known he would be happy to appear.
Clark said: “Those films are so iconic for me. I’ve actually been suppressing what I know about the Tolkien universe since I came out here. I honestly just love the idea that Elijah Wood has said that because I am such a fan. I’d love everyone to do a cameo in it. It’s so nice to hear support for the series from someone like that.”
The Dracula and His Dark Materials star said it easily exceeded her previous projects. “In many ways, I’m at my happiest and most fulfilled doing more intimate projects like [her new horror movie] Saint Maud.
“I feel like I’ve got my fix of the massive stuff by doing Lord of the Rings. The amount of [people working] on this show is continually mind-blowing. One guy’s job consists just of seeing how dust reacts to footsteps and breath! That would never have even crossed my mind before. Other than something like Marvel, I don’t think things could get much bigger than this.”
Saint Maud is in cinemas in early October.
The Lord of the Rings TV series will be on Amazon Prime Video. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.