With the first episode of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES season 2 airing this weekend in many places all around the world, this is my last installment of #Book2ScreenMagicMonday. Today, I’m devoting my post to our talented and generous cast who have taken my characters and brought them to life on screen in ways that have amazed, humbled, and thrilled me.
Being around the actors–whether they are leading members of the cast our one of our supporting artists–has been fascinating for me as a writer. They ask me the same questions preparing for their roles that I once asked myself when writing the books: how does Diana really feel about Sarah? how do Matthew’s past deeds shape his present interactions? What is Philippe’s biggest concern? Is Knox a bigot or a racist–and is there a difference? Before meeting Phoebe, was Marcus a love-em-and-leave-them guy or a serial monogamist? I’m playing a merchant, where would I have come from and why am I in London?
I love these conversations with the actors. They almost always bring me fresh new insights into my characters, because actors have stunning emotional intelligence and have empathetic skills that can put the rest of us to shame.
Our directors work with the cast to sharpen and hone their understanding of the characters, of course. And the actors work with each other to discuss how to dig deeper into the roles and how to fit the different characters together into an ensemble that feels organic and truthful.
People always ask me what I will miss when we finish filming the series in a few short weeks. My answer is always the same: I will miss being on set and sharing in the magic as my books are brought to the screen–especially my conversations with Teresa, Matthew, Ed, Adelle, Aiysha, Steven, Tom, James, Michael, Alex, Val, Tanya, Gregg, Lindsay, Sorcha, Paul, Holly, Milo, Aisling, Gregg, Malin, Owen, Trevor, Trystan, Elarica, Elaine, Michael, Joshua, Adam, Sophia, and all the rest. The conversations I had with you about my imaginary friends are some of the most treasured and privileged moments I’ve ever experienced as a writer.
Teresa and James working out the details of the dance between their characters in rehearsal.
The School of Night thinks through the complicated interpersonal dynamics with director Farren Blackburn
Holly Aird waits in the wings. She’s already channeling Francoise here!
On screen or off, Joshua Pickering lit up every street, stage, and set. He was the perfect young Jack Blackfriars.
Every creature on set–even the dogs–told a story. I loved to walk around Elizabethan London and chat with the prostitutes, preachers, beggars, servants, and shoppers.
Lindsay Duncan was eerily perfect as Ysabeau. She always seemed to understand exactly what her character was thinking and feeling.
Watching Matthew Goode burrow into the character of Matthew Clairmont is always a treat. It was especially intriguing to watch him take Matthew de Clermont back to 1590, and to meet up with old friends like Henry Percy, played by Adam Sklar (left).