Watch: Morfydd Clark reveals the challenges of portraying Galadriel
Morfydd Clark says she’s still getting used to the fact she is now mentioned in the same breath as Cate Blanchett after taking on the role of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.
Welsh actor Clark, who broke out with her lead role in horror movie Saint Maud, plays a younger and more battle-focused take on the royal elf Blanchett played in Peter Jackson’s film franchise.
The star told Yahoo Entertainment UK that she doesn’t know if Blanchett has seen any of her performance yet, and is trying to keep the thought out of her mind.
Clark said: “I can’t think about that. It’s too much. I’m still getting used to my name and her name being said in the sentence, which is quite enough for me at this point.”
The series introduces Galadriel as a rogue warrior, who defies the beliefs of her fellow elves that peace will last, seeking out Sauron as the undercurrent of evil begins to spread through Middle-earth.
Clark said she understands the importance of the character to fans, as well as the significance of her presence within the story itself and would listen to JRR Tolkien audiobooks as she walked between sets in order to stay immersed in the setting.
She added: “To play a character that’s already famous because of the character itself, but also because she was portrayed by an incredible actress like Cate Blanchett.
“She’s also famous within Middle-earth. She’s just like a big deal everywhere. It’s a lot.”
Clark described her final costume fitting as “an important moment” for herself and the team as a whole, as she was the first character to have a completed look.
As enjoyable as it was to immerse herself within the grace of Blanchett’s portrayal and the opulent settings of the mega-budget Prime Video series, it wasn’t all plain sailing when it came to becoming Galadriel.
Clark said: “I was often teetering around. In lots of the costumes, they’re very beautiful and incredible, but to hold yourself as you need to hold yourself takes quite a lot of effort.
“So as soon as cut happened, you’d see all of these elves crumpling and Harfoots falling to the floor.”
Alongside her acknowledgement of the character’s heft, she’s clear that the opinion of fans is important to the cast and creators of The Rings of Power, who are uniformly fans of Tolkien.
Clark said: “You make stuff for it to be seen and enjoyed so, with anything, you want people to have some escape and magic from it.
“We’ve met and spoken to quite a lot of Tolkien experts and they’re like ‘we just want to talk about it’. Whatever it is, it’s something we all want to discuss — the characters and things brought up in it.
“That’s really cool to be part of something that’s going to be passionately talked about.”
Respect for the source material was also hugely important for the actor behind another of the big returning characters, with Rob Aramayo stepping into the role of Elrond — previously played by Hugo Weaving.
“There’s nothing blasé in the creation of scenes or anything like that. There’s constant conversations about the lore,” he said.
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Aramayo added: “It’s always a part of the dialogue and everyone is always trying to spin a fun story within parameters.
“Sometimes I wish I could show fans some of the conversations that we’ve had because I think if they saw the things that were important to [showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay] and the entire cast, they would understand that we are so passionate about his work.”
Aramayo revealed that he is a huge fan of Tolkien and was excited to be able to explore a significant period of Elrond’s life in the Second Age, thousands of years before fans met him in Peter Jackson’s pair of trilogies.
He said: “It was really important to me for him to have a deep connection to his past because he’s closer to it than he’ll ever be.
“And that’s an exciting thing for me as a fan, to see an Elrond that is closer to Eärendil and Elwing and Elros and the choice than he is to the Council of Elrond. As a fan, I’m interested to see that part of his life.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will begin airing on Prime Video worldwide from 2 September, with new episodes available weekly.
Watch: Trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power