This week, Netflix is debuting the first season of The Witcher, based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s hit fantasy novels that inspired the best-selling video game series. While big-screen Superman Henry Cavill is taking on the title role as Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher is also widely known for its powerfully realized heroines: Princess Cirilla and Yennefer of Vengerberg.
For the series, Freya Allan is portraying Ciri while Anya Chalotra is playing Yennefer. Both actresses recently shared some insights into their respective heroines.
“At the start, [Ciri’s] got a lot of curiosity and a lot of drive and she wants to be involved,” said Allan. “But she has this beautiful kind of innocence to her, and naivete. When she’s thrown into this world that’s very brutal and new to her, she discovers so much and she experiences so much. She sees so many horrific things [that] you begin to see her build a little bit of a harder shell. She becomes a little bit colder because she has to detach herself from the things she’s feeling; otherwise she would just collapse. I think she’s begun to realize that she has to become more independent and that she can only trust herself in the world.”
According to Chaolotra, she took her cues as Yennefer from the original books.
“My source of information was the novels, and we worked at such a pace there wasn’t much rehearsal time,” noted Chaolotra. “You just have to trust your instinct and the way you empathize with the character in the situation. And other than that, just have a lot of conversations with the director and [showrunner] Lauren [Schmidt Hissrich], and each member of the cast who I was working with at that point to try and bring the best version Yennefer’s truth to the screen.”
As it turns out, both Allan and Chaolotra are huge Harry Potter fans, and they’ve got some intriguing house placements for Ciri, Yennefer, and even Geralt. But you’ll have to watch the full video to see their picks!