Morfydd Clark tells Chris Evans she fainted after being cast in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Virgin Radio

1 Sep 2022, 11:57

Chris Evans and Morfydd Clark at Virgin Radio

Morfydd Clark joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about starring in the epic new series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The Prime Video series - which premieres tomorrow (2nd September) - is inspired by JRR Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings and its appendices, and takes place thousands of years before the events of LOTR and The Hobbit. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the eight-episode series follows an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. Morfydd plays the Elf character Galadriel, who was portrayed by Cate Blanchett in the LOTR film trilogy. 

“I was 11 when the films came out, and was quite obsessed with the Elves, particularly Cate Blanchett,” Morfydd told Chris. “And I still can’t believe that my name and hers are said in the same sentence.”

As Tolkien's Elvish was based on Welsh, the bilingual actor was able to help her co-stars with the pronunciation of the dialect. “My mum is incredibly Welsh, and when she found out that Tolkien was inspired by Welsh with Elvish, she became a complete Tolkienhead, so she also brought me up on Tolkein, which helped,” she said.

Speaking about the audition process, Morfydd - who has previously starred in Saint Maud and The Personal History of David Copperfield - said: “At the beginning I was asked to audition for an untitled project, so I had no idea what it was. And then in the waiting room to go into the audition, I found out that it was Lord of the Rings, and I had to go into the toilet and take a long, hard look at myself in the mirror and pull myself together.

“I had to redo everything I was planning to do in the audition, because now I was like, ‘Now I know the vibe, I’ve watched these films.’”

And when Morfydd found out she had been cast in the LOTR series, she fainted! “I was at my first film festival, so already feeling a little bit giddy,” she explained. “I got a phone call as I was getting my make-up done for the premiere of David Copperfield, saying that I’d got the part, and this had been months of auditioning. I did about seven seven auditions in London, LA and Barcelona. You have that moment of happiness, relief, super-excitement, and then I went to the premiere, watched the film, and then we all went up for a Q&A, and I just was looking out - there was 2000 people there - and I was just looking out at all these people and it dawned on me what just happened, and what was going to happen. 

“The vision starts closing in, and I just toddled off stage trying to look as not-wobbly as I could and, just before I got off, I collapsed into the arms of a security guard.”

Amazon bought the television rights for Lord of the Rings for $250 million in November 2017, making a five-season production commitment worth at least $1 billion. This would make it the most expensive television series ever made. Morfydd told Chris that being on set in New Zealand sometimes almost made her faint again. “You feel like you could pass out, because it was such a sensory overload, and they built whole towns with weaving corridors and everything, and they built one set that actually had a working dock!” she said.

Continuing, the actor explained: “We had a crew of 2000 people… and there were certain times where you’d have not that much set in the way, and you could just see, as an actor, hundreds of people working away at very particular, different things, and it was wonderful.”

When Chris asked how she feels as the series is set to air tomorrow, the LOTR star replied: “It’s really exciting that it’s finally going to be seen. It took two years to film, and we were in New Zealand, away from everybody, working with thousands of wonderful people, and this is it finally becoming real.”

Explaining what we can expect from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Morfydd told Chris: “Khazad-dûm... if you watch the films, has sadly been overrun by Orcs when we meet it in Lord of the Rings, but at this point it’s at the height of its splendour, and it’s gorgeous.

“Evil is rising in Middle Earth, and we’re starting to see how everyone behaves when danger is knocking on the door.” 

And as for the future, the BAFTA-nominated actor explained: “We’ll be filming season two soon, and we’ll be filming season two soon in Britain. Really exciting to meet a new crew, get back on the horse and get going again.”

The first two episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power are available to watch from tomorrow on Prime Video on Sky. Episodes will then be released weekly.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.