Sometimes, you don’t realize you’re a fighter until the armor is on, the cameras are rolling, and the opponent is racing in your direction. At least, that’s what it took for Morfydd Clark to truly feel like elven warrior Galadriel, the beating heart of Prime Video’s sweeping prequel The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power.
After a riveting performance as a young nun who gets a little too close to God in A24’s Saint Maud, Clark is finding a whole new kind of exposure with Rings Of Power. The huge bet from Prime Video has reportedly already taken the trophy for most expensive series of all time, and has set its sights on enormous viewership with a large-scale international rollout.
That exposure manifests itself in both the countless new eyes on her performance, and what the role requires itself. In previous roles, Clark had experienced a sort of always the bridesmaid, never the bride scenario when it came to battle scenes—always fighting back and never leading the charge.
“When I was playing Galadriel, the stunt-team said, ‘You’ve got a problem, because you’re used to being attacked on film’,” she tells Empire. “I would flinch a lot when people came at me. So they did exposure therapy with me, where I would have all these huge, huge men running at me, screaming with swords. To stop me from looking frightened. Because I’ve definitely been cast as the victim. And Galadriel is not that.”
Diving in headfirst, however, has been a hallmark of Clark’s entire Rings Of Power journey. During initial auditions, she revealed, she wasn’t exactly practicing her Elvish for moments up until her call time. In fact, she wasn’t aware she was in consideration for Rings Of Power—at all.
“The first [audition], I didn’t know what I was auditioning for,” Clark recalls. “The actress next to me looked over all sneaky and was like, ‘Do you know what this is for? It’s Lord Of The Rings.’ And I’m forever grateful to her.” She quickly got herself together to channel her inner ethereal warrior elf. “I went into the toilet and just stared at myself and was like, ‘You’ve gotta pull yourself together. You’ve been training for this for years. You know what to do, it’s in your blood.’ Because I’d been obsessively watching Lord Of The Rings for my whole childhood.” If the earliest reviews have anything to say about it, all that training birthed a cinematic force of nature.