Willow cast praise diversity of Disney+ show
Watch: Willow cast share their thoughts on the Disney+ sequel
The cast of Willow, which debuts on Disney+ on 30 November, has praised the new fantasy series for the inclusivity of its cast.
“It’s such an eclectic group of actors which is really cool,” Dempsey Byrk tells Yahoo. He stars as Airk, a young warrior who accompanies Willow on his new journey.
“There’s a lot of diversity in all the ways you’d expect but also philosophical and intellectual diversity, and life experiences from different places — and I think that’s brought into the characters as well” he explains, detailing the aspects of the series he thinks will take fans off-guard.
“Jonathan Kasdan does such a great job of writing three-dimensional characters. I think [audiences] will be surprised by people not conforming to archetypes and stereotypes.”
Debuting on Disney+ later this week, Willow marks the small-screen return of a character Warwick Davis made famous in his first leading role back when he was only 17 years old.
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Based on a world created by George Lucas — and the 1988 film directed by Ron Howard — this swords, spells and monsters fantasy serves up more of the same ye-olde action that fans of House of the Dragon loved so much… albeit in a much more family-friendly fashion.
It once again reintroduces us to the eponymous Willow, who’s now grown up to become a fully-fledged sorcerer forced to embark on a dangerous quest to save his world from an ancient evil that links back to his own troubled past.
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Backed by a crew of fresh-faced newcomers — including Amar Chadha-Patel, Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Dempsey Byrk and Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Toni Revolori — and developed by Solo screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, this legacy sequel series takes us back to a familiar realm while keeping audiences guessing every step of the way.
This diversity of characters and on-screen relationships — and its ability to keep you on your toes — is something that Byrk’s co-star Cruz thinks will help set the show apart too. A newcomer to the Willow-verse, she plays Kit, the adventure-seeking daughter of Sorcha (Joanne Whalley) who fans will remember from Howard’s 1988 film.
“It takes so many twists and turns,” she teases. “My character specifically definitely expects one thing out of this life and world and is then faced with harsh reality after harsh reality and I think that’s definitely very reflective of life itself. I also want people to expect the most beautiful sets and scenery,” she adds with a smile. “When we were filming in Wales, it was just absolutely beautiful. I feel like no one can expect that amount of beauty.”
The show’s dedication to tackling modern issues, despite its broad fantasy coating, is something that the show’s knight-in-training, Erin Kellyman, believes is one of its strongest elements.
“When people think of fantasy, they put it in a category that’s very unrealistic and serious but this has got a lot of comedy in it and we address things that happen in our world now,” she suggests.
“There’s some heavy realism there, which is fun.”
Willow will stream on Disney+ from 30 November.
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