I was able to speak with Katie McGrath in an exclusive interview for SciFiChick.com. Katie portrays the beautiful and mysterious Morgana on NBC’s Merlin, which has fast become one of my favorite new shows this season. The Irish-born actress was extremely witty and engaging, and offered an in-depth look at her character and upcoming episodes.
Katie, for those that haven’t seen Merlin yet, can you tell us about your character Morgana, in your own words?
One thing I’ve always thought about Morgana is that she’s sort of a modern mind in a period body. She’s not your usual warm princess, which is what drew me to her in the first place. She’s feisty… and she’s very modern. And I think that’s what makes her a great character, because women today can identify with her. And she’s a livewire. She’s the only person on the show that can stand up to the king and tell him what she really thinks.
… From where she starts as a princess to where she ends up is the most amazing journey to play. And because so much is going to happen, it gives me so much to play with.
Has the role been challenging for you in any way?
Absolutely. I mean, besides an eight-month shoot that we all came off of, that was exhausting. This was my first big role [as an actress]. There would be days, especially at the start, when I would read the script and I would look at the scene and I’d go “I have no idea how to do this.” I had no idea how to make what they want in the scene happen. And I was lucky to have the most amazing co-stars and director to help me through it. And the start of season 2, which we’re filming at the moment, is such a different feeling than starting season 1. I was so scared at the start. I didn’t know how I was going to bring it off. If you think about it, the character has already been played by Helen Mirren and Helena Bonham Carter. And then, I come along and think, “How am I going to do this mythical person justice?” So, I’m hopefully getting better. And I’m hopefully getting there. But time will tell, if I can pull it off.
Will we get to see some of Morgana’s background in upcoming episodes?
In the first season, you get to see not so much of her background, but more the relationship between her and Uther. In episode 12 that really comes to a head. And you get to see more insight into her character, and sort of enter her mind. But her background, you won’t get to see much until season 2, so you’ll just have to keep watching next year. But episode 12 is great. I found it sort of difficult to film, because I’m very fond of Tony [Head]. It was quite intense, and it was very emotional. And it was just a wonderful episode, hopefully by the end of it you understand the reasonings.
Do we get to delve into the legend of Morgana? Are we going to see a change in her? Will she become the evil antagonist that we know?