The Welsh language was a big plus for playing the role of Galadriel, said the star of Amazon’s new Lord of the Rings series.
Penarth native Morfydd Clark said the emphasis on the arts in Welsh culture has given her a head start in the acting profession and a different perspective on Tolkien’s world.
Amazon has confirmed The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power will have its world premiere on Friday, September 2.
Morfydd Clark stars alongside fellow Welsh actors Owain Arthur, Trystan Gravelle and Lloyd Owen in the series, and told the Telegraph that the Welshman had been an advantage in taking on Tolkien’s world.
“I had no idea what it meant to be bilingual,” she says. “You have access to so many more feelings. Your humor is different.
“Tolkien was obsessed with language. I was proud when my mother told me that he based his language on Welsh.
“You can be very romantic and expansive in Welsh in a way that in English people would be like ‘oof, chill out’. It opens up another part of you.
She added that attending a Welsh language school also steered her towards acting.
“I had done a lot of parts compared to an Englishwoman,” she said. “When I came to drama school people told me they had been bullied for doing drama. Not at a Welsh language school.
It’s not the first time Morfydd Clark has praised her Welsh-language school in press interviews, saying last year she was ‘lucky’ to be sent to a school Welsh-speaking because it put her on the path to becoming an actress.
She told iD that she struggled with dyslexia and ADHD growing up, and felt “overwhelmed” and “burned out”.
“Luckily I was sent to the Welsh language school [where] the arts are so respected,” she says. “There’s a right to be a Welsh language interpreter and in society, and I wasn’t really good at anything else, I really couldn’t concentrate on anything.”
After leaving school, Morfydd auditioned for the National Youth Theater and the Welsh Youth Opera.
She then played the title role in the play by Saunders Lewis Blodeuwedd with the Genedlaethol Cymru Theatre. She also appeared as sister Clara in the Cardiff-made Its dark materials for BBC.
“I really feel like I needed to get into the arts, whether I became an actress or not,” she says. “[It’s] just this place where I could be myself, really… so it worked.
She previously told The Hollywood Reporter that she had the Welsh language to thank for inspiring her to play us.
According to the magazine, she credited Wales’ “proud cultural heritage and enormous focus on the arts” for her early inspiration, and her first experience came from her participation as a schoolgirl “in the annual competition and festival music and poetry in the Welsh language Eisteddfod. ”.
“It prepared me for anything,” she said. “But I really started playing because I was really bad at school.”
Morfydd Clark also told S4C Heno that inspiration for the role had come from Welsh legend. She had acted in Blodeuwedd, a play based on Welsh mythology, and had also read the Mabinogion.
“What really prepared me for Lord of the Rings was doing Blodeuwedd with the Genedlaethol Theater because that’s the kind of world and magic, so I’m reading a lot of Mabinogi at the moment to inspire me in sort of,” she said. .
“I didn’t know how lucky I was when I was at school doing the Urdd and all the rest. I had moved to London to go to drama school and realized, ‘oh, not everyone does that’. I was so lucky.
“And also as a Welshman, I would have been part of the arts even if I hadn’t made it my job.
“Coming from Wales, people tell you that you have the right to do these things, and I’m so lucky to have that.”
“Wales on Steroids”
She also previously said that having Welsh speakers on set made her feel less homesick halfway around the world.
“I’m very lucky that there are two people in the cast and a costume designer who speak Welsh. But I miss speaking Welsh,” she told WalesOnline.
“Being bilingual also helps in terms of learning lines and going to Welsh language school, you do so much singing and recitation…
“As well as my father used to sing us Irish folk songs. It prepares me well for Shakespeare and all.
She said the fact that New Zealand looked like Wales had also been helpful in that regard.
“It’s like Wales on steroids – it’s familiar but huge. It has the dark green hills and the gray skies, the colors of Kyffin Williams, which I find very comforting,” she told i.
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