CableFAX: Storytellers have revisited the Camelot legend so many times. Why did you want to be a part of yet another retelling?
Green: They approached me. I was a bit reluctant. And then I met Chris Chibnall, who was just so passionate about it and told me a lot about the story and where he wanted to go with the characters. They’re so calm and complex. She’s borderline brave but also very damaged, very sensitive. As an actor, it’s really great. It’s a gift.
CableFAX: Why the initial reluctance?
Green: Because you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. They give you a [series] bible, and you need to trust the people you’re going to work with and, thank God, I’m very proud of all the 10 episodes that we did.
CableFAX: Up until now, you’ve been a movie actress. This was your first TV experience. How was it different for you?
Green: It’s very intense. The pace of it is very intense. Otherwise, it’s the same as any other movies. It’s very fast. I learned a lot, actually. You have to sometimes just stop thinking. You just go for it. It’s a different pace. But it’s okay. I usually prep too much, so it was good.
CableFAX: Do you worry about getting tied up in a TV show? This could end up going multiple seasons, after all.
Green: But the good thing is that I’ll have time to do movies in between, you know. It’s only 4 or 5 months, and then you have time to do movies. It’s a challenge, but I adore playing this character.
CableFAX: There’s a certain “evil-ness” to your character, but I imagine as an actress you can’t look at it that way.
Green: Some might say, “Arthur is good, and she’s the wicked witch.” But she’s quite damaged. Her mother was murdered by her father, and then she was sent to a nunnery for 15 years. But she wants to be queen, and she’s kind of obsessed with power. It’s kind of unhealthy. But also, I think she wants to be queen for her people. She’s a pagan. She’s very modern, and she wants to restore the Pagan ways that celebrate nature and life and sexualty—and she is very much ahead of her time. And she could be a great ruler, but she’s denied this because she’s a woman. It’s not cool.
CableFAX: And where does the magic come into play with your character.
Green: It’s quite complicated. She was taught white magic in the nunnery, and when she gets out she starts dealing with a dark force that can help change shape in order to get the crown. [LAUGHS]. It’s like a drug. It’s very seductive and almost sexual every time she deals with magic. And Merlin has dealt with that and tries to warn her, but she can’t help it.
CableFAX: Now that you’ve done this, do you want to do more TV or stay primarily a movie actress?
Green: If I fall in love with the story and the character, I’ll be in anything.
(Michael Grebb is executive editor of CableFAX).