Character profiles released for new ‘Willow’ series on Disney+
Willow, a new Disney Original series coming to Disney+ on November 30. The series takes place 20 years after the original Willow film and continues the story first told in 1988. Sorcerer Willow (Warwick Davis) is once again on an adventure to save the world from evil. He is joined by a new group of unlikely heroes. Below is a look at the characters that will be seen in this series. D23 shared these bios ahead of the show’s arrival on Disney+.
Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis)
Davis returns as aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood, who embarks on a harrowing journey to protect the infant empress Elora Danan and rescue Andowyne from the evil queen Bavmorda. Now Willow High is Aldwyn of the Nelwyn people, still basking in his success. Davis, who originally portrayed Willow when he was 17 years old, says he has a whole new perspective returning to the character decades later.
“You get more experienced, more worldly, and as an actor you get better at what you do,” Davis explains. “So, all of those things added really give the character a lot more weight, and he certainly has a lot more emotional weight in the show. Looking back at the movie, it was easy compared to what we have to deal with in the show. So for me, it was a really rewarding experience to come back to this character.”
Dove (Ellie Bamber)
Actress Ellie Bamber portrays Dove, an innocent and naive – but also tenacious and resourceful – kitchen maid who works in the castle at Tir Asleen. “Dove is a young woman who didn’t have many advantages growing up,” explains executive producer Ron Howard. “She works in the kitchen just to get by, but there’s a longing, a feeling that she hasn’t found herself yet. And other people can kind of feel that about her too. Over the course of the series we learn a lot about her and some things are revealed that are quite surprising but also really drive the story forward in this quest to face a new evil and the new level of danger.”
Bamber adds, “She’s figured out a lot internally, but she still has so much more to figure out, and one day, with the help of all the others, she’ll figure out a way to save the world. And I love that fact that it’s something they have to do together, because they can’t do it without each other.”
Set (Ruby Cruz)
Kit is portrayed by actress Ruby Cruz. Over the course of the series, viewers will see the vivacious and headstrong young princess faced with many difficult choices. Unfortunately, she thinks she is more resilient than she is and knows more than she does.
“I think at the core of it, she’s just trying to figure out who she is,” Cruz says. “At the beginning of the series, she thinks she has a strong sense of who she is, but it’s all broken down. She’s stripped of her identity and a lot of the ego that’s been holding her back, and she eventually learns that she’s not only person in the world.”
Jade (Erin Kellyman)
Actress Erin Kellyman portrays Jade, who works in the stables at the castle in Tir Asleen. She is a good-natured, reliable and skilled swordswoman who dreams of becoming a knight of the Shining Legion.
“I think Jade has been the character I’ve put the most effort into,” says Kellyman. “Me and [executive producer and writer] John [Kasdan] had time to go back to her past, [which helped me] understand her a little more. I really can’t wait for people to see her.”
Graydon (Tony Revolori)
Actor Tony Revolori plays the sensitive, shy and fiercely intelligent Graydon. “He’s an unbalanced, difficult guy who needs to go on this mission just to prove himself worthy of greater responsibility in the kingdom,” says Revolori.
Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel)
A rogue warrior with a mysterious past, Boorman is portrayed by actor Amar Chadha-Patel. Boorman is tall and cocky, irreverent, witty and loves to tell tall tales (some of which are even true).
“Boorman is a rogue but very capable,” says Howard. “He has a lot of swagger, but he’s also a bit full of it. Amar plays this character with such humor and you believe that he has somehow navigated the world, stolen it and protected it. Who knows how he got this far? But we begin to understand the heart that beats beneath it all. Amar brings something of what Val Kilmer brought to it [the] Willow [film]– not just the nonsense, but that ability to be both classic and mythical, and yet also hip, loose and unpredictable.”
Prince Airk (Dempsey Bryk)
Actor Dempsey Bryk plays Airk, a confident and handsome prince who is also Kit’s twin brother. While they often argue with each other, deep down they care for each other and will always defend each other.
“We knew we needed a modern take on a fairy tale prince charming,” says Kasdan. “We met a lot of very proper British actors – you know, very well-groomed men – and then Dempsey, this funny Canadian kid, turned up on one of the tapes and was so original and fresh. We all knew we couldn’t miss him.”
Sorsha (Joanne Whalley)
In addition to Davis, actress Joanne Whalley reprises her role as Sorsha. Now the queen of Tir Asleen, Sorsha is known for her beauty and serenity, but also her skills as a warrior and her insight into warfare strategies.
“When I was cast in the original film, I was overjoyed because it was such a great story and an opportunity to be a real heroine,” says Whalley. “Now there are many powerful female figures in cinema, but there weren’t that many at the time. Sorsha is amazing because she is exactly who she is. She doesn’t try to be anyone else, and she does everything she loves, just as a matter of course. And then I love the matter-of-factness of Sorsha. She’s very real.”
Whalley adds: “I spoke to Jon and Ron when the opportunity for this came up and the great thing is they totally got her. What they arrived at was a completely natural progression. It feels completely natural to wield my sword again and order people around, so nothing has changed, really – just the circumstances.”
Allagash (Christian Slater)
While Kilmer will not be returning as Madmartigan in the series, actor Christian Slater is joining the cast as Allagash, a friend of the mercenary who wants to help Willow’s warrior gang on their journey.
“We added this texture to a friend of Madmartigan’s who could give us some clues as to where he was and deepen the mystery of what happened to him in a way that only expanded the story we were telling,” says Kasdan. “It was very satisfying and it gave us an opportunity to add a whole new element that we didn’t expect to the show.”
What do you think of the characters being shown for Willow? Which one are you most excited about? What do you think of this show? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!