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Willow cast praises the diversity of Disney+ shows

Willow cast praises the diversity of Disney+ shows

Watch: The Willow cast shares their thoughts on the Disney+ sequel

The cast of Willow, which debuts on Disney+ on November 30, has praised the new fantasy series for its inclusive cast.

“It’s such an eclectic group of actors that’s 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, describing the aspects of the series he believes will engage fans guard.

(L-R): Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), Graydon (Tony Revolori), Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel), Dove (Ellie Bamber), Kit (Ruby Cruz) and Jade (Erin Kellyman) in Lucasfilm's WILLOW, exclusively on Disney+.  ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  & TM.  All rights reserved.

(L-R): Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis), Graydon (Tony Revolori), Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel), Dove (Ellie Bamber), Kit (Ruby Cruz) and Jade (Erin Kellyman) in Willow. (Lucasfilm)

“Jonathan Kasdan does such a good job of writing three-dimensional characters. I think [audiences] will be surprised by people who do not conform 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 starring role when he was just 17 years old.

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Based on a world created by George Lucas – and the 1988 film directed by Ron Howard – this sword, spell and monster fantasy serves up more of the same old action that fans of House of the Dragon loved so much…albeit in a much more family friendly way.

(L-R): A mudmander and Graydon (Tony Revolori) in Lucasfilm's WILLOW exclusively on Disney+.  ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  & TM.  All rights reserved.

(L-R): A mudmander and Graydon (Tony Revolori) in Willow. (Lucasfilm)

It reintroduces us once again to the anonymous Willow, now grown up to be a full-fledged wizard who is forced to embark on a dangerous mission to save the world from an ancient evil that ties back to his own troubled past.

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Supported by a crew of fresh 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 older sequel series takes us back to a familiar world while keeping the audience guessing every step of the way.

Original film title: WILLOW.  English title: WILLOW.  Film director: RON HOWARD.  Year: 1988. Stars: GEORGE LUCAS;  WARWICK DAVIS.  Credit: LUCASFILM / Album

Director Ron Howard with George Lucas and Warwick Davis on the set of Willow in 1988. (Lucasfilm)

This diversity of characters and relationships on screen — and its ability to keep you on your toes — is something Byrk’s co-star Cruz believes will help set the show apart. A newcomer in 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 definitely expects one thing from this life and the world, and then is faced with harsh reality after harsh reality, and I think that definitely reflects life itself. I also want people to expect the most beautiful sets and scenery, she adds with a smile. “When we filmed in Wales, it was absolutely beautiful. I feel that no one can expect so much beauty.”

(L-R): Dove (Ellie Bamber), Kit (Ruby Cruz), Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel), Graydon (Tony Revolori) and Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in Lucasfilm's WILLOW exclusively on Disney+.  ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd.  & TM.  All rights reserved.

(L-R): Dove (Ellie Bamber), Kit (Ruby Cruz), Boorman (Amar Chadha-Patel), Graydon (Tony Revolori) and Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis) in Willow. (Lucasfilm)

The show’s dedication to tackling modern issues, despite its broad fantasy coverage, is something that the show’s knight-in-training, Erin Kellyman, believes is one of its strongest elements.

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“When people think of fantasy, they put it in a category that’s very unrealistic and serious, but this has a lot of comedy in it, and we’re addressing things that are happening in our world now,” she suggests.

“There’s some heavy realism there, which is fun.”

Willow streams on Disney+ from November 30.

Watch: The cast of Willow addresses Val Kilmer’s presence on the show

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