The new Netflix original fantasy drama series Cursed is based on the graphic novel by Thomas Wheeler which has the same name. Essentially, the novel is a variation of an Arthurian legend with a powerful female lead. Because of the intense training the actors had to go through in order to make their scenes look authentic, the cast of Cursed spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the grueling process.
The series stars Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why) as the teenage sorceress Nimue when she unites with mercenary Arthur, played by Devon Terrell (Barry, Ophelia) in order to save her people. Alongside Langford and Terrel, the series also features Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf, The Originals), Gustaf Skarsgard (Westworld, Vikings), and Shalom Brune-Franklin (Our Girl).
In their interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the cast announced that they had to go through a bootcamp for several weeks where they learned sword fighting and horseback riding.
As Terrell states, “[We were] learning fight training in terms of boxing, how to hold yourself as a person, how to hold a sword, where to put your hands. It was one of those things where you just didn’t want it to look stupid on screen where people were like ‘you look like you can’t fight,'” via, The Hollywood Reporter.
Each actor needed to take different approaches to tapping into their particular character. Sharman discusses what he went about this by telling The Hollywood Reporter, “I took ballet classes, I took forging classes on how to live out in the wild in Scotland. I worked with a movement teacher on getting the Weeping Monk’s expression to be the thing that was most important to him.”
When asked what they believe the message and purpose of this grueling process in ensuring their show was as authentic as possible, each actor had different things to say. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Langford stated, “I think there are a lot of messages that you can take from the show, but we definitely address with this story and within this world senseless war and oppression of minorities.”
Similarly, Skarsgard hoped that the series would “raise certain questions around the legitimacy of power. But then it also highlights other themes as well” the obliteration of the natural world, persecution of minorities and indigenous people,” per The Hollywood Reporter.
Langford also told The Hollywood Reporter that the series was initially meant to have a 6 month shoot, however just before she was about to go to the U.K. to film Cursed, the shoot was changed to 10 months. As Terrell says of the 10 months they spent filming, “It was grueling. It was an amazing physical, emotional and mental journey, because one day you’re in a battle scene with 100-plus people and the next day you’re crying to your queen. It was a constant juggle of emotions,” via, The Hollywood Reporter.
The season one trailer of Cursed can be watched below.