Arthurian heroin for Netflix
From Excalibur by John Boorman and Game Of Thrones to Monty Python and The Witcher, medieval times continue to inspire fiction with generally successful results. This time it’s Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) and Tom Wheeler who revisit the Arthurian legend with a powerful story about the future Lady of the Lake, alias Nimue. To play the role of this girl with mystical powers who has to bring the sword Excalibur to Merlin, Australian actress Katherine Langford was elected. And she’s certainly the main asset of the Netflix show, with its dreamlike aesthetic.
Ultra-credible in this role of heroine who approaches every trial with courage, she trained for weeks before rising to the challenge. Learning to ride a horse, to speak an ancient English dialect and handle a sword, plunging unashamedly into mud and swamps, she really impressed the makers of the series. She even sings the theme tune “I Could Be Your King.” Thus we follow the non-stop adventures of this powerful and feminist character who isn’t a princess serving a king, but a rebel who takes her own path, discovering herself along the way. In the first episode, she is denounced as a witch, which was the norm for anyone who didn’t fit in back then. If the actresses power to enchant works so well, it is undoubtedly because she totally identified with the heroine in spite of the historical and magical context. The tormented and unstable character of Nimue spoke to her, as did her determination to overcome all tribulations. The Australian who now works in Los Angeles, has almost always lived on the road… without roots, apart from that of her newly found Hollywood fame.
"Cursed" – trailer © Netflix
There was nothing in Katherine’s life that suggested she would shine in the City of Angels. Born in 1996 in Perth, Australia, the daughter of doctors, she was all about sport at high school. A member of the swimming team, she first thought about walking in her parent’s footsteps or a career in politics. She also played the piano after seeing a Lady Gaga concert that she describes as a complete revelation. Taking lessons to polish her genuinely good voice since adolescence, she would post videos of her tracks on YouTube. But ultimately it was the movies that swept her up. Obsessed with the idea of becoming an artist, she dropped out of university and lied to her parents about going to auditions. While she failed to get into drama school through lack of experience, the 18-year old’s determination never wavered. She took drama classes and part-time jobs. And it all paid off. Auditions via Skype changed her life and she got the role of Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why and a visa to work in Hollywood. Her raw acting amazed producers, and no one could tell she hadn’t been to a major drama school. She was even nominated at the Golden Globes.
An air of Laura Palmer
The Pre-Raphaelite beauty made her first impression by playing the role of teenager Hannah Baker in the cult series 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. It’s her suicide that leads the hero of the show to seek out, through the cassettes that she left him, why she took her own life. Appearing in flashbacks, Hannah Baker adopts the same dark charm as David Lynch’s Laura Palmer. A beautiful girl who tragically died too young, whose smiling exterior hides so many secrets. The social impact of the series resulted in Katherine Langford forging an amazing bond with fans of the show - produced by Selena Gomez - on social media and raising awareness of mental health issues. Since then, the actress, now followed by more than 16 million subscribers on Instagram, chooses her roles with care. She starred in the romcom Love, Simon which features a gay hero and in Knives Out, the story of a dysfunctional family. Her desire to play a strong woman in Cursed is just as full of meaning as she recently confided to the magazine Glamor US who put her on their cover, “I want young girls to see that not only can they be strong and fight, but that they can do it in a way that honours them, honours their bodies, and also honours their gender."
"13 Reasons Why" – trailer for the final season © Netflix