Rozhovor s Lucy Griffiths

31. července 2010 v 11:43 | Lucy Hood off Sherwood |  Lady Marian
MediaBlvd Magazine> For American audiences who might not yet be familiar with who you are, where are you from, how did you get into acting and have you had any formal training?
Lucy Griffiths> I haven't had formal training, as such. I was doing plays and musicals, around where I live in the South of England, from when I was about 11 years old. And then, when I was 17, I was in a youth production and the director was represented by my now agent, which is how we got introduced. Once I was signed with him, I got sent out for a few auditions and meetings, and Robin Hood was one of the first jobs I got. In terms of training, it's not a very interesting story. That was kind of it. But, because Robin Hood was such a long job -- it was six months filming for the first year, and seven months filming for the second year -- that's where I've learned a lot of what I know. Also, from doing the dramatics where I lived, when I was younger, that was all theatre, so that stage training was quite a good foundation, even though it wasn't professional training in a drama school.
MediaBlvd> How did you get the role on Robin Hood? Did you go through the regular auditioning process for it?
Lucy> Yeah, it was just a regular auditioning process. I had a meeting with the casting director, who I had seen before for a couple of things, so she got me in on Robin Hood. First, I met the producer, and then I had a second meeting with the director. I actually had a third and fourth meeting, in the end. It was the longest process I've gone through, and it was over three or four months. And then, at the end, I had a screen test with a couple of actors. After that, I got the job.
MediaBlvd> Did you have to audition with Jonas Armstrong, so that they could see what the chemistry would be like?
Lucy> No, I didn't. I actually auditioned with two completely different actors, who didn't end up in the role because Jonas did. But, he just had one meeting and then went off to do another job, and had a phone call half-way through the other job saying, "You're actually be going to going to Budapest when you finish the job you're on." So, his was quite a different experience to mine, and I didn't meet him until a few days before we started filming.
MediaBlvd> What originally attracted you to the project and the role of Marian? Was the fact that you'd be playing such a strong female role model part of the appeal?
Lucy> Yeah, it was. You don't always get to read the script before you have a meeting for a particular project. Sometimes, you just get to look at the sides. But, for this, we were looking at the script, from day one. I liked the humor, the sarcasm, the cutting remarks and her wittiness. And, it's a very famous story/legend, so as soon as I heard about the meeting, I was really keen to go to the audition because it would be nice to be part of that famous tale. From the beginning, it was something I knew that I'd love to do.
MediaBlvd> Was it intimidating at all to know that you'd be playing such a legendary character?
Lucy> No. I was fairly young when I got the role, and I'd not had a lot of experience doing other professional roles. With the theatre I'd done in England, I had played quite a few lead characters before, so it wasn't scary. Also, because I was inexperienced, I didn't know what I was in for. I was quite blissfully unaware and, therefore, not really very scared.
MediaBlvd> Once you got the role, did you do any research into the character and past performances of her, or did you just want to develop something new?
Lucy> I didn't do any research. It was a conscious decision because I didn't want to be imitating anyone. Sometimes, if I see something and I like it, unknowingly and unconsciously, I have a tendency to repeat it or copy it, and I just didn't want that to happen because she is such a famous character. I had an idea of her. I'd seen snippets, in my life. But, the only one I'd seen all the way through was the Disney cartoon version, and I didn't want to see any others. People brought them out while we were filming. A few of the actors had copies of older versions, but I didn't want to look at them.
MediaBlvd> Without giving anything away, what can fans of the first season expect from the second season? And, how will Marian be growing?
Lucy> In general, they can expect to see a lot more action and a lot more fights. There are higher stakes in the second season as well. Robin Hood's character, especially, becomes a bit more serious. Marian's relationship with Guy of Gisborne and her relationship with Robin Hood really grow. At the end of the first season, we leave Robin Hood and Maid Marian as an item. They gallop off on a horse together and we're led to believe that they are now together, which they are, but because he lives in the forest and she lives in the castle, they've got that to contend with still. So, their relationship develops from her being a bitty young lass who he's left, to a young couple in love and the problems that they have, being away from each other. And, I really, really like her relationship with Guy, in the second season. She begins to realize that, if she's going to sneak past castle guards in the way that she wants to and allow herself time with Robin Hood, she really needs to get on the good side of Guy, which she is. He's in love with her. At the end of the first season, we know that because he wants her to marry him, but she's never really reciprocated. Their relationship has always been very one-sided, and you see her manipulating and exploiting that a little bit, in the second season. She's a bit cheeky, sometimes.
MediaBlvd> Can you talk about working with both Jonas Armstrong and Richard Armitage? What do they each bring to a scene, when you're working with them?
Lucy> They're both great to work with. Jonas has got a very boyish, cheeky charm, and he's a good laugh. He's quite intense in his scenes, so it's quite good to feed off him. And, I just absolutely love working with Richard. He's probably the best scene partner I've ever had. I did a scene with Joe Armstrong, who plays Allan-A-Dale, at the end of season two, and we worked really well together as well. But, Richard and I just understand each other quite well. He allows me to say what I think about my performance and his performance without getting angry about it, and the other way around. I often will ask him if there's something he can suggest to help me out, or if he can give me a reason. If I'm finding something difficult, I can ask him why he thinks that might be. We have a very good friendship as well. We laugh a lot together. And, he's just very professional. He really, really prepares his work, and he's very generous. He's prepared to help you as well. He does whatever he needs to do, to make things easier for you, which is just wonderful, really.
MediaBlvd> What was it like to become a bit more involved with the gang this time? Was it fun to be one of the only woman working with a big group of guys, or was it hard to keep them all well-behaved?
Lucy> There is one other woman, Anjali Jay, who plays Djaq, but we actually have very few of the same filming dates. Although I do have more to do with the gang in season two, there isn't masses more. Most of my scenes are in the castle, with the Sheriff (Keith Allen) and with Guy and with my father. But, it was good fun. I got to go out into the forest a lot more, and we all get on very well.
MediaBlvd> Do you enjoy doing the physical work that you have to do when Marian becomes the Night Watchman?
Lucy> A lot of the more dangerous stunts are obviously not performed by us because they couldn't risk having actors out of filming, for however long, if they were to injure themselves. Most of the horse riding in season two is me, and that was really, really good fun. It was quite scary sometimes, but it's nice to have people watch it and be able to say, "Yeah, that was me," as opposed to last season, where a lot of it was the stunt lady. It's nice to be able to mix the acting with the more physical activity as well. The hours you're filming and the time you're on set means that there's not an awful lot of time left over, once you've eaten and slept, to do exercise. So, it's quite an ideal situation, really.
MediaBlvd> Have you been injured at all, doing any of the stunts on the show?
Lucy> No, I haven't.
MediaBlvd> What's been the most challenging for you, the emotional work or the physical work?
Lucy> For me, personally, it's scenes which are not particularly emotional, where it may be one or two lines, that maybe are not very significant lines, but they're plot, basically, to just get the story across. It's harder to give those scenes energy and make them interesting for people to listen to. It's neither the physical stuff or the really emotional scenes, but the non-emotional scenes that I find challenging.
MediaBlvd> In what ways do you think you've changed, as an actress, since you started working on the show?
Lucy> I'm much more relaxed. It was my first show of any length at all, so it was just getting used to and being able to really ignore the camera, and everybody working around the camera. Obviously, every time you stop to do another take, there are things going on there. There are people walking around with food, there are make-up artists touching you up, there are costumers, everything. Everyone has to do their job, in between the scenes, so it can be quite hard to focus. I've learned much better, in the second season, to do that and I think, as a result, the scenes are better. Also, I've learned to really spend time with the techs. When I first started, I had this idea that, once the words were learned, they would just come out naturally and the scene would work. But, I've actually realized how much work you have to do on them before you get on set. Often, on Robin Hood, there's such a quick turn-over of material, you don't have a huge amount of rehearsal time on set. So, if you really want to do some work, it has to be done on your own at home, or you have to meet up with another actor, on your own time. I've learned to just think about things and watch similar moments, in other shows and films, to see how they're done.
MediaBlvd> What was the experience of filming in Budapest like?
Lucy> It was brilliant. I loved it! I was quite surprised when I heard we were filming there because I didn't realize there was a big forest there. Also, it just seemed like a strange place to film. But, it's absolutely beautiful. We filmed through the summer and it was just really nice weather. It's just good fun. The quality of life is very good because you can eat outside, and things like that. I really enjoyed the city, and the culture is very nice. It's very friend and family oriented. Budapest is just a beautiful city, so I really enjoyed it.
MediaBlvd> What's been your favorite part of working on the series, and what's been the biggest challenge?
Lucy> The biggest challenge was probably relaxing around the camera. All the work I'd done before was theatre, so I made a conscious effort, when I was working on Robin Hood, to try to tone everything down. I actually think that sometimes things were toned down too much, so the biggest challenge for me has been reversing that. I watched all of the first season, and watched all of my scenes in detail, and there were things I thought I had put across, which actually I hadn't really put across. It didn't look like I was really injecting it with enough energy or enough feeling, so that was a big challenge for me and that's something I hope has improved in the second season. The thing I loved most about it, overall, is probably just the education I got from it, both professionally and socially. It was my first time away from home, for any length of time, and I was working with more experienced actors and older actors, who were mostly men. On the whole, because I didn't have a higher education in England, and I didn't go to college or university, that was my higher education. Overall, that's the thing I liked most about it.
MediaBlvd> Will you be returning for the third season?
Lucy> It's hard for me to say because I don't want to give any stories away for the second season. But, anything that may or may not happen would have been a decision made by the producers and myself. Whatever happens is for the good of the show. That's all I can say.
MediaBlvd> Did you always want to come out to America to pursue a career here as well?
Lucy> Yeah. In New York and, especially, L.A., the city thrives on the film industry, so therefore there's just a higher volume of jobs there. At the same time, there's probably a higher volume of actors than there are in England. But, it's always been something I'd like to do, at some point.
MediaBlvd> Where would you like to take your career next? Are you looking to pursue more television, or would you like to focus more on film?
Lucy> To be honest with you, it depends on what's good. I'd love to do a great film. I'd love to do a great television series or a mini-series. I'd even love to do a great play. I've not done theatre for two years now. It's a profession where new jobs are thrown at you, sometimes on a weekly basis. The jobs aren't necessarily offered to you, but you get very different and diverse auditions. You can have a rough idea for what you want to do with your career, but five years ago, I never would have said, "Oh, I'd like to play Maid Marian for three years." That wouldn't have been something I said, but the opportunity came along and it was brilliant. I never turn down an audition for anything, if I really think it's good and I really like the character, whether it's film, television, or whatever.
 

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