The Art of Bringing a Shadow and Bone Scene to the Screen

I’d love to hear more about Jessie too. Because she obviously has way less experience than someone like Zoe Wanamaker and just carries so much of the show, so well.

She does, she’s got a lot of natural, innate talent, obviously. Jessie does. And the character is her on some level, right? I mean, she is going through a sort of a transformation herself, her own life echoes this somewhat, being kind of taken from somewhere, not really known and then brought into this big new world.

Yeah. Is that something you talked about on set?

A little bit. I mean, one of the things that I like, I love working with actors, let me start with saying that. And one of the things that I really enjoy doing is working with the actors to craft a performance over the entire episode. And in fact, over the entire season and to talk to them about how they, as an actor, how they are the author of their character on a lot of levels. They have to infuse the character with all of the truth and the honesty, and they have to be brave. And for Jessie to understand that she has a huge part in creating this character. Yeah, it’s in a book series and yeah, here we are, it’s in the script. Yeah, all that’s true, but she has to bring her own humanity and her own fear and her own bravery and all of those things to the character. And so what we were always looking for are those honest moments, those very, very honest moments for the actors to really connect. And part of that was by throwing all of your attention on the other character that you’re in the scene with. And just understanding that you, as an actor, you are enough, you are in it and the casting is done. You are that person, you are that. And to trust that by the time we’re on set all of the work, you did all of the rehearsals, all of the research you did for your character, it’s there. You’ve got to trust it’s there and now just allow yourself to be present. And she just naturally did that, and had some really terrific performances as a result.

Yeah. Yeah. That seems especially important for a young cast like this. Obviously there’s some veteran actors in Shadow and Bone, but there’s a lot of relatively new people.

You know, even the veteran actors like Zoe. I mean even veteran actors, everybody needs to be reminded of that as well. Every once in a while, just that you, you are enough and it’s all there. If you just trust it and just be present. And they were always working on that. So that’s why they were just very, very good. You know, Ben and Jessie together are phenomenal. Ben and Baghra, Ben and Zoe are amazing together as well.

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