Samantha Morton on Catherine de’ Medici’s obsession with Catherine de Medici

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From Writer and Executive Producer Justin Heath Director and Executive Producer Stacy Basson (Based on the book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda), the latest drama Starz serpent queen It tells the story of one of the most complex and complex personalities in history, Catherine de’ Medici, who rose in power and stature to become one of France’s longest-reigning rulers. orphan Catherine (Leaf Hill) at the French court at a young age, but soon learns that she must confront—and in some cases, outmaneuver—her political opponents, many of whom would rather see her dead on the throne. What makes the series even more interesting is that it is Catherine herself (Samantha MortonShe tells her own story, as she puts it, to her new maid and merciful friend.Senya Nanoa). The next series also stars Coolm MiniAnd the Ludivine SagnierAnd the Kiruna StamelAnd the Barry AtsmaAnd the Alex HeathAnd the Amrita AcharyaAnd the Charles DanceAnd the Enzo SilentiAnd the Antonia ClarkAnd the Adam GarciaAnd the Beth GoddardAnd the Reda JafriAnd the Ray PanthakiAnd the Nicholas BurnsAnd the Danny KieranAnd the Robert Everett. Francis Lawrence And the Erwin Stoff Also act as executive producers.

Today’s video collider

Ahead of the series’ 9/11 premiere on Starz, Collider had a chance to talk to Morton when she first came across the role of Serpent Queen, as well as why she didn’t consider herself a part of Catherine — in at least not initially. During the interview, which you can read below, Morton revealed her deep obsession with the historical figure, what initially attracted her to Catherine, and why she wanted the series to be a lesson in history and entertainment. She also discusses collaborating with Hale (who plays Catherine the Younger) on the character, how the costumes tell of a journey, and what she hopes the show will illuminate about Catherine for people who may not have been familiar with her before.

Collider: I’d like to hear about your journey into this role. How did it first appear on your plate, and what specifically drew you to it?

Samantha Morton: I was shooting a movie and my makeup designer Jacquita was already working serpent queen. So she was already sending pictures. She’d put my makeup on in the morning and I’d say, “Yeah, what are you going to do next?” She was talking about serpent queen And I said, “Well, who made him the Serpent Queen?” She’d say, “Oh, they haven’t found the person yet. They’re thinking of maybe an actress to play the youngest and the biggest.” I’ve been thinking about the actresses that I know I think are great. So I emailed three friends saying, “There’s this show. It’s called serpent queen. It’s about Catherine de Medici, and you’re going to be awesome. “I thought I was too old, because obviously I couldn’t play the younger and older Catherine.


I went away, finished that movie, came home and the scenarios were waiting for me. It was, “Can I read it really fast? What do you think?” [They asked me] To phone in with Justin Heath, Erwin Stoff and Stacey Basson, Senior Single Manager. I told my boss, “I know all about this because I’ve been searching for it on Google and Wikipedia and everything for it for about six weeks because I was really intrigued.” So the project was in my life before it was in my life, and then when it was in my life, I became very obsessed with it. The idea of ​​working with Justin and Stacey – I loved her work beautiful birds – and Erwin Stove, who…wonderful. I mean, the whole team was great. And once I was around, I really wanted it and wished they were willing to work with me too.


RELATED: ‘Serpent Queen’ review: Samantha Morton orders the role of Catherine de Medici

When you got the scripts, was there ever a moment when you read a line or scene and said, “I have to play this”?

Morton: I felt that before I read the scripts, and I just prayed to God the scripts were good, and they were very Good. I thought it was interesting how Justin managed to make it relatable. Because a lot of the time when you do… you played Jane Eyre, but then again, this is based on a book. This is Charlotte Bronte. I’ve done Tom Jones’s work, and again, it’s a book. It’s fielding.

A lot of the fancy dress I’ve done is all literature. When you listen to the audiobook, Leonie’s audiobook about Catherine, the Serpent Queen, it’s history. I thought, “Well, how are they going to do that? How are they going to do this?” It can be quite boring sometimes for people who are not a history buff. I wanted it to be something that was really connected, with young people, with people of all races, with people of all races. I just wanted something entertaining too, so you get a history lesson at the same time you’re watching a really cool show. When I read the scripts, I was like, “He’s so clever. I get it.” There are some big ups and downs that happen later and it’s really exciting.


I spoke to Justin about the idea of ​​an Italian woman. Often in Italian cinema – and certainly Italian-American cinema in relation to … when we think about it The Godfather or sopranoI know this is TV, or good comradesMen have great roles. They are the smart ones who have to move the chess pieces around the board and survive. So I just said, “I see her as a man.” She’s just playing this very, very long clever game of chess.

In those episodes one and two, you’re flashing flashbacks to the character of young Catherine, played by the adorable Liv Hill. How much cooperation have you been able to get with her? What kind of performance aspects did you really try to discuss earlier?

Morton: As for me, when I found out that Leaf Hill was thrown, I jumped up and down. I was so excited to see her work. Huge Leaf Hill fan. It’s unusual. What was important to me personally was just trying to get some time with Liv on Zoom. I was in New York shooting Darren Aronofsky. Lev was in France. Sometimes, I was in France, and she was somewhere else. It was really difficult.

But I think the thing that was important to both of us was her heart, Katherine’s motivation and her heart. It wasn’t so much about me to imitate or imitate her. It was about falling in love with Henry and the challenge and strength she had as a child. Because she’s 14 in those scenes, and she’s 14. When you think of yourself, Carly, when she’s 14, or you think of Sam at 14, it’s really sad to think that everyone wanted her dead. She was smuggled, basically, to another country where she was married off to someone she didn’t know. She has to fight to survive at the age of 14. I know young women all over…not even women and young children who are considered women who are forced to do all kinds of things globally now at that age when they are too young, arranged marriages and all kinds…


With Liv, her sense of power, and her understanding of the role, I just said, “Go with her. Just do what’s in your heart.” There was a voice coach I was working with on another movie [that] We brought this to help Liv. Because I do a lot of corset work. she did immoral. She played Mary, Queen of Scots. She has performed countless costume dramas. I know about corsets, after three years whoresAnd I was also a dancer when I was younger. So I have an understanding of these things, and I just wanted Liv to know about breathing [and] How do you breathe differently in those corsets, which is really helpful, I guess.

The costumes on this show are fantastic. Catherine feels like armor in many ways. How valuable is that, in terms of getting into that role, and wearing those costumes? How did that help you get into the headspace?

Morton: First of all, to me as an actor, costumes mean nothing, because your character might do a nude scene or a scene in your nightgown. You have to be that person, whether you wear those clothes or not. However, people, you and I, wear clothes to make us feel a certain way or to present something to the world or make up. Either we hide, or we desire, “No, that’s what I’m showing,” whether it’s fabric color, texture, or style. Clothes say a huge amount. What was incredible about Karen Muller-Serio, who designed these costumes, was how she worked, how she worked with fabrics, textures, colors, and the understanding of light. It was extraordinary. With Catherine, you had a younger Catherine, which was greens and golds and those kinds of youthful elements. Without any spoilers, when certain things happen, it’s just in black. What Karen brilliantly did there was this statement.


For Catherine, when she is in court, in front of other people, she plays chess. It has to be a certain way. So this outfit, you’re right, Carly, it’s her armor. She protects herself. It’s almost personal. When she’s private, and is behind closed doors, or is with her servants, she can then just let it go a little bit more, which I found pretty cool. I was so proud of her and Jacquita who did hair, makeup, production design, cinematography, Justin and Stacey and also Ludivine. We haven’t talked much about Ludivine, and I think her performance is extraordinary. I think the show has a really amazing balance, especially with a lot of younger, older actors. I’m so proud of everyone for their commitment to the roles and everything they bring to the table, which is really cool.

There are as many rumors about Catherine as there are facts. What do you hope this series will do to shine a light on her as a character?

Morton: Starz, whether it’s marketing or whatever, has done really well in terms of [the question of] “What would you have done differently?” In history, it is very easy to discredit women. It is very easy to judge other people until you see how it feels to be them, or see it from a different side. I guess that’s what the show does, for sure by the time you get to Episode 8. A lot happens in between [Episodes] 7 and 8, big turning to go, “Oh my God. Well, I get this now.” How brutal the world was for her, how brutal it was for women and still is for women. I hope that when people watch it, they’ll go, “Times aren’t really that different. We need to do something about it.”


Second, I hope they really know what’s going to happen next, because her story really begins at the end of episode 8, but you still had eight episodes of her life. Do you know what I mean? It’s so exciting when you know what’s left of it. I hope they want more because I want to say more. We want to share more about the amazing life of Catherine de Medici.

serpent queen Premieres September 11th on Starz.

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