Natalie Dormer Q&A / Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Natalie Dormer is getting accustomed to living dangerously – in her movies, at least. Whether playing Cressida in Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Anne Boleyn in The Tudors, or Margaery in Game of Thrones, the blonde, willowy British actress has made her mark as a fearless, independent-minded woman often faced with harrowing situations.
Now she’s unleashing some very daunting sides of herself as the shape-shifting Magda in PENNY DREADFUL: CITY OF ANGELS, the highly anticipated spin-off to the original cult horror series that starred Eva Green. Dormer describes her character as a “supernatural goddess” who takes on three distinct human forms – Elsa, a dispirited German immigrant, Alex, a duplicitous advisor to a city councillor (played by Nathan Lane), and Rio a ruthless, bisexual Chicano gang leader. Over the course of the limited series, set in 1930s Los Angeles, Dormer’s Magda sows chaos and confusion no matter what identity she happens to assume.
“Magda is a metaphor for the darker side of men’s souls,” Dormer says. “Magda is not the devil incarnate. She’s taken a position on mankind: that human beings will always choose the more selfish or baser option. For me, it’s certainly more interesting if you’re doing empirical experimentation to see how bad mankind can [be]. When they have forks in the road, which way do they choose? It’s a question that is very relevant to the current state of the world.”
The 38-year-old Dormer is a product of Reading, England and excelled in school as head girl, vice-captain of the netball team, and debating champion. After studying drama at the Webber Douglas Academy in London, she landed her first role in Casanova (2005) before scoring her big acting break as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors (2007-10).
While spending much of the past decade working on Game of Thrones, Dormer has also managed to work on several big studio films including The Hunger Games, Captain America: The First Avenger, Rush, and The Counsellor as well as smaller indie projects including The Forest and a remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock…