The Wheel of Time star Madeleine Madden has opened up on how ‘physically exhausting’ the epic fantasy was to film, emphasising how the series stands out by placing women in power at the ‘forefront’.
Based on the book series of the same name, the show follows a woman named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) who is on the search for an individual known as the ‘Dragon Reborn’.
This person, who could be one of a group of young people she recruits for her travels, is said to have the secret ability to either save the world or destroy it – a fate that is unknown at the start of the story.
Madeleine, who plays Egwene in the tale, spoke to Metro.co.uk at the world premiere about the ‘physical and emotional’ rollercoaster she went on portraying her character, who knows that she is destined for something great in life but isn’t quite sure what.
‘It’s been an absolute joy to go on this emotional rollercoaster and physical rollercoaster,’ she said.
‘The amount of tears I’ve cried and times I’ve fallen over… it is really physically exhausting, but that’s what it is. We’re just a vessel for these characters and to bring them to life. So physically and emotionally it’s like a marathon, it’s not a sprint in any shape or form. But we wouldn’t want it any other way.’
In The Wheel of Time, Moiraine is a member of the Aes Sedai, a commanding organisation of women who have the ability to harness a form of magic known as the ‘One Power’.
Madeleine expressed her belief that having ‘women and people from diverse backgrounds’ as the focus of the show makes the series unique in comparison to other releases in the fantasy genre.
‘I think that’s what makes The Wheel of Time a standout specifically in the fantasy genre, is that women and people from diverse backgrounds are in the forefront,’ the Australian actor said.
‘And I don’t mean just background in ethnicity or identity, it’s like diversity of thought, experience, spirituality. So that’s something that really puts The Wheel of Time on its own.’
The 24-year-old continued: ‘I think having strong powerful women at the forefront, it’s like what we have in our lives. I think about all the women, strong women, that have influenced and raised me, and I kind of channel that into the work, but that’s what our world is like, so our art should reflect that.’
At the premiere, Metro.co.uk also caught up with The Wheel of Time writer AK Shuman, who reiterated Madeleine’s point of view on telling a tale where the women are primarily the ones in power.
‘I’m incredibly proud of it. It’s one of the things I think that we’re the most proud of,’ she said.
AK explained that she and Uta Briesewitz, who directed the first two episodes, would ‘laugh a lot on the pilot’ while discussing this point.
‘She has a young daughter, and just the idea that young girls could watch this show and see that they’re as powerful as little boys is incredibly empowering and exciting for all of us,’ she said.
The Wheel of Time is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video with new episodes released on Fridays.