Sir Lenny Henry has showered his The Witcher: Blood Origin co-star Amy Murray with praise, revealing he learnt some ‘rude things’ in sign language thanks to the Deaf actress.
The prequel series, which is set to premiere on Christmas Day on Netflix, is set more than 1,000 years before the events of The Witcher, when Elven society was still in its prime.
The show – which boasts a cast including Michelle Yeoh, Sophia Brown and Laurence O’Fuarain – will also depict the creation of the first Witcher centuries before Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) came into existence, as well as the Conjunction of the Spheres, which brought monsters into their world.
While speaking to Metro.co.uk and other media, Sir Lenny opened up about his experience of playing Chief Druid Balor in the upcoming drama, a scheming being with the ability to channel magic.
One of Balor’s close companions is Fenrik (Amy Murray), who just like the actress who plays her, is Deaf.
Sir Lenny, 64, admitted that at times, he was so ‘fascinated’ by Amy’s use of sign language that he ended up missing his cues in scenes.
‘I worked with Amy Murray and she’s Deaf. I had to do lots of scenes where she was signing, and I don’t sign,’ he explained.
‘So there was quite a lot of laughing as she was saying things, and I was missing my cues because I was fascinated with her fingers, and I wasn’t really listening to what the interpreter was saying. I was just trying to figure it out, because Balor was supposed to be able to understand sign language. So it was very difficult.’
The actor remarked how in his opinion, in the real world, ‘signing should be a language that’s mandatory at school’.
‘Amy taught me some things – she taught me “L E N N Y”. And she taught me some rude things. She taught me lots of things that I’m not even supposed to be able to tell you. But she taught me lots of rude things. I mean, hilarious,’ he said.
‘She also signs in a Scottish accent, which I think is genius. I loved the entire experience [of making The Witcher: Blood Origin]. It was all brilliant. But the biggest thing was working with Amy Murray, she was wonderful.’
A month ago, the celebrated entertainer released a book called The Book of Legends, which he described as a ‘quest for kids’, telling the tale of siblings Bran and Fran who embark on an exciting adventure.
‘It was inspired by Amy, one of the kids is Deaf,’ Sir Lenny said.
‘He’s called Bran and he’s Deaf, and he signs all the way through, and there’s a page for signing in the book.’
Another co-star the Comic Relief co-founder enjoyed fun memories with was Jacob Collins-Levy, who plays Eredin in the series.
‘When we were raising the monolith in a few of the scenes, we had to wait for a very long time because the monolith took a long time to raise. We sang David Bowie songs, he’s a big David Bowie fan,’ Sir Lenny recalled.
‘So we were there singing: “Fashion, turn to the left. Fashion!” There were all these elves joining in with us singing girl TVC 15, and: “Ground Control to Major Tom.” So we sang all the time. It was big fun, the whole thing.’
The Witcher: Blood Origin premieres on December 25 on Netflix.