The Witcher: Blood Origin introduces Michelle Yeoh to the world of Netflix's hit fantasy series. In the prequel show, the Hollywood star plays Scian, an Elven warrior who is the last member of a nomadic tribe on the hunt for a lost sword taken from her. When GamesRadar+ had the chance to speak to Blood Origin creator Declan de Barra, he shared how the casting came about.
"I was a huge fan of Michelle," he tells us. "I loved all of her Hong Kong stuff, and then I got to see Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and my mouth was on the floor. Literally every action scene I write in anything I always play the scene of her in the temple fighting beforehand. And I was like, 'wow imagine if we can get Michelle Yeoh in here,' and then literally I was on the phone to Michelle Yeoh and trying to convince her to do the show."
The actor, who’s been securing award nominations for her role in 2022's Everything Everywhere All At Once, is in high demand. However, the Blood Origin showrunner said she was keen to sign on to Netflix’s fantasy spin-off – but she just had one qualm.
"She doesn’t have to work, she’s Michelle Yeoh," he adds. "She does it because she loves it, and it was something new for her and the story. She had one stipulation, which was that she didn’t swear – she didn’t think this character of Scian would swear, because she did in the original pilot. I went, 'you know what, you’re right because Scian comes from a very different tribe, and she’s very aloof compared to everybody else, so she wouldn’t swear. She’d look at you very disapprovingly and cut you with a glance.'"
De Barra waxes lyrical about how committed Yeoh was to the role, and how inspiring it was to be on set with her. He continues: "You meet her and you start shooting and it’s like 'holy fuck, Michelle Yeoh is on stage and she’s in this show.'"
"She is the funniest person, and a complete prankster, and just wonderful to work with," the writer adds. "And you’ll see her scripts, they will be color coded with a million tabs, and she goes so deep. She worked so hard. Then you see her in an action scene and there’s never more than one take because she’s brilliant and she cuts through everybody like butter. It’s amazing."
Blood Origin is set 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher, and follows a ragtag group of warriors on a mission to save the Elven kingdom. For more on the series, check out our explainers on:
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