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‘I was lucky to be sent to a Welsh language school’ says new Lord of the Rings star

13 Feb 2021 2 minute read
The original Galadriel Cate Blanchett and the series’ new star Morfydd Clark.

The star of a new Lord of the Rings series coming to Amazon Prime has said that she was “lucky” to be sent to a Welsh language school as it put her on the road to being an actress.

Morfydd Clark will now play a young Galadriel, the character portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.

She told i-D that she struggled with dyslexia and ADHD growing up, and felt “overwhelmed” and “burnt out”.

“Luckily, I was sent to Welsh language school [where] the arts are so respected,” she says. “There’s a right to be a performer in Welsh language and in society, and I really wasn’t good at anything else, really couldn’t put my mind to anything.”

After leaving school, Morfydd auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and Welsh Youth Opera.

She went on to play the title role in Saunders Lewis’ play Blodeuwedd with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. She also appeared as Sister Clara in the Cardiff-made His Dark Materials for the BBC.

“I really do feel that I needed access to the arts, whether or not I became an actor,” she says. “[It’s] just this place where I could be myself, really… then it happened to work out.”

‘Cultural heritage’

Morfydd Clark also told the i-D that working on Lord of the Rings had given her a new interest in Welsh myths and legends and she hopes to work on an adaptation of the Welsh myths in the future.

She also said she was fantasising about returning home from Middle-Earth to Wales, and being reunited with friends and family.

“I really hope that by summer things are a bit better… ‘I feel the sun is rising’,” she said.

She had previously told the Hollywood Reporter that she had the Welsh language to thank for inspiring her to take us acting.

According to the magazine, she credited Wales’ “proud cultural heritage and huge focus on the arts” for her early inspiration, and her first experience came from taking part as a schoolgirl “in the annual Eisteddfod Welsh-language music and poetry competition and festival”.

“That set me up for it all,” she said. “But I really got into acting because I was really bad at schoolwork.”

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