Season three of Netflix’s popular fantasy series, The Witcher, arrives in two parts this summer: on 29 June and 27 July 2023. Fans will recognise Mecia Simson as Francesca Findabair, who she calls ‘a force; when she wants something, she lets nothing get in her way’. We sat down with Mecia to chat all about The Witcher season three, as well as her modelling career and dreaming of playing a female James Bond.
Interview: Mecia Simson On The Witcher Season Three
Hi Mecia, how’s life going at the moment?
Life is great! I’ve been making the most of my time off in-between filming. I’ve been catching up with friends and family and doing a bit of travelling.
We love The Witcher at C&TH, but can you give any unfamiliar readers a pitch for the show in your own words?
The Witcher is based on the best-selling fantasy series of books set in a mediaeval world. It follows the lives of three individuals bound by fate: a Witcher, a Mage and a royal child with powers strong enough to wipe out the whole continent. The story focuses on the chosen family and their fight to survive while everybody – monster, human, elf, mage – fights to get their hands on the girl.
What can we expect from season three?
The stakes are higher than ever. It is politically charged, and everybody is fighting to capture the girl. You cannot trust anybody.
You play Francesca Findabair – can you describe her?
Francesca is a force; when she wants something, she lets nothing get in her way. She cares deeply for her people and desperately wants to find them a home where they can rebuild what was stolen from them. She is The Elven Queen and she hopes to lead her people to salvation.
What was it like playing her?
It was an absolute dream to play Francesca. She’s a strong woman and magically powerful. She has so many elements to her with a whole body of history that make her the way she is. The more I delved into the text and the books, there was always something new that I could learn about her which made the whole experience of playing her super exciting. I loved every moment; with the costume, the hair and eyes, I was really able to get lost in her.
How did you prepare for the role?
As soon as I found out I got the role, I jumped straight into the books – even before I got hold of the scripts. I wanted to get a head start so I could really start to imagine the world. I was obsessed with it, creating timelines, sticking pictures on my walls of things that connected me to the story, watching season one a million times, and reading lots of stuff on The Witcher Wiki. Francesca’s main thing is to protect her family and to protect her people, so I connected it to my life and imagined being in her world fighting to protect my loved ones. I also use a technique called Lucid Body, created by Faye Simpson, who I was lucky enough to work with. The technique helps you identify the energy points driving the character which in turn helps you to embody the character.
What has it been like as part of such a huge franchise?
It has been crazy! I still can’t believe I’m a part of The Witcher franchise. Sometimes I forget how big the show actually is. I am forever grateful, because it has opened up so many doors for me.
Any standout moments from rehearsals or filming?
There are so many standout moments! We had such a great time filming season three. I feel like there wasn’t a day where I didn’t laugh.
What is the cast dynamic? Who was your favourite person to work with?
We have such a supportive cast dynamic – everybody is so lovely and respectful. All of the cast were great to work with for different reasons but, I loved working with Tom Canton who plays Filavandrel. He’s super passionate about the job, we work in a very similar way, and have worked together for the majority of our scenes since day one.
Any roles in the pipeline that you’re excited about? (If you’re allowed to tell us!)
There is something, but I have to keep it on the low for now.
Which character that you have played in the past do you relate to the most in your own life?
Francesca Findabair is most relatable to me because her people and her loved ones are the most important thing to her in the world.
Who has been your favourite actor to work with in the past?
I couldn’t choose – they’ve all been so great.
Who have you learned the most from?
I would say I’ve taken a little piece from everyone I worked with. Being so new to this industry, I’m like a sponge and have been soaking everyone in. I remember filming a scene with Mimi who plays Fringilla in The Witcher and I was so blown away by her performance that I almost forgot I had lines to speak.
What’s your dream role?
I’m obsessed with A24 Films, so any supporting or lead roles in any one of their films would do me just fine. Their films are so distinct, and they always have some kind of quirk which I love. You know it’s going to be good if it’s A24. I’d love to play a female James Bond type character, so if A24 decides they want to create a female James Bond, that would most definitely be my dream job.
What’s something you’d like to do more of?
I’d really like to do more films. I’ve had the experience of working on a TV series, so a film would be the next step for me. I’ve always been into martial arts and have spent many years learning to box, so I’d love to do something action based where I get to fully immerse myself in stunts.
You’re also an accomplished model – what has been your favourite project so far?
My favourite project has to be the Maxfactor campaign. It was my first job as a model and I felt super proud of myself. It was the first time I’d seen my picture up in huge posters all around the world.
What’s your favourite thing about modelling?
Firstly, getting to travel to the most beautiful locations. Secondly, getting to play dress up with looks I would never have thought of.
Do you get to spend much time at home?
I get to spend more time at home now than I did before. I try to go back to my home town at least once a month, which is lovely. All my family are still there.
Do you live in the town or the country? Which do you prefer?
I have the best of both worlds. I live in the city for work but go back home to my mum’s beautiful house as much as I can, which sits on the edge of the country. I will always be a country girl.
What’s your interior design style?
I love a boho chic kind of style – that would be my goal when I buy a house. At the moment, the flat I live in is filled with crystals, incense and Palo Santo. I’m obsessed with crystals – the collection keeps getting bigger and bigger.
What’s your relationship with social media like?
I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with it. I use it because I know it’s a great tool for work and to promote yourself. But I’m not the type to obsess over it or feel the need to document everything I do. I’ve done it before and it didn’t make me feel good. I prefer to live life in the moment.
How do you find balance in your personal and work lives?
During filming months, it can be really intense. I throw myself completely into my work and stay focused until the end. But, during the months where I’m not filming, I more than make up for it by catching up with friends and family, creating new experiences and lots of travelling. At the same time, it all goes hand in hand: I love my job and I find it hard to disconnect from it, because every life experience, every person I meet, every place I go to helps with my growth as an actor. It’s all about life experience. So, in a way, the work never stops.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
My dream was always to work in TV, but I wasn’t sure how to get into it. At one point, I thought about presenting, but I was too shy. I’ve always wanted to travel the world, so I almost went into tourism after studying travel and tourism at college.
If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
I would tell her to focus on herself and stop worrying about what other people thought of her.
How can we all live a little bit better?
Be kind to one another and don’t be so quick to judge. You never know what someone may be going through. When people go through difficult times, it can manifest outwardly in ways that are hard to understand. Compassion could be the thing that saves a person’s life.
Anything fun in the pipeline – professionally or personally?
The Witcher Season 3 premiere!
I’m tuning into… Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
What I’m reading… Wahala by Nikki May and Stolen Focus by Johann Hari
The last thing I watched was… Friends
What I’m most looking forward to seeing… The Little Mermaid
Favourite film of all time… Titanic
Band/singer I always have on repeat… Beyonce
My ultimate cultural recommendation… Travel to Bali
Cultural guilty pleasure… A trip down the pub for a pint
What’s next for me is… A secret!
Watch Mecia Simson in The Witcher on Netflix. Part one of season three arrives on 29 June 2023, or catch up with the first two seasons at netflix.com
Featured image © David Reiss.