Mirren Mack: ‘I still haven’t figured out what success means to me’
Since it was announced in 2020, fans of The Witcher have been eagerly awaiting the release of its prequel series – and now the waiting is over. The Witcher: Blood Origin will premiere on 25 December on Netflix, set 1,200 years before the original and telling the story of the creation of the first Witcher. Ahead of the launch, C&TH sat down with one of its stars, Mirren Mack. The 25-year-old Scottish actress has featured in BBC drama The Nest, and earlier this year she played the role of Queenie in the stage revival of Small Island for The National Theatre. In The Witcher: Blood Origin, Mack will star as Princess Merwyn, alongside names like Michelle Yeoh, Laurence O’Fuarain and Sophia Brown. Here, she talks to C&TH about filming the show, the meaning of success and why we should all dance more.
Q&A with Mirren Mack
What can you tell us about The Witcher: Blood Origin?
Set in an elven world 1,200 years before the world of The Witcher: Blood Origin tells a story lost to time – the creation of the first prototype Witcher, and the events that lead to the pivotal conjunction of the spheres, when the planets of monsters, men, and elves merged to become one.
Any funny stories from filming?
Aw man, my mind goes blank! One was that my brother in Blood Origin, Mark Rowley, made these brilliant spoof interviews of folk prosthetic ears of elves who had been wrongly terminated for their work in the North Pole trying to make a life for themselves and they are hilarious. I am hoping he’ll release a reel of them for everyone to see.
Favourite person on the set of The Witcher: Blood Origin and why?
Very hard question, I would say all the makeup and hair and costume people because we spent the most amount of time together and they were incredible. I couldn’t say who in the cast because they’re all so lovely.
Favourite role to date and why?
I have different favourites for different reasons but I’m going to say Kaya in The Nest because everything about that job meant the world to me: the story, filming at home in Scotland and working with such brilliant people, it was all very special and new.
Role you’d cut your right arm off to get?
I wouldn’t cut my arm off for a role! I would very much love to play William Wallace in Braveheart.
What demands do you have on set?
I don’t think I have any demands. Maybe I need to come up with some? But I will say I am constantly hungry and so I always need to eat breakfast in the morning.
Director you’d most like to work with and why?
I would love to be in a Baz Luhrmann film because I grew up watching the Moulin Rouge and his films almost feel like magic to me.
What qualities do you think have made you successful?
Success is a funny old word, and I don’t know if I’d necessarily associate it with myself because I still haven’t figured out what it means to me. I’m thinking to be content every day is to be successful and therefore that is something you can strive for everyday. Say if there’s something in a day I want to achieve, even if it’s just to have a shower or leave the house, if I say that I want to do it and then I do it, that to me is to be successful.
Film you think everyone in the world should see?
What’s your relationship with social media like?
I don’t have social media any more so it’s probably non-existent. I find it a lot easier to speak with people to their faces than through my phone – my brain doesn’t really engage in that way well.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
It has always been an actor. For a moment I thought about an archaeologist because of Indiana Jones but then thought acting as Indiana Jones would be just as good.
If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?
Listen to your gut and look for pennies in the street.
Three books you’d take to a desert island and why?
I want to say something I have been meaning to read for ages. Practically however…
- A book of survival guides/crafts – I would learn how to do things and make a home of my island.
- An etymological dictionary, then once I’ve learned all the words and where they come from, I can use the pages for heat as there are bound to be thousands of pages.
- And last but not least, The Hungry Caterpillar – great pictures and a good moral story, reminds me of family and being little.
The most challenging moment of your life?
I don’t know if I have the self-awareness in this moment to give you a completely honest answer but something I have struggled with has been being separate or far from the people I love – something that has happened in different ways throughout my life, and something I’m still figuring out.
How can we all live a little bit better?
I think dancing is a big one: dance with others, by yourself. It is something that has always been in our nature as humans, and it feels brilliant. And keep looking up when you’re walking down the street. There’s a lot to look at.
What’s your interior design style?
I like wooden floors with rugs, higgledy-piggledy furniture and anything that creates a warm feeling. I also like the idea of having big windows and good natural light.
What is your current beauty regime?
I wash my face morning and night with a cleanser and then apply moisturiser after.
What are your indulgences?
I have many indulgences but sweet things – chocolate and cake in particular – are probably my biggest.
What would your best friend say about you?
Always chilly and always hungry, a little chaotic at times but I hope they would say loving.
How do you relax?
Cup of tea in front of the telly, preferably lying down.
If we’re coming to your area for a visit, what should we do?
There’s so much history in Stirling where I’m from. You’ve got the castle and the Wallace Monument to explore for starters, the Smith Art Gallery and King’s Park (go for a walk round the golf course) and then if you’re feeling up to it: a climb up Dumyat.
Are you a rule breaker or a rule taker?
I want to say breaker but in all honesty I follow rules more.
The Witcher: Blood Origin is out on Netflix on 25 December
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