‘Cursed’ has a number of amazing twists in its first season, including that Igraine is actually Morgana. HL spoke with Shalom Brune-Franklin about the finale, Morgana’s complex relationship with Arthur, and more.
For Shalom Brune-Franklin, getting the role of Morgana was a dream come true. For Cursed to have a different take on the character made the opportunity even sweeter. When we’re first introduced to Morgana in the Netflix series, she goes by Igraine. She soon reveals her true identity. “When I was auditioning, the role was obviously Morgana,” Shalom told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “There’s been Katie McGrath in Merlin. This is an epic character. There was obviously Excalibur with Helen Mirren. I was actually really surprised by the scenes. I was like, she seems really nice. She’s really sweet. Who is this woman? Obviously, it’s a very different take. She’s not bad in our series. She’s lovely. From the get-go, I knew what I was getting myself into, and I was really excited about it. One of the audition scenes was actually the scene where she reveals her true identity, so very quickly I understood what the Igraine thing was as well.”
By the end of the season, Morgana and Merlin have crossed paths. In the legend, the powerful enchantress becomes Merlin’s apprentice. At first, Morgana and Merlin don’t get along in Cursed, and Shalom is anxious to see how their relationship evolves after the finale. Morgana and Merlin disappear after Nimue is seemingly killed by Iris.
“I’m really interested to see where it goes,” she continued. “If it goes anywhere, you never know. I can’t help but think that it is the start of something because we do end up together. We go off somewhere together, which looks epic by the way. Obviously, it didn’t look like that when we filmed it. I was so overwhelmed when I watched that because we just had no idea how that was going to play out because you’re acting on this amazing bridge, but when Gustaf [Skarsgård] is just swinging a sword in the air speaking gibberish you’re hoping this pays off.”
Shalom is fascinated by the “really interesting dynamic” between Morgana and Merlin. “I’m interested to see where it goes because Merlin is like the ultimate wizard of the time that she’s living in. She’s always thought that he’s just a story,” Shalom said. “So this could be like a huge opportunity for her to finally get what she wants. It could go so many ways.”
In the show, Morgana is very much in love with Celia, who sadly dies in a fire. Morgana doesn’t have much time to mourn, but Shalom doesn’t think Morgana has fully processed losing her love. “I think that’s very similar to real life,” Shalom told HollywoodLife. “I don’t know if there’s a part of me that kind of thinks that do we ever really truly process death? Does it ever really truly sit with us well? We learn to cope with it over time, but I think she’s very much still in the process of shock and disbelief, and she really isn’t coping well. I think if she didn’t have Nimue there, who she has given her all to, I don’t know how she would have really survived. We see her in a pretty low position, and she’s lost a lot. She’s lost her parents. She’s lost pretty much her entire family at this point. She’s lost Arthur in some sense. They’re kind of completely lost now, which is really sad to see. I think the last straw for her is that she can’t lose Nimue. We have to this woman has to survive.”
When Nimue is shot by Iris with arrows and falls off the bridge, Merlin rushes to try to save his daughter. When Nimue seemingly falls to her death, Morgana is absolutely stunned. “Morgana is just in a state of shock. She can’t even move,” Shalom said. “It’s that thing of will there be guilt and shame for not doing more, for not trying. It’s those fight or flight moments. In that moment, it’s the first time we see her not fight, which was so interesting. I think it’s so cool the way that Tom [Wheeler] and Frank [Miller] had done that.”
Shalom also opened up about the complex relationship Morgana and her brother, Arthur. “It’s such a heartbreaking dynamic between the two of them because so much has happened between them,” Shalom said. “These two kids just want to be loved and just want to be accepted and want to belong somewhere. They want the exact same thing, and they could have that with each other. But there’s just so much that has happened that they can’t quite figure out. They don’t really have the emotional intelligence in those moments to make that happen. They’re so hurt, and they’re so jaded. Me and Devon [Terrell] really spoke about those scenes because we only really have one full confrontational scene to make that work and to tell that story. So we really had to research and figure it out together of how we were going to make that that come to life on screen.” The first season of Cursed is now streaming on Netflix.