Rising star Anna Demetriou headlines the ensemble cast in new epic Of Gods and Warriors. It’s a strong, commanding role which she totally makes her own.
In the mythical Kingdom of Volsung, Princess Helle (Demetriou) is the rightful heir to the throne, but she is forced to flee after she's framed for the murder of her father, the King. On the run, she seeks guidance from the Viking God Odin (Terence Stamp) to gain the training and wisdom needed to take back Volsung and fulfil her destiny.
Boasting an exciting cast, the film co-stars Will Mellor, Martyn Ford and Ian Beattie. From Misfits Entertainment, the acclaimed producers of the Tribeca Film Festival nominated McQueen, and helmed by up-and-coming writer/director David L.G. Hughes, Of Gods and Warriors is a mythical epic you won’t want to miss.
To celebrate the release of the film and this powerful, female-driven story, Anna was kind enough to share her experiences making the movie in an exclusive interview for Female First.
How did you first come by this role and what appealed to you?
I was very fortunate for this audition to come up six months after I graduated from LAMDA. The role was so wonderful I couldn’t put the script down and was unlike anything I’d gone up for before. Young badass female parts are few and far between, although it is definitely getting much better. It was so exciting and she had such a journey, I can’t tell you how much I wanted to play her. So glad I did something right, and here we are.
Did you call on any particular film or character references when channeling Princess Helle?
David [L.G. Hughes] the director really wanted to stay close to Disney and fantasy genres as his little girl was the inspiration for writing this movie, intending to change up princess stereotypes. I thought characters like Pocahontas and Merida in Brave were frameworks I could take from (with a healthy dose of myself). He told me to watch those kinds of movies and reimagine them as bloodthirsty and unstoppable really, so that’s what I did.
You work with some very interesting actors here including Terence Stamp, Ian Beattie, Will Mellor and Martyn Ford. What was the experience like working with the other cast?
I really did, I have been a lucky lady. Such different backgrounds all coming together to make this film created such an inspiring environment. Everyone was bringing something of themselves and their experience to the table and that’s what made it such a beautiful experience for me, start to finish. Terence having done some ginormous projects, Will with a comedy background, Martyn relatively new to the acting scene and Ian with his Game of Thrones history. It was amazing and they all had something to teach. Most importantly they all had my back and were rooting for me the whole time and I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful cast.
What was it like working with writer/director David L.G. Hughes?
David guided me through an intimidating first film job with wisdom and patience and support. He was there to help and also knew that I was ready to give my everything and that balance was great. This script had been a long time coming for him so he was loving every second of making it, as I was, so we both were like two grinning peas in a pod.
It’s a very physical role with lots of action and fighting. Is this something you’d done before and how did you prepare?
Drama school gave me plenty of stage combat lessons so when it came to remembering choreography and basic fight skills, that was in my muscle memory for sure. Fighting for camera is a whole other ball game and was a huge learning process start to finish. The stunt team were above and beyond my comprehension of talent. They helped me do everything you see in the film and ensured the fight scenes made me look a force to be reckoned with!
Do you have a favourite memory from making the film?
I know it should be about the filming but I turned 24 on set and honestly, the whole team made my birthday the most wonderful day. They filled my trailer with balloons and surprised me with a cake. I just remember living the absolute dream on my birthday with this incredible new found family. I was so grateful and it was so surreal.
What do you think audiences will find appealing about Of Gods and Warriors and what makes it different?
I tried my absolute best to make my character a heroine to really root for and I really feel that you go with her on a journey in this movie. There is love, revenge, blood and family. Everything under the sun is pretty much in the film and there isn’t really a dull moment. It’s a satisfying watch and people are really enjoying it so far, the support has been unreal. This is not your average Princess and if you want some twists and turns and some epic battles, definitely go watch it tonight.
What’s next for you in terms of upcoming projects?
My second movie The Marine 6: Close Quarters comes out in the next few months for WWE which was a polar opposite kind of character and so I’m really excited about that! I’m recording music too and very much looking forward to whatever comes next for me!
Of Gods and Warriors is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 101 Films.