Aussie-led TV fantasy may be the next GoT
For the three leads in the new, epic fantasy-drama Cursed, the biggest danger wasn't wizards, demons, bloody sword battles or religious fanatics. Rather, it was the fact they might slip back into their natural Australian accents.
Against all the odds for Netflix's big budget retelling of that most British of tales, the King Arthur legend, three of its main actors learned their craft in Perth, literally a world away from the mythical Camelot.
Katherine Langford, who plays the magical Nimue, was born and raised in Perth, going on to get her break in the controversial 2017 drama, 13 Reasons Why.
Devon Terrell, who plays Arthur and is best known for his role as Barack Obama in the 2016 biopic Barry, was born in the US but moved to Australia at the age of five.
And Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays the feisty nun Igraine, relocated from England at 15 and studied drama at the Western Australia Academy of the Performing Arts.
"Isn't that so crazy," said Brune-Franklin via Zoom call from Sydney, her base when she's not working in London or visiting family in Perth.
"I feel like talking to people they don't realise how nuts that is - especially that we are all from Perth as well. Of all the places in Australia, we are from this really isolated giant town. It was even harder to keep the English accent up.
"I have a bit of an edge because I grew up in England, but for the other two, they had to be really careful not to slip each other up."
Told from the point of view of Nimue, aka the Lady of the Lake, Cursed is a fresh, female-driven take on one of the most well-worn stories in literature and film.
With its elaborate world building of magical creatures and feuding families jostling for the throne, comparisons with Game of Thrones have been inevitable - which is just fine with fantasy and period drama fanatic Brune-Franklin.
"It's such a compliment for people to even be comparing because I am such a huge fan of that show," she said.
"I think it's an amazing series. It might fill the void that it has left."
Aside from gender flipping the very blokey tale, Cursed has embraced an incredibly diverse cast, with many actors of colour filling traditionally white roles.
Terrell is of African-American and Indian decent, and has said he grew up believing actors who looked like him weren't "allowed" to play a part like Arthur.
Brune-Franklin says the fact that he got the gig because he was the best man for the job is not just a credit to him but is inspiring for other actors who may have felt the same way.
"Sometimes it sounds so silly to say that you need to see yourself in a position on screen to then think you're allowed to be that," Brune-Franklin said.
"I think about the Spice Girls, who were red hot when I was growing up, and all I ever wanted to be was Posh Spice.
"Seven-year-olds don't have the brains to do colourblind casting, so it was like, 'No, you are Scary Spice'. I mean, I love Scary Spice as well, so I took it, but it's that thing of if you don't see it being done, then you can't then be it."
Cursed streams from Friday on Netflix
Originally published as Aussie-led TV fantasy may be the next GoT