Who Plays Magda on ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’? Natalie Dormer Portrays Showtime’s Latest Supernatural Antagonist

by Jeremy Spirogis
Natalie Dormer of "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" speaks during the Showtime segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 13, 2020 in Pasadena, California.

The Penny Dreadful spinoff, City of Angels, might not star Eva Green, however the present’s solid nonetheless packs a strong punch. The new Showtime authentic sequence contains fan-favorites equivalent to Nathan Lane and Alex Rodriguez. But Natalie Dormer — who performs Magda, Elsa, Rio, and Alex on Penny Dreadful: City of Angels — actually got here to impress together with her portrayal of 4 completely different characters.

Natalie Dormer performs Magda, Elsa, Rio, and Alex on ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’

Natalie Dormer of "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" speaks during the Showtime segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 13, 2020 in Pasadena, California.
Natalie Dormer of “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Chances are, you’ve seen Dormer earlier than. The 38-year-old English actor beforehand performed Cressida in The Hunger Games franchise. She additionally starred in Showtime’s The Tudors as Anne Boleyn and the CBS sequence Elementary as Jamie Moriarty. 

Nevertheless, it’s doubtless you acknowledge Dormer as Margaery Tyrell from HBO’s Game of Thrones. The actor portrayed Margaery for 5 seasons till the character’s sudden demise by wildfire. And in response to an interview with Variety from April 2020, Dormer is glad with the ending.

“I was ever so grateful that I was with Jonathan [Pryce who played the High Sparrow],” Dormer stated. “To have such a partner for my last scene was really a gift.”

She later added: “I got the golden ticket, the perfect length of time. I watched Season 1 as a fan, came in the second season, did a good solid five years just as the show had this incredible explosion, and then I got out in time to watch the end and sit on the couch again.”

Who are Magda, Elsa, Rio, and Alex on ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’

[embedded content]

Now Dormer will get to sort out 4 characters in Penny Dreadful: City of Angels — Magda, Elsa, Rio, and Alex. That stated, all of them stem from one supply. Magda is a shape-shifting demon who takes three human types in Alex, a political help; Elsa, a German housewife; and Rio, a frontrunner within the native pachuco gang. 

In the Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiere launched early on April 24, it’s clear Magna is the present’s antagonist. She desires to show mankind is innately egocentric and harmful. And by way of Alex, Elsa, and Rio, the character pushes LA nearer to a race warfare within the late 1930s.

“I think the mythology behind it was, to me, as she says in the first episode, ‘All mankind needs to be the monster he truly is, is being told that he can,’” Dormer stated within the above interview with Variety. “She basically believes that mankind is inherently bad — that they will choose the baser, more selfish, more egocentric route whenever given a fork in the road.”

Natalie Dormer on taking part in Magda, Elsa, Rio, and Alex on ‘Penny Dreadful: City of Angels’

[embedded content]

When talking with Entertainment Weekly upon the early premiere of Penny Dreadful: City of Angels on April 24, Dormer shared Magda’s motivations and the themes they discover are the the explanation why she was taken with the function. 

“[Creator John Logan] sought to write a great historical drama with the supernatural element raising the tension. Therefore, he created Magda,” Dormer stated. “I, as an actress, was attracted to his themes and exploration of what it is to be in the 21st century and maybe we’re about to reascend in a way that many societies did in the late ‘30s. Thematically, I was curious in what he was trying to say.”

She continued: “Magda is a metaphor for the darker side of men’s souls. Magda is not the devil incarnate. She’s taken a position on mankind: They will always choose the more selfish or baser option. For me, it’s certainly more interesting if you’re doing empirical experimentation to see how bad mankind can [be]. When they have forks in the road, which way do they choose?”

Dormer additionally touched on the parallels between City of Angels and our society today, notably because the world goes by way of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

[embedded content]

“It’s interesting to see where communities and nations are cooperating,” Dormer stated. “What does unite us in our common humanity where we can put humanity first beyond borders and ethnicities and economic lines? The show is gonna come at a good time now for all different reasons.”

Meanwhile, Dormer defined how her new City of Angels characters challenged her as an actress. 

“It was an opportunity for me on a technical level,” Dormer stated. “How can I manage to play four roles at once? How can I manage their physicality in their voices and mentality? What can I do to test myself in what I’m capable of spinning at one given time?”

Dormer then shared how she ready for every function, from the physicality adjustments to the prolonged hair-and-makeup transformations. But even so, it appears the top result was price it. 

“It’s acting in its grassroots,” she stated. “I remember it said in [the script for] John’s pilot episode, ‘We meet Alex and we meet Elsa. This is not prosthetics. This is not trickery. This is acting,’ with capital letters and underlined. When an actor reads that, that’s a dream to see that written down.”

Read extra: ‘Penny Dreadful’: Everything We Know About the Spinoff ‘City of Angels’

Leave a Comment