One of the first questions, my burning question is Tom Ellis as Lucifer has made his version of Lucifer famous at the moment. So I was wondering if that informed your version at all?
Gwendoline Christie: I have great respect for Tom, but I didn’t think it would be helpful for me to watch someone else’s performance of a Lucifer role. I played Lucifer actually at Manchester Royal Exchange on stage, maybe 2009 ish. I can’t quite remember. So-
In Dorchester. And I actually was propelled out of the ceiling in chain mail, colored gray with my hands on fire. So it was a role I really wanted to revisit. And I’m very lucky in that. I had an amazing training at Drama Centre London, which was a classical training with a method approach. And we were always told to look at a wide range of material. It can be the strangest thing that comes to you and says, “That is Lucifer. That essence, that look, the feeling of the sun here on my face, scorching feeling, that’s Lucifer.” So I looked in other areas just because I wanted to make this my own like I do every single part I play.
So, which specific areas did you look at for the part?
Gwendoline Christie: Well, I looked at the comics and I read them again and again and again. And I looked at Neil’s other works and thought about his soul and what it is he tries to communicate and what it is he wants to communicate and what it was he wants to communicate with Lucifer. And I also thought it was very clear to me with our world events and the number of global crisis that we seem to be increasingly aware of. Just what evil means to me and how it manifests in the human body.
Where does it take us? Where does it take our psyche? Where does it take our emotions? And as maybe alien as some of that luckily felt, I was fascinated by exploring it. That’s what I’m interested in. Things where I don’t feel safe.
Where it feels like a challenge for me, maybe the behavior of the character feels entirely alien to me. Maybe it’s something I don’t naturally do. And so it’s a pleasure to work continuously on trying to bring something about that isn’t natural to me.
Is your version of Lucifer wholly evil in your mind?
Gwendoline Christie: I never ever think any character is evil. I never think any character is good. I just think of them as… Well, Lucifer isn’t human. Lucifer is fallen angel, but I think of them as entities.
I haven’t seen the episodes myself, but a little birdie told me you have an episode that’s pretty much just all about your character. And is there anything in that episode that it really struck you and you were super excited? You want people to see it, or-
Gwendoline Christie: Yes, absolutely. I mean, what was thrilling? What’s thrilling about playing any characters when they go through a change, when they are challenged, when the stakes are incredibly high and there is a huge risk. And I was excited to work with Tom, particularly when I got onto set and realized that he was Dream, that he was so committed to the role that he was immersed in that experience. And so that was a great pleasure and fun to come to people that would be very serious, to come about and try that out. And I loved him as well. I loved Tom. He was so generous and so respectful and you need that basis. We all need that basis in order to try things out creatively, in order to go there, particularly when you are not dealing with the nice emotions
In Sandman, that Lucifer’s role as the Monarch of Hell is sort of that classical take that it’s a punishment for Lucifer. What did that feel like? And when you’re playing against Dream, is there jealousy? Is Lucifer jealous of dream? Is that why there’s that level of resentment of what Dream is versus Lucifer?
Gwendoline Christie: I think that Lucifer is simultaneously laissez-faire about every single person, every single creature, every single entity, and simultaneously is consumed with jealousy and shame. Consumed with it. Because from going from being God’s chosen one, God’s favorite angel to live a life entirely of punishment. You have very little.
Yeah. And how did you react when you found out they changed up the script so that Lucifer was the one that got to do the imagination battle of Dream rather than-
Gwendoline Christie: Very, very exciting. And can I just say they have done a phenomenal job with it. They’ve done a phenomenal job of making that come to life. And I loved playing the relationship with Tom. The relationship between the two of them. There was also a lighting state that Jamie Charles, the director, used which felt… It seemed to put us into a hallucinogenic state, which was exciting.