Netflix released a historical drama series titled The Empress on September 29 this year and fans have been watching the 6-episode series, even though it isn’t historically accurate. The drama is based on a historical fiction novel about the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth von Wittelsbach (played by Devrim Lingnau).In a recent interview with Stream Wars, actors Devrim Lingnau (Elisabeth von Wittelsbach), Philip Froissant (Franz Joseph), and Melika Foroutan (Sophia) shared their experience working on the set of Netflix’s The Empress.
“It was a lot of fun,” Devrim says the cast worked on ‘extensive acting rehearsals' a few weeks before shooting even began. “We also worked with a Swedish movement tutor named Liana Nyquist. With her, we did a lot of dance exercises and body work.”
It was to captivate not just the audience but in how their characters move, “Not only approaching the character on an intellectual level but also on a physical level.” Devrim also says that this helped them in getting to know their characters to portray them accurately on screen.
“It was very valuable for us,” Philip adds, “Because you had to completely let yourself go right at the beginning. They allowed us to work directly with each other on a completely different level.”
“Everyone had to get naked there (in a figurative sense.” Devrim shares, “Everyone revealed what they could do and what they had problems with to the others.”
In terms of ‘problems’ behind the shoot, Devrim opens up about one of the most challenging yet ‘enjoyable’ scenes which was the final scene in episode 6, where Elisabeth had to stand in front of an angry crowd while revealing she was pregnant.
“I haven’t seen a scene like that before,” muses the actress about shooting with 200 extras in front of the castle in Vienna. “It was such a charged, heated situation and that’s exactly the mood that carries over into the film. The extras all had flares in their hands and when you have 200 people standing quietly in front of you like that, it can seem very threatening. It really made me tremble.”
Their Director Florian Cossen gave Devrim the opportunity to improvise in the scene and what she did was bow down to the people while kneeling in front of them. The actress continues to say, “That was such a magical moment for me.”