English actor Ruth Wilson plays the role of devious Marisa Coulter in His Dark Materials. The fantasy drama is based on Philip Pullman’s popular fantasy trilogy of the same name.
The series is set in a world very much like ours with a few differences. For one, every human in this world is accompanied by an animal companion (called daemons) that embodies the said human’s soul.
The cast is led by Dafne Keen as Lyra, who uncovers a dangerous secret involving Wilson’s Marisa and James McAvoy’s Lord Asriel.
Talking about her character in His Dark Materials, Ruth Wilson said, “She is such an enigmatic woman. You don’t really ever understand in the books why she is doing exactly what she’s doing. She is always unpredictable. You never quite know how she comes into a scene and how she leaves a scene. She is a master manipulator, knows what people want and she knows how to get it out of people. She is determined so she gets what she wants in the end. That’s really scary.”
Wilson added, “She also has this extraordinary monkey that is always with her and is incredibly vicious. Mrs Coulter is one extraordinary character and an amazing person to keep delving into. A female character that one cannot quite understand. That to me is the most amazing character. It is like Hedda Gabler. You can never quite understand her.”
Ruth Wilson also admitted that she was not aware of His Dark Materials books before she was offered the job. She said, “My agent called me up and said that they are going to offer me Mrs Coulter and I didn’t know much about the books then. I had heard about the play. And so I asked him ‘who?’ And he said that that character is the most iconic one in the series. Then I read the description of her as – she is the epitome of moral filth and the mother of all evil. That moment I knew I wanted to play this role. I cannot turn this down. Yeah, it is always fun to play a bad character. What I find so fascinating with her is that she is so complicated.”
His Dark Materials airs on Star World every Sunday at 9 pm. It is also streaming on Hotstar.