Willow Showrunner Reveals Hannah Waddingham Had One Condition Before Joining Series

The third episode of Disney+'s new Willow series, "Battle of the Slaughtered Lamb," was released yesterday and featured a cameo from Ted Lasso star, Hannah WaddinghamWarning: Spoilers Ahead! While escaping her captors, Elora Danan (Ellie Bamber) meets a couple of woodswomen, Hubert (Waddingham) and Annie (Caoimhe Farren). Both women swore to protect Elora when they learned her true identity, but sadly, they were soon killed by the infected Commander Ballantine (Ralph Ineson). Recently, Willow showrunner Jonathan Kasdan had a chat with io9 and was asked about getting the Emmy-winning star in the episode. Turns out, Waddingham was excited to join the show, which is a follow-up to the 1988 fantasy film of the same name. However, she had one condition about joining the series. 

"I had this idea very early on that when Elora escaped from the knights of Tir Asleen... she would have a brief detour somewhere that felt too good to be true," Kasdan explained. "And what we thought of was this lovely little campsite and these two women who were funny and sort of a joy to be around. Very much in the spirit of Willow characters where they're eccentric in sort of a slightly self-involved [way] and live in their own universe a little bit. And that emerged as a storyline."

He continued, "And when we were searching out who to play that part, Hannah was another person who sort of raised her hand and said, 'I love this stuff. Put me in there, give me anything I can. As long as I get to fight, I'm down' ... And of course, she came in, she blew us all away, and we all instantly regretted her death and wondered how we might potentially bring her back."

Are Original Willow Stars in the Disney+ Show?

In addition to Warwick Davis in the titular role, the Willow series also features Joanne Whalley as Sorsha. ComicBook.com had the chance to catch up with Whalley at the Willow premiere, and she talked about returning to their roles nearly 35 years later.

"Not really, no," Whalley admitted when asked if she ever thought she'd be playing Sorsha again. "I didn't actually, I never even thought about it." We also asked how she bridged the gap between performances considering all that would have happened to Sorsha over time, and she gave all of the credit to Willow showrunner, Jonathan Kasdan.

0comments

"Well, you would think I might have a lot to say about it, but I actually don't have much to say about it, because the joy of it was, is that Jon Kasdan completely understood the core material, the source material, and just moved it forward. I mean, he really is... I think when I read the scripts, it was such, not a relief exactly, but almost," Whalley explained. "It didn't feel strange at all, and I think that's a testament to his genius." She continued, "Because it didn't feel strange. And family dynamics felt real. We're further along in time still. Sorsha has a whole slew of different problems on her shoulders that she's trying to pretend she's not worrying about, and it just felt very natural ... What more could you ask for?"

The first three episodes of Willow are now streaming on Disney+.