Willow's Amar Chadha-Patel And Erin Kellyman On The Similarities Between Their Characters [Exclusive Interview]

Few expected 1988's classic film "Willow" to get a television follow up, but thanks to the tireless efforts of showrunner Jon Kasdan, that's exactly what we're getting this week on Disney+. Two characters that we'll be introduced to in the show are Boorman and Jade, played by Amar Chadha-Patel and Erin Kellyman.

Boorman is a swordsman that no one quite trusts; he's locked in prison before being sent on a quest with the children of Madmartigan and Sorsha (key characters from the movie). Jade, meanwhile, is a member of the palace guard and is the best friend of Kit, the daughter of Madmartigan and Sorsha. Together, they find the fate of the world may well rest on their shoulders. /News got to speak with Amar Chadha-Patel and Erin Kellyman together about their roles on the show, their physicality, the legacy of the movie, and more.

'We had to learn how to be incredible sword fighters'

The two of you are very physical on this show. What was the training like? You both look very precise and excellent at it. Or was that all just stunt doubles?

Chadha-Patel: My stunt double didn't do anything.

Kellyman: We were actually able to do pretty much all of it ourselves.

Chadha-Patel: He ran for me once when I hurt my knee, but that was about it.

Kellyman: We were very lucky to be trusted with actually doing our own stunts, which was great.

Chadha-Patel: It was a hard thing to learn, because we had to learn how to be incredible sword fighters, and then for me, I had to throw that away and make Boorman's style more sloppy and a bit more like un-precise, unlike Jade, who grew up in a castle in a soldier-training arena. Boorman figured it out on his own. It was quite fun.

The characters of Boorman and Jade feel like there are lots of really interesting layers to them and you get to peel them back over some of the episodes. I'm wondering what you did to make sure you could track that journey and how the directors helped? Because I think your two characters were the most complex in that way.

Kellyman: It was really great in that we had a month of training beforehand. In that time, we were able to have a lot of rehearsal time with Jon Kasdan, our showrunner. And we were able to go over backstories and journeys before the show and in the show and really lock in their experiences and we were able to fully understand them.

Chadha-Patel: They were very similar characters. And it was nice to be able to do that in parallel with each other and develop those similarities and then find that similarity with each other throughout some of the episodes.

Kellyman: The similarities are very deep-rooted. They even quite realize how similar they are to begin with.

'I never wanted to step on his toes'

The aspects that both of your characters bring to the show are very delightful. With Jade, there's very much a romantic tension that I think carries the show, but with Boorman, it feels like you had to bring the Madmartigan energy. And I'm wondering how you felt carrying those weights of the show on your shoulders as you're going through it, or is that not even something you're thinking about?

Chadha-Patel: Oh, I'm thinking about it all the time. Even more so now. Madmartigan's character is such an important part of that film. It's a lot of people's like benchmark for the roguish, sword-swinging pain in the ass. And that was what I knew I was trying to channel. But I think I trusted that because Jon [Kasdan] and the other creative team, through the casting process, we'd made it clear that we were trying to do something different with me, especially as a South Asian man and having different lived experiences that I was going to be able to bring something new to what Val [Kilmer] did. And I never wanted to step on his toes. So I tried very hard to make Boorman my own. That archetype is quite easy to fall into because we've all grown up with it, and every little boy's dream is to swing a sword. But because we get to deconstruct that archetype a lot throughout the show, I knew I had somewhere else to go and play with it. That was the real joy of that journey, was making him fragile toward the end.

We've run out of time, and I want to say thank you both. I've really enjoyed the show, and I hope, Erin, we're able to see some Enfys Nest on Disney+ at some point.

Kellyman: Fingers crossed. It was nice talking to you.

"Willow" airs on Disney+ on Wednesdays, beginning November 30, 2022.