After having seen Freya Allan play Ciri in two seasons of The Witcher live-action series, we really cannot imagine anyone else playing the part so well. But were you aware that Allan, in fact, wasn’t the first choice for the role? The actress was cast for a much smaller role while the creators were busy looking at other younger people for the role of Cirilla. That is, until they weren’t. Watch showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich talk about the same in the video below:
Why wasn’t Allan the first choice?
Anyone who has read the Witcher books will know that Ciri is supposed to be much younger. Writer Andrzej Sapkowski intended for Cirilla to be an 11-year-old. Not only did this fit in the Pavetta-Duny-Law of Surprise timeline better, but also made fans sympathize with Ciri even more. Having gone through things Ciri had gone through during her time on The Witcher and before that made her a tragic character of sorts.
The showrunners wanted to continue this on the live-action series on Netflix as well, but there were many obstacles in the way. First, working with an 11-year-old would mean a lack of experience. No child of that age would be able to deliver the kind of soulful performance that Allan did. Then came the limitation of legal hours on set that comes with a much younger child working on set.
How did Freya Allan come to play Ciri in the Witcher?
Despite the showrunners and creators deciding to look for someone older to play the role, they did not come across anyone they liked any time sooner. It wasn’t until Sophie Holland, the casting director for the series, suggested Hissrich take a look at someone they had already cast.
Remember Marilka from the very first episode of The Witcher? For the readers who do not, here’s a refresher: Marilka was the child Stregebor had sent to fetch Geralt when he wanted the latter to kill Renfri. Now that the name has rung a bell, fans would also remember that although wholesome, the interaction Marilka had with Geralt was very short. Compared to the screen time and plotline Ciri and Geralt share in The Witcher, the former was essentially inconsequential.
Well, Allan was cast for the role of Marilka until Holland came up with the ingenious idea of having Allan play the role of the warrior princess in the Netflix Original. This decision could certainly not have been a better one. There is no other actor that could have impressed fans of the Witcher in the role of Ciri as much as Freya Allan.