Actress Emily Swallow. Photo Credit: Diana Ragland
Acclaimed actress Emily Swallow (“Supernatural” and The Mandalorian”) chatted about starring in the upcoming production of “King Lear” in Los Angeles.
Swallow plays live-action Star Wars fan-favorite character the “Armorer” in Disney+ hit series “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” will be on stage starring as King Lear’s, daughter, Goneril opposite Joe Morton who plays the titular character in the upcoming production of “King Lear” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles.
“I am very excited,” she admitted. “It will be epic,” She promised.
Swallow is drawn to her character Goneril because she “does not give up.” “Goneril is stubborn just like her dad. She is like her father, for better or for worse. She doesn’t see some of the ways she is like him for worse, unfortunately. That’s her downfall,” she explained.
The production will open on Saturday, May 14 and it runs through Sunday, June 5 with previews from May 10 to 13.
Synopsis of ‘King Lear’
Following his award-winning, sold-out performance as Dick Gregory in “Turn Me Loose,” Joe Morton (ABC’s “Scandal,” the legendary Brother from Another Planet, Netflix’s “The Politician”) returns to The Wallis in the title role of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy “King Lear.”
The Bram Goldsmith Theater has been reconfigured to transport the audience to an immersive, future American dystopia riddled with environmental catastrophe and social chaos. Lear, once a skilled geopolitical leader, has been reduced to a dazed and infuriated wanderer exposed to the elements and is forced to grapple with violent power struggles and a dysfunctional family.
This radical reinvention of Shakespeare’s greatest play explores questions of truth, love, and power, and offers a glimpse of redemption.
A fun fact: Emily Swallow was in The Echo Theater Company’s production of “Cry It Out” with Joe Morton back in 2018, but they, unfortunately, didn’t share any scenes together. Now, she is thrilled to be playing opposite him. “That was so bizarre,” she said. “I don’t get to do much theatre anymore. We didn’t have any scenes back then, so I would watch him be brilliant from the stage. Also, when I was doing that play, I had my audition for ‘The Mandalorian,’ so to be reunited with Joe is just wild to look back on all that.”
“What is beautiful about ‘King Lear’ is that it is a story of reawakening and redemption,” she said. “I feel that there is a lot of overlap between Shakespeare and George Lucas’ films. I think that the fans that appreciate the epic nature and the universal nature of ‘Star Wars’ can appreciate that.”
Swallow described “Supernatural” as an “unbelievable experience.” “I have been so grateful to work with really talented, brilliant, and such generous and collaborative people,” she said.
“They welcomed me with such open arms, and with such eagerness to see what I had to bring to the table when I entered in its 11th season. Everyone working on ‘Supernatural’ was so committed to it and so generous,” she added.
Emily Swallow as Armorer in ‘The Mandalorian’
She shared that she loved playing “Armorer” in the Disney+ hit series “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” “It was the experience of a lifetime,” she said.
“When I was first shooting it, I knew very little about what I was getting myself into because it was so secretive and there was never a live-action Star Wars show before. Obviously, I knew I was working with brilliant people. It has been wild to see how they have embraced that character, and it was so exciting.”
“When the scenes that I filmed came out, they were so exciting, and it has been incredible. I want to be like Armorer when I grow up,” she added.
The Voice of Lisa in ‘Castlevania’
Additionally, Swallow voices Lisa Tepes in the Netflix animated series “Castlevania.” “Voicing Lisa in ‘Castlevania’ was so much fun, especially to be married to Dracula, and getting to be burned at the stake,” she said.
“That was probably my best death ever. It was a beautiful, dark series and it wasn’t afraid to have humor and levity in it. I thought it was brilliantly crafted,” she added.
Most recently, she had an arc on the CBS series “Seal Team” as Dr. Natalie Pierce.
The digital age
On being an actress in the digital age, Swallow said, “It is really exciting and it is really overwhelming. I cannot keep up. There is so much good content and so many good things to audition for.”
“Storytelling gets to take all of these different forms and we are not limited to things that have to run. We get different points of view and more voices. Also, we are getting to approach things from different angles. I think it makes for better television. I think the digital age is good overall,” she added.
Dream acting partners
Swallow listed David Tennant, Sir Mark Rylance, and Oscar winner Regina King, as the actors that she would love to someday work with in the future as her dream acting partners. “David is absolutely brilliant and I love Regina King, she is incredible,” she said.
“I would also love to work with Mark Rylance again, I got to do a play with him, and I would never ever get tired of working with him,” she added.
On the title of the current chapter of her life, she said, “This is The Way.” “That is the overarching theme,” she admitted. “I really learned about being in the moment and I am trusting that things are happening exactly as they are supposed to.”
She revealed the best advice that she has ever been given: “To remember that I have been shown mercy and to show mercy to other people.”
Swallow defined the word success as “having enough trust in what you have gained and what you have learned that you can freely pass it along to others without being worried that you are going to run out.”