He plays Veran, the fearful leader of the Druids and the underworld in Sky Atlantic's Britannia. But it seems that Mackenzie Crook has taken on an even bigger challenge for the latest series of the show by embracing an additional role. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor will play Veran's brother, Harka, in the second series of the historical fantasy show.
Harka, also known as Dead Man, awakes from the dead and returns to Britannia seeking his brother Veran, who Harka believes usurped him. Harka's arrival threatens to overthrow the Druids as he seeks revenge on his brother.
Mackenzie Crook is playing the role of Harka in the new series
Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters at a Q&A screening for the new series, Mackenzie revealed that he had concerns taking on the extra role. Despite writers of the show, Jez and Tom Butterworth, being certain that Mackenzie himself was the best choice to play Veran's brother, The Office actor himself wasn't so sure.
He said: "I wasn't quite as convinced as they [the writers] were that I could pull that off." Mackenzie continued: "My initial reaction was 'yes, yeah, absolutely my god what a challenge for an actor' and then [there were] crushing doubts."
The actor is also reprising his role as Veran in the new series
But it seems the 48-year-old actor took the role in his stride and has even adopted unique methods to channel the two eccentric roles. On how he created the second character, Mackenzie stated: "I danced like Iggy Pop when no one was around to see me."
He also explained the differences between the two personalities of the characters, explaining: "He had to be completely different, with Veran we saw as a Dalai Lama figure that had been chosen at a very young age." "Whereas his wayward brother," he continued, "had just come back and he wasn't restricted by this reverence and so he was freer ... Jez gave me these steers: 'look at a young David Bowie, look at a young Iggy Pop and see if that does anything.'"
Britannia returns for its second series this week
The second series of the show is set two years after the Romans successful acquisition of Britannia in series one. The new series, starting 7 November, will see the Celt tribes and Druids back again as they do all they can to overthrow General Aulus Plautius and his new queen, Amena.
Britannia returns to Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on 7 November.
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