[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Witcher Season 1.]
Frida Gustavsson is currently one of the headliners of a massive Netflix production, Vikings: Valhalla. The epic sequel series to Vikings features a slew of stunning costumes, substantial and highly detailed production design, and one extensive set piece after the next. While this could have been a mighty intimidating project to tackle, Gustavsson was lucky enough to get her feet wet on another enormous Netflix series first, The Witcher.

Gustavsson plays Geralt’s (Henry Cavill) mother Visenna in Season 1, Episode 8, “Much More.” While trying to track down Ciri (Freya Allen), Geralt encounters a group of creatures and does manage to defeat them, but he’s bitten by one in the process, a wound that causes him to become delirious. A fever dream takes him back to the time when his mother abandoned him in the woods where he’s ultimately taken by Vesemir (Kim Bodnia) to become a Witcher.

Later on in the episode, Geralt has a conversation with his mother about the incident. Furious, he asks her if she knew the reality of the horrors one must go through in order to become a Witcher. He begs her to tell him why she subjected him to that fate, but she replies, “No answer will give you what you want.” Ultimately Visenna insists, “It’s time to move on, Geralt. It’s time for you to find what you let go of.”

Before Geralt snaps out of this state, Visenna whispers, “I was just a dream,” but there’s been much debate on this matter. As we know from the source material and as we see briefly in Episode 8 of the Netflix series, Visenna is a sorceress and a healer. One could imagine those abilities playing a part in facilitating this reunion. But, of course, Geralt had also just been bitten by a ghoul and is in the midst of a string of fever dreams.

Episode 8 director Marc Jobst has previously stated they deliberately left this beat ambiguous, but while on an episode of Collider Ladies Night celebrating the premiere of Vikings: Valhalla, I had to ask Gustavsson for her take on the matter. How exactly did she approach the scene? Is she playing Visenna as though Geralt is having a vision or as though she’s her own person, truly there in the flesh? Here’s what she said:

“I feel like when you’re acting, you always make your own decisions that are your internal decisions to make the scenes make sense and to make the acting or the decisions and the intentions real and realistic for you. It has to come from yourself. I can’t go and be like, ‘Oh, well, I’m gonna play this because he is dreaming me this way.’ To me, I was there playing his mother who wanted to find some sort of peace, some sort of way for us both to let go of the horrible things that have happened, so that’s the way I came across it. Was I real? I’m not sure. To me I was!”

Eager to hear more from Gustavsson on her journey from building a career as a model to making the pivot to acting? There’s loads more from where this came from! You can catch our uncut 40-minute Collider Ladies Night conversation in podcast form below:

Source: collider.com

By Damyan Ivanov

My name is Damyan Ivanov and i was born in 1998 in Varna, Bulgaria. Graduated high school in 2016 and since then i'm working on wordpress news websites.