Anya Chalotra wasn’t only casted in the role of Yennefer on The Witcher for her acting skills.
According to casting director Sophie Holland, the actress won the role for her beauty as well, as the series wanted to challenge societal norms on what is deemed or accepted as “beautiful”.
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During an interview with Variety, Sophie explained that she was a champion for Anya getting the role.
“Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is the showrunner [on The Witcher] and we work so well together and she’s so open to conversations,” she shared with the outlet. “In the book, [Yennefer’s] described as the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Sophie continued, “This was a few years ago and I’d like to think things have changed. But when you think about people’s unconscious bias — especially in the fantasy world, it felt like these worlds were predominantly white.”
“I remember saying, ‘I feel like we need to challenge what people think of as the standard of beauty. And having a woman of color in this role does incredibly powerful things to the people watching.’”
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