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Willow's Ellie Bamber On How Writer Jon Kasdan Kept Character Details Hidden During Filming - Exclusive

Generally, if an actor joins a high-profile project under the Lucasfilm or Marvel Cinematic Universe banner, chances are they are not going to get all the details about their character or the plot up front. Simply put, studios and filmmakers don't want any major details leaking out to the public about their productions. "Willow" writer and executive producer Jon Kasdan followed the same protocol as many Lucasfilm filmmakers before him, keeping details about the new Disney+ series under lock and key, even from the main cast.

Among the actors who were in the dark about details was Ellie Bamber, who plays the key role of Dove, a seemingly invisible kitchen maid in the kingdom of Tir Asleen. However, as Dove discovers, Queen Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) has been hiding her in plain sight since her childhood because her true identity is that of Elora Danan, who 20 years earlier was the infant whom Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) attempted to destroy since the child was prophesized to end the evil royal's reign.

The original "Willow" film, which was released in 1988, starred Warwick Davis as Willow Ufgood, a diminutive, would-be Nelwyn sorcerer who risks his life to save Elora, and effectively, the world. Now, two decades later, Willow informs the young woman of her true identity as he joins a fellowship that includes Dove, as well as Sorsha's daughter, Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz), as they seek to rescue Kit's twin brother, Prince Airk (Dempsey Bryk), after he is kidnapped by evil forces.

The amazing thing about "Willow," as viewers have found out, is that the vital details about Dove's identity are revealed in the series' pilot episode, setting up more surprises for the coming chapters — surprises, Bamber said, that she initially didn't even know about.

Kasdan had fun keeping details from the cast

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Ellie Bamber, who was joined by "Willow" co-star Tony Revolori, noted that showrunner Jon Kasdan's determination to keep details about the show from the cast helped enhance the excitement of the production. 

"['Willow' is] so brilliantly written. Jon Kasdan did such an incredible job with the complexities of human interaction and dialogue, and in romance and stuff, but to see the twists and turns was exciting," Bamber said. "Jon held back a few of the scripts from us, and I remember all of us would be like, 'Tell me. Can you tell me, please, any more about what happens to my character?' and he would either give us little bits here and there, or—"

"Mess with us," Revolori added with a laugh.

"Or mess with us, yes!" Bamber enthused. "It was really cool to discover the character as I went along."

Also starring Amar Chadha-Patel and Erin Kellyman, "Willow" is streaming exclusively on Disney+, with new episodes debuting every Wednesday through January 11.