Natalie Dormer Opens Up About Playing the “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” Villain

Natalie Dormer in "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels"

Speaking with Variety, Natalie Dormer has revealed what it was like to play the villainous Magda in the Penny Dreadful: City of Angels spinoff.

The Penny Dreadful spinoff series is set in 1930s Los Angeles at a time of rising racial tension. Dormer stars as a shapeshifting demon named Maga who leaves a trail of chaos wherever she goes.

In the show, Natalie plays three distinct incarnations of Maga. The third of which is a politician named Alex. When in character, Dormer had to wear a mouthpiece and glasses to dull her eye color. As a result, many of the cast did not recognize her when she was in character.

“A couple of the cast walked past me a few times before they realized it was me when they hadn’t ‘met’ Alex yet,” Dormer told Vanity. “But as an actress, playing a character like that is so liberating because there’s absolutely no vanity attached. It’s like I would almost say to the camera operator, ‘What’s the worst angle? Put it in the worst, first.’”

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels premiered April 26 on Showtime.