Laura Berlin: I enjoyed it so much. Even though I’ve read the scripts, when you watch it for the first time, it’s always a surprise.
The setting is so beautiful.
The locations are amazing, all of it in Ireland, most in county Wiklow around Dublin. The landscape there is breathtakingly beautiful. The sets and everything they built especially for the show is so amazing. You have these amazing sets, which is a castle for us, most of the time. There’s a throne room, or my bedroom, and it’s nothing you’re really used to. There’s a lot of stone and big fireplaces and it’s always dark and smokey. It was a great experience to find out how it must have felt to consider this your home.
Emma comes across as the smartest person in the room, and the men around her don’t seem to realize that. Was that part of what appealed to you about her?
What fascinates me is how Emma managed to fight her way out of the shadow of Æthelred and all the men at the court. She behaves with integrity. She acts like a chess player… She can read personalities, she knows exactly what drives them. But she doesn’t use this for her own self-interest. She uses her knowledge for a good cause. Denmark, and she’s from Viking blood as well; she used to be an important advisor to her husband and later to her son, Emma’s brother. So I think her mother was some kind of a role model.
What kind of research did you do into the real Emma of Normandy?