Since this Friday April 23, you can discover on Netflix a brand new fantasy series. In Shadow and Bone: the Grisha Saga, we follow the adventures of Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a young orphan who will discover that she has a powerful power. She will then receive advice from General Kirigan, leader of the Grisha. This is Ben barnes who plays this character. A choice that seems to have made unanimity among fans of novels written by Leigh Bardugo. And this is not surprising!
Fans wanted Ben Barnes to play Kirigan for a long time
Since the publication of the very first book in the series Grisha in 2012, fans of Shadow and Bone wanted to see Ben Barnes as Kirigan. The author of the trilogy herself had validated this idea with fans who demanded an adaptation. Several years later, when she met creator and showrunner Eric Heisserer, it was therefore natural that Leigh Bardugo told her about Ben Barnes. “I had this old Tumblr post where someone used a photo of Ben. I emailed him and told him I validated the idea “ Leigh Bardugo told Polygon.
Eric Heisserer assures him, it is not only to please the fans that he chose Ben Barnes to join the cast of Shadow and Bone (even if it helped). The boss of the series also wanted some sort of mentor for the other, almost unknown, cast members. To convince Ben Barnes, he took him to a restaurant … where the actor brought out the famous Tumblr post. “He said to me: ‘You are going to hire me, is that it?’“remembered the showrunner.
“I felt like it was fate“
In the end, Eric Heisserer decided to recruit Ben Barnes, not only for his talent but also for his personality. “I knew he was a lovely human being. I’ve been on so many sets where there was one toxic actor messing up the whole process for others. If you find a person who behaves well, who is respectful to everyone, it gives a completely different atmosphere on the set. Ben was my choice for his performances but also thanks to the person he is“assures the creator of the show. As for Ben Barnes? He was obviously aware of the wishes of the fans before signing for the series.”I felt like it was fate, that I had to do it a certain way“he tells Polygon.