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The Last Kingdom: Millie Brady and Emily Cox on strong female characters, animals and art

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With the release of The Last Kingdom Season 3, The National Student sat down with Millie Brady and Emily Cox to chat about playing their strong female characters. And the conversation may have strayed now and then to animals and art…

Millie Brady joined by her co-stars Eliza Butterworth and Timothy Innes.

Image credit: Noura Abou Zeinab 

Millie, who plays Aethelflaed, shares how her character is “quite ruthless”, despite being in an abusive and toxic relationship.

“It is really important to show all aspects of the character on TV because I think it is sort of unhealthy just to have a hero that everything’s gone great for,” she says. “It is a lot more real to show someone who has come through the horrors of life and is able to move through it and move with it.”

And that’s one of the main things that drew Millie to the character. The character of Aethelflaed is “not simply a hero, she’s got so many layers and she feels very real.”

Millie adds, “I think it’s just very important that all our heroes have such a rich history and also the storyline of each character is quite complicated and none of them is just your stereotypical hero or baddy.”

Not only does she appreciate history but has a passion for art: “I think most actors are creative and I’ve always been interested in art.”

Millie studied art history at school and shares that her mom is also an artist. Having grown up around art, she explains, “it has always been a massive part of my life. I’m massively into all aspects of the creative world.”

One of her recommendations is the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A. Millie also attended the Kahlo exhibition in Budapest which she says was “next on the bucket list”.

Another strong – and more familiar – female role in The Last Kingdom is the character of Brida, played by Emily.

Emily says, “I never thought of her being so strong. I was just thinking about trying to get what she wants and try to find out what her goals are and fighting for them.”

She continues to emphasise the importance of speaking up for what you want and to stand for your dreams: “It is important for everyone to do that. I don’t think it is something specifically important to women. It is important to believe in yourself and not to think you are worth less than other people.”

Emily Cox with her co-stars Harry McEntire, Toby Regbo and Alexander Dreymon

Image credit: Noura Abou Zeinab

As well as standing up for what she believes in, Emily is an animal lover, having shot both a film and a TV series with animals. Her latest one is a film called Wuff, which is due to come out in Germany.

“The cool thing about filming with animals, which was the same in The Last Kingdom, is that stuff just happens and you’re kind of not prepared,” she says. “You cannot control things and have to react to things that happen in the moment.”

Season 3 of The Last Kingdom is now on Netflix. Be right back while we binge-watch. 

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