LIANA WEAVES CELTIC MAGIC
The actress has landed a coveted role in a historical drama which taps into the rich vein of her exotic and spiritual ancestry
AS A woman with “Irish witch blood”, Liana Cornell jumped at the chance to play a Celtic warrior on screen.
The Mullumbimby-born, Byron Bay-raised actress – who is the daughter of John Cornell and Delvene Delaney – was one of the first cast members to sign on to writer Jez Butterworth’s Britannia.
The 10-part drama is set in 43AD when the Romans invade Britain. Led by General Aulus Plautius (David Morrissey), they seek to conquer this mythical land at the far edge of the Roman Empire – a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and druids who can channel the forces of the underworld.
“My great, great, great grandmother was the witch in her Irish village and she ended up being chased out. My aunt is a naturopath and a herbalist, so some of it has whispered its way through ... I’ve got Celtic witch blood, so I was honoured to take it on,” Liana says.
Liana portrays Ania, the niece of Queen Antedia (Zoe Wanamaker) who is in the midst of a feud with the Cantii when the Romans arrive.
“She genuinely believes she’s the reincarnation of a goddess,” Liana says.
“I think all women are goddesses, so when I read that I went ‘Oh, yeah’.”
Liana underwent a surprising change while preparing for the role, saying she had to train to become physically stronger.
“I did notice it made me feel safer in the world,” she says.
Even before the series debuts around the world, there are already comparisons to Game of Thrones.
Mullumbimby-born, Byron Bay-raised actress Liana Cornell plays a Celtic warrior in upcoming historical drama Britannia.