The ac­tress has landed a cov­eted role in a his­tor­i­cal drama which taps into the rich vein of her ex­otic and spir­i­tual an­ces­try

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY - SEANNA CRONIN Bri­tan­nia pre­mieres on Mon­day at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW on Fox­tel’s Show­case chan­nel

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.

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