Freya Allen wears a white sweater vest and a light skirt. Her blond hair reaches her shoulders. The background is a dappled gray.

Freya Allen

The Witcher's Princess Ciri breaks out for Season 2.

Opening photograph by Matt Holyoak
15 December 20212 min read

The Vegetarian Wolf

English thespian Freya Allan might have landed her first major role playing Princess Ciri in hit fantasy series The Witcher, but she’s been acting for most of her life. “When I was about five, we were doing a nativity play, and I was cast as the bad wolf,” Allan, 20, remembers. “I put up my hand and said, ‘I don't want to be a baddie.’ They were like, ‘Okay, fine. We'll make you a vegetarian wolf.’ I had this line that said, ‘I’m Sally, the vegetarian wolf,’ and everyone laughed. I just thought it was amazing how everyone laughed at my joke.” That first blush of success led Allan to reach out to a talent agency at age 14, jump-starting her career. 

Freya Allen as Princess Ciri. She wears a fur jacket. Its nighttime and there are trees behind her. Her expression conveys concern

Freya Allen

Connecting to Ciri

From the start, Allan felt a certain kinship to the princess, who, in the show’s first season, is forced to flee her homeland, the Kingdom of Cintra, after it’s invaded by the evil Nilfgaardian Empire. Allan initially thought she was auditioning for a much smaller role. “Usually when I'm told I haven’t got a role, I’m just like, ‘Oh, whatever, next one,’” Allan says. “But for some reason, I felt such a connection with the text that I was just so sad about it.” After the producers saw her final audition in London, however, they had a change of heart. “I mirror Ciri in regards to the fact that she’s so eager to train and to do the most difficult things she can do and fight,” Allan says. “She really wants to do more than she’s actually allowed to yet. And that’s essentially me. I’m like Ciri: I want to do everything.”

Freya Allen and Henry Cavill stand in a snowy scene. Allen wears a fur jacket and white dress. Cavill wears all black and hands her a weapon that I'm struggling to identify. There are fires burning behind them.

Freya Allen and Henry Cavill

A Princess Who Does Her Own Stunts

In The Witcher’s second season, Ciri gets her wish, encountering some intense physical obstacles as she trains with her guardian, monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavill. “I got to do quite a bit more stunts and a little bit of sword work,” she says. “I love that whole element.” Indeed, taking on the role in the fantasy has allowed Allan to develop her craft and pick up some new abilities along the way. “I have learned to scream at the top of my lungs,” she says. “The Witcher is like my drama school. I’m constantly learning new skills from just watching other actors.” Co-star Cavill has been a source of support for Allan on set: “Henry speaks up, and getting to see that at a young age, it definitely gives you that power to do the exact same.”

Freya Allen and Henry Cavill ride a brown horse in this snowy scene. Freya wears a light fur, and Cavill wears a dramatic black cloak.

Freya Allen and Henry Cavill