BWW Exclusive: GALAVANT's Karen David Talks Final Episode, Season 3 Plans, and More!
On this Sunday's season finale, Isabella is forced to face off against Queen Madalena in battle. Will she be able to defeat her army? Will Galavant save the day and be reunited with his one true love?
Leading up to the season finale for GALAVANT, airing Sunday, January 31st at 8 PM on ABC - I had the opportunity to chat with leading lady Karen David (Princess Isabella) about working on the show, the finale, and a possible third season for the series.
Alan: Galavant and Isabella have been apart for so long - but this weekend they will finally be reunited! Last season you spent so much time playing opposite Joshua Sasse, but this season Isabella has really had a chance to grow as an individual and take charge. What was the character development process like for you?
Karen: I was really excited about Isabella's story lines for this second season. It's an incredible arc, showing the different sides to Isabella - and as an actor, this is what we dream of - to show different textures and shades to a character that challenges you constantly! One minute we see Isabella heart broken and depressed, to being cast under an evil spell which makes her act annoyingly happy 24/7 without any regard to consequence or circumstance, and then we see Isabella finding her own identity. She comes into her own skin, and finds the strength and courage to be her own person, and to defend her kingdom and her family. I loved the fact that our brilliant show runners, John Hoberg and Kat Likkel, along with our writing team show Isabella in a humanizing way - a relatable Princess. She is very much the people's Princess with a big heart but is so feisty and sassy when she needs to be. Yet, she has a vulnerable side to her as well and it's so wonderful to see a Princess experience issues or circumstances which we can all relate to. I have learned so much from my life experiences and knowing that Isabella is more of an approachable Princess - I took from my experiences of love, heartbreak, sorrow and feelings of abandonment and feeling exposed and vulnerable.
Alan: This weekend we'll finally see the battle take place that has been brewing all season. What was filming that sequence like? The visuals are incredible.
Karen: To be filming on legendary grounds in Morocco was incredible. We filmed at the exact same spot where Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven and Games of Thrones have filmed. If those sands could talk I am sure they would have some very interesting tales to share! The Battle of the Three Armies is set against the backdrop of a real 800 year old city! It's the real deal and with the Atlas mountains in the background it looked like a painting! Everything about filming there was epic and we are all so incredibly excited for the fans of the show to see how all the elements of filming in an exotic location like Morocco comes to life on camera.
Alan: All season long you get to sing brand new Disney songs by Alan Menken in a wide range of styles. Can you give us a sense of the process of getting, learning, recording, and filming a number? How long does it take from start to finish?
Karen: Once we receive the demos we have to learn the songs rather quickly and go straight into the recording studio to record them. Sometimes we have a week to learn them and sometimes we only have a couple of days - it depends on if we're filming as it can be full on, and everyone is working very hard to meet deadlines as we film each of the episodes. When we're recording we really have to feel like we are in the scene with the settings all around us because you want to capture that performance as if you were doing it live. When the time comes to film the musical numbers, we also wear earwigs and sing live as well. They ideally try to use live takes of when we are singing. The recordings are a good backup in case we are recording outdoors and there might be outdoor elements to contend with like loud chirping birds, or planes flying by, or strong winds. All musical numbers usually take a day to a day and a half to film.
Alan: You get to do some incredible location shooting on this show! What's been your favorite place to film for Season 2?
Karen: This season, most of my scenes were shot in studio, as Isabella has been trapped in Hortensia. [laughs[ Last season I was out with Joshua and Luke on location a lot so obviously my choice would be Morocco. It was definitely, for all of us, an adventure - traveling together, being away together on location, experiencing a different and enriching culture, and exploring locations we've never seen before... The whole experience will be one that will stay in our hearts for a very long time. When we were filming out in the battle field we kept shaking our heads thinking to ourselves how incredible this all is and how lucky we are to be on this exciting journey, and working with such a great bunch of people who really adore this show.
Alan: Galavant has amassed a very devoted following online. Is there any particular fan interaction that stands out in your mind?
Karen: I think we are very much spoiled with our beloved fans. They are so passionate, supportive and encouraging about all four characters and the journeys we each go through. The fan art has been incredible, to the GIF clips posted on social media. I have been loving all the Galabella videos being made - some beautiful and heartfelt edits on what a more realistic love is between Galavant and Isabella. The petitions circling circling the net, wanting more episodes and more seasons...I could go on but suffice to say, we have many AWESOME fans of the show and that is truly the best gift of all - knowing that we can make people laugh, smile, cry (in a heartfelt way of course), sing along, and take them away from reality for an hour each week... We're having so much fun together.
Alan: Of all the songs you've performed on the show this season - is one a particular favorite?
Karen: That's a tough one. I'm very fond of "World's Best Kiss' - that would be my top choice. And then I have two close favorites - one of which I sing with Galavant in the season finale episode, and my duet with Madelena, "I Don't Like You" is hilarious. I was scared to death of rapping! I had to try and tap into my inner medieval Nicky Minaj!
Alan: Beyond Galavant - are there any other Disney princesses you would love to play - either on stage or screen?
Karen: Growing up, I dreamed of playing Jasmine in Aladdin, Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Pocahontas. They were three characters I could relate to and if given the chance today, I would say YES to either one in a heartbeat!
Alan: In the event Galavant doesn't get renewed - this season wraps everything up pretty well - but leaves the door open for a third season. What would you like to see next for Galavant and Isabella?
Karen: Well I'd like to think we would go for another season... fingers crossed! I know our writers wanted to give at least one happy ending so the fans would be happy... but who will it be? [laughs] As for Galavant and Isabella, - I hope they can resolve the whole Amulet call issue, and build their relationship back and move forward. I think it's wonderful that Galavant and his father have patched up their relationship and now Galavant has his father's blessing for his son to be united with his true love and find happiness with Isabella. That is huge news in itself for Galavant. As for Isabella, I would like to see her run a Kingdom and step into the shoes of her parents in looking after Valencia and restoring it back to what it was pre Madalena and Richard's occupancy. The poor Valencian people have really been put through the ringer! I would love to see her gather an army together to face the evil Madalena and restore peace in the seven realms once and for all. Oh and a fairy godmother...every Princess has a fairy godmother, right?
Alan: Finally - what can audiences expect from Galavant's season finale and why must they tune in?
Karen: Where else will you ever see a medieval musical comedy filmed in Morocco that makes you think you're watching Game of Thrones with music?
The Season 2 finale of GALAVANT airs Sunday, January 31st 2016 at 8PM on ABC.
Photos Courtesy of ABC.