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Liv Hill Interview: Young Catherine in The Serpent Queen

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Liv Hill as Young Catherine in The Serpent Queen. Photo Credit: STARZ
Photo Credit: STARZ

Liv Hill spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about playing Young Catherine de Medici in new STARZ series The Serpent Queen.

Hill spoke about the currency of beauty emphasized & bartered with in the series opener… As well as watching the ‘Consummating Marriage’ scene with her parents.

This interview took place during a press day roundtable for The Serpent Queen over Zoom.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): There is a cynical spotlight on the price of beauty in The Serpent Queen’s premiere episode, particularly when Young Catherine feels compelled to make up her dowry.

It felt demeaning for Catherine to offer farm land and barter more prizes to be accepted as Henri’s wife after being directly insulted for her looks. I was wondering how the scene made you feel as an actress?

The Serpent Queen. Liv Hill as Young Catherine and Charles Dance as Pope Clement. Photo Credit: STARZ

The Serpent Queen. Liv Hill as Young Catherine and Charles Dance as Pope Clement. Photo Credit: STARZ

LIV HILL: Yes, totally. I mean, as an actress, I guess you’ve got to have a bit of thick skin and that’s what Catherine had to have as well. I mean her whole life, she was belittled, degraded, demeaned and emotionally & physically abused.

So I think when she arrives at the French court and suddenly they’re talking about her as no great beauty and as unrefined… It’s not something that is new to her. I think she has a level of detachment when it comes to that.

Ludivine Sagnier as Diane de Poitiers and Liv Hill as Young Catherine de Medici on The Serpent Queen. Photo Credit: STARZ

Ludivine Sagnier as Diane de Poitiers and Liv Hill as Young Catherine de Medici on The Serpent Queen. Photo Credit: STARZ

Even if it does pain her a little, I think her main intention, her main purpose though, is to secure her place in the French court. That’s all that matters. So I don’t think she cares too much about what people say about her as long as she can accomplish that.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What was your original audition like for The Serpent Queen?

LIV HILL: I didn’t really audition because it was during COVID. I just did a self tape and then I didn’t hear anything for two months.

Then all of a sudden out to the blue, I was told that I was having this Zoom meeting with the producer, writer and director. I got offered the part that day and it kind of just happened.

Liv Hill as Young Catherine - Photo Credit: STARZ

Liv Hill as Young Catherine – Photo Credit: STARZ

I felt like doing a reaction to the camera. Like this is weird and it was fantastic because I’d never actually obtained a role like that before. It’d always been an audition.

Whereas Stacie (Passon) and Justin (Haythe) and Erwin (Stoff) seem to really care about my opinion on Catherine and how I would approach her.

They gave me that trust right at the beginning. So that felt a bit different to what I had done before in my career, where it would’ve been a lot of auditions, at a very lengthy process.

Liv Hill on her parents viewing her intimate ‘Consummating Marriage’ scene’

Liv Hill as Young Catherine de Medici and Alex Heath as Young Prince Henri on The Serpent Queen. Photo Credit: STARZ

Liv Hill as Young Catherine de Medici and Alex Heath as Young Prince Henri on The Serpent Queen. Photo Credit: STARZ

They were my first sex scenes I’d ever done. It was more like intercourse than sex, cause it was very detached and mechanical. I watched it with my parents actually, and I wasn’t embarrassed.

I wasn’t embarrassed at all. I felt really proud because it was as awkward, uncomfortable and quiet as I hoped it would be. I’m looking forward to people seeing how it’s sweet & tender, but also kind of awkward & uncomfortable.

I think that really translates on-screen to how it felt at the time.

Liv Hill on The Serpent Queen cast brought closer together due of COVID

Amrita Acharia as Aabis, Liv Hill as Young Catherine in The Serpent Queen - Photo Credit: STARZ

Amrita Acharia as Aabis, Liv Hill as Young Catherine in The Serpent Queen – Photo Credit: STARZ

I guess when you’re promoting something, you have to say that you get on well with everyone and it was a nice time… But it really genuinely was! All the cast are incredibly close. I think because it was during COVID, we all had to isolate and band together.

People with children couldn’t even go home to see them. So it was hard for them. But as a 21-year old at the time, I was sort of like, ‘Whoah! This is really fun doing this together!”

And we became really, really close in every department.

I was working with some legends and incredibly talented people who aren’t as famous, but are just as talented. And that was a real privilege to be a part of.

I will always feel grateful for that wonderful experience.

THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Liv!

LIV HILL: Thank you!

– Read our Interview with Samantha Morton on The Serpent Queen!

– Then check out our Interview with The Serpent Queen’s showrunner Justin Haythe & EP Erwin Stoff~

The Serpent Queen – STARZ Series Trailer



The Serpent Queen will premiere on STARZ at 8:00 ET/PT on Sunday, September 11 in the United States and Canada.

The series will also debut on Sunday, September 11 at midnight on the STARZ app, all STARZ streaming & on-demand platforms and internationally on the STARZPLAY premium streaming platform across all territories.

About Liv Hill: Bio

(Young Catherine de Medici)

“Liv Hill is most well known for her critically acclaimed role in Jellyfish for which she was nominated for a British Independent Film Award as Most Promising Newcomer, Best Performance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, as well as receiving a special mention at Dinard for her performance in the film.
 
Jellyfish has been a huge success, winning Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Best Film at the Dinard Film Festival. Hill appeared in Jessica Hynes’ directorial debut, The Fight, as well as starring alongside Ruth Wilson and Domhnall Gleeson in The Little Stranger.
 
Her most recent role was playing the young Glenda Jackson in the multi-award-winning Elizabeth is Missing, directed by Aishling Walsh. After training at The Nottingham Actors Studio, Hill made her television debut at just seventeen years old in the critically acclaimed BBC drama, “Three Girls.”
 
Directed by Phillipa Lowthorpe, “Three Girls” told the story of the Rochdale abuse scandal and received high praise from both the media and the public.
 
Hill was nominated for a Best
Supporting Actress BAFTA for her role and the series went on to win Best Mini-Series.
 
In June 2018, Hill appeared in an episode of “Snatches: Moments from Women’s Lives,” a series of monologues written by some of the UK’s most celebrated female writers that aired on BBC 4.
 
She appeared in “The Great,” starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, directed by Matt Shakman. Hill made her stage debut in the lead role in Top Girls at The Royal National Theatre directed by Lyndsey Turner.”

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