Movies & TV

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is Unlike Anything on Screen, and Nathalie Emmanuel Will Tell You Why

There’s a bizarre charm to the series that can’t be paralleled.

Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a tribute to the great late Jim Henson’s work, but it’s also a cinematic and technological feat for the film industry. There’s nothing like it in this day and age—a break from the animated, CGI films hitting screens almost every week. Using puppets instead of CGI, there’s a bizarre charm to the series that can’t be explained.

That’s probably how the show managed to attract a powerhouse group of voice actors as its cast. Esquire Philippines got to talk to Nathalie Emmanuel, who voices Deet, one of the main heroes of the show, on her role in the new Netflix show and her views on its potential impact. 

First exposed to The Dark Crystal when she was young, Emmanuel remembers how she found the original film fascinating and was honestly “really freaked out by the Skeksis.” As we all were. But everyone’s mutual revulsion at the Skeksis is proof of the impact of the film’s stunning production and character design.

Photo by IMDB.

The grand scale of the production is something we’ve raved about before, and we’re not the only ones impressed. Even with the rough cut of the new series presented to Emmanuel in the voice studio, she was struck by the amount of attention to detail. The technicality and complexity of its production is also something worth nothing, as it definitely posed a challenge for its voice actors—but it’s one Emmanuel welcomed.

“The challenge for this job was matching your performance to a puppet that had already been established and already been filmed,” explained Emmanuel. “It’s unlike animation where they can change the character’s mouth to your performance. You have to literally voice the character as is and that can be quite challenging. It was a really fun challenge actually.” 

Deet is a far cry from Emmanuel’s past roles as the queen’s loyal adviser in Game of Thrones and the tech savant in Fast and Furious. However, Emmanuel finds that she relates to her character in their desire to see the best in people. “The truth is, the world that we live in isn’t always good and kind, and she’s (Deet) has been forced to stand up for herself and stand up for others,” shared Emmanuel. 

Photo by IMDB.
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At its core, The Dark Crystal has always been more than just a fantasy film. Despite being originally pitched as a children’s film, the themes the film (and now show) explore are mature and dark and they’re not afraid to go darker. Netflix’s prequel is arguably even more profound than the original, particularly because of its timeliness and relevance given the currently polarizing political climate.

“We’re in a very troublesome, divided time at the moment,” shared Emmanuel. “[The show] is all about people having come together and these adventures that these characters—of what one might call “the little people,” the ones that aren’t the powerful people—have to come together to make change [happen].”

It’s a big message for small puppets to achieve, but it’s the disparity that makes the show so appealing. And we won’t be surprised if the series follows the film’s footsteps and becomes a cult classic years from now.

“It’s pretty amazing,” stated Emmanuel. Our sentiments exactly. 

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is now streaming on Netflix.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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