English actor Daniel Sharman took an unusual route in training for his role as a cold-blooded killer in “Cursed.”
“I did some ballet and some versions of Muay Thai — layering this stuff to build a [character] that was able to be incredibly lethal and effective and graceful at the same time,” Sharman, 34, tells The Post.
Premiering Friday on Netflix, and based on a graphic novel of the same name, “Cursed” is a version of the King Arthur legend, set in a world of magic and adventures in creepy forests. It follows Nimue (Katherine Langford “13 Reasons Why,”) a powerful girl with mystical powers who crosses paths with a young Arthur (Devon Terrell, “Ophelia”). The show’s villains are a fanatical group known as the Red Paladins (led by Peter Mullan, “Ozark”) who inflict terror on the world.
Sharman’s character is a mysterious hooded figure who works (and burns villages with) the Red Paladins. He’s known only as “The Weeping Monk,” though eventually more of his background is revealed.
“He’s the most Frank Miller-looking character,” says Sharman, referring to the show’s co-creator, known for the graphic novels behind films such as “Sin City” and “300.”
“[The Weeping Monk] has birthmarks under his eyes that later on reveal his past — and he’s shrouded in a cloak under a hood — but he’s a ruthless killer,” he says. “He looks a bit like the Grim Reaper. You have to keep still, because his every movement shades your vision. That immediately informs him as a still character, and the gestures have to be gliding and graceful to get underneath the robes. You feel hidden.
“That’s very much part of the character’s journey, someone going from being hidden to exposed,” he says. “There was something nice about being able to walk around and feel mysterious.”
Sharman says that, while filming “Cursed” in England, he spent so much time working on The Weeping Monk’s movements with his trainer Raheem Glistens that the two became close friends.
“I’m actually now the godfather to one of his babies,” he says. “It’s a cool thing to come out of the whole process.”
Although Sharman’s dramatic appearance in “Cursed” stands out, this is isn’t his first rodeo in genre fare. He’s also gotten up close and personal with werewolves, zombies, and vampires in shows such as “Teen Wolf,” “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Originals.”
“I remember coming out of drama school and one of my teachers said, ‘You look like a weird elf, so no one’s going to cast you in anything that looks real, because you look odd.’ And that’s kind of how I end up in [sci-fi and fantasy]. It’s because people have been like, ‘You just look strange; we’re not going to cast you as the person who lives next door!’ ”
Sharman says he relished his chance to work with Miller.
“As an artist myself, a painter and sketch artist, I find his aesthetic really fascinating,” he says. “I grew up with these movies [‘Sin City’ and ‘300’] being so visually different and so interesting to me. I thought, ‘Oh that’s really cool, I’d love to work with that person who could make such stark choices.’
“I really enjoyed my time with him,” he says. “We spent a lot of time eating terrible English breakfasts together.”
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