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Warwick Davis returns for Disney+ series Willow 35 years after original!

Warwick Davis on returning to Willow - and how his children are involved.
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When a teenage Warwick Davis first played aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood in the 1988 fantasy adventure film Willow, he never imagined he’d return to the role more than three decades later.

In a new TV series that acts as a sequel to the original film, Willow is now legendary for his sorcery. He’s called upon to lead an unlikely group of six misfit heroes on an important (and dangerous) mission: to try to save their world.

”For years it’s [a sequel] been talked about – not by anyone official, but by the fans,” Warwick, 52, tells TV WEEK.

Warwick Davis first played aspiring sorcerer Willow Ufgood in the 1988 fantasy adventure film Willow, he never imagined he’d return to the role more than three decades later.

(IMAGE: Disney+)

That is, until he met screenwriter Jon Kasdan on the set of 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story – in which Warwick played freedom fighter Weazel – who was itching to resurrect the character.

”Before I knew it, I was on set in Wales for the first day of filming – once again looking just like Willow, but a slightly older, more mature, better-looking version,” he says with a laugh.

While there are new evil forces to take on, Willow returns to many of the locations featured in the original film.

”One of the most enjoyable things about the series was those call-backs to events that had happened in the film,” Warwick says, adding that returning to play the role decades later proved demanding at times.

”I remember the first time around, when I was 17, it was physically quite challenging,” he recalls.

”But this time, I’m now not 17 anymore. I’m 52, so you know rough terrain, mud, that sort of thing.”

Warwick alongside his younger castmates in the Willow TV reboot.

(IMAGE: Disney+)

Warwick also felt pressure – with the original film so fondly remembered – to do the 1988 classic justice.

”Having the weight of the fans with us, wanting to do the very best job we could and deliver a series everyone could enjoy – be it the fans of the original or the new audience we hope to bring to this show – is a lot of responsibility,” he explains.

”Nonetheless, it was a fun experience – one I look back on with great affection and fondness.”

In a heartwarming turn of events, Warwick was able to include his children in the series. His daughter Annabelle, 25, plays Mims, Willow’s daughter, while his son Harrison, 19, is Warwick’s stunt double.

”It was wonderful to have Harrison and Annabelle as part of the series,” he says, adding that his daughter is a ”brilliant” actor.

”I’m immensely proud of her work,” he says.

”We had a lot of fun playing the scenes together. Obviously, we have that natural chemistry between us, which I think really shows in the scenes we have together.

”And Harrison is the most perfect stunt and photo double: he’s the same height I am and looks just like me.”

For the younger members of the Willow cast, Warwick proved a trove of advice and wisdom.

(IMAGE: Disney+)

For the younger members of the Willow cast, Warwick proved a trove of advice and wisdom.

US actress Ruby Cruz, who plays Princess Kit, the character who sets the quest in motion, particularly admired how Warwick was able to turn his character on and off for scenes.

Amar Chandha-Patel, who plays Thraxus Boorman, an imprisoned treasure hunter and swordsman, says the most relatable part of the show is that no character has it all figured out.

”That’s so true to life,” the 36-year-old British-Indian star says.

”The entire quest isn’t just a physical one to rescue someone – it’s also about us figuring out what the hell we’re doing. Seeing that reflected back in a big magical world [on screen in Willow] is going to be really charming.”

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