Showbiz / TV Interview: Galavant’s Karen David

TV Interview: Galavant’s Karen David

Showbiz Dec 29, 2014

One-On-One With Galavant Star Karen David

Since she was a young girl, Karen David has had dreams of British costume dramas floating around her head. Alas, it’s not easy for an actress of Indian, Chinese and Jewish descent to convince studio execs to let her squeeze into a corset and rock her inner Jane Austen. Nevertheless, when writer Dan Fogelman first met Karen, he knew he’d found the princess for his musical fairy-tale comedy. Yes, you read that right! Galavant is a song and dance–fuelled saga about one swashbuckling hero’s chuckle-inducing quest to vanquish an evil tyrant with the help of a feisty princess. Recently, ANOKHI got the chance to chat with David about the show’s unique concept and how she basically (but not exactly) beat Jennifer Lawrence for this role.
Matt Currie: They say that everything’s already been done, but a “musical fairy-tale comedy” sounds pretty unique.
Karen David: [Laughs] It’s unique, all right! It’s definitely not something that’s been done before on television. But I just applaud ABC and Dan Fogelman for creating something so wonderfully unique that appeals to people of all ages.

MC: How did you get involved with this project?
KD: It’s funny, because in the script, Dan had written that his dream actress to play Isabella was Jennifer Lawrence. And I was like, "Hang on a second. I look nothing like Jennifer Lawrence." So I called my agent and I said, “Are you sure they really wanna see me?”
So I kind of had no expectations; I just went in and it went really well.… I was told that the minute Dan met me, he just knew that I was his "Jennifer Lawrence girl" [laughs].
MC: So, essentially, you can tell people you beat out Jennifer Lawrence for this role.
KD: [Laughs] I’m sure Jennifer Lawrence is quite busy with all her big triple-A–list movies. I got lucky that she was busy doing those things.
MC: Tell me a little bit about Isabella.
KD: She is the daughter of the king and queen of Valencia; she’s not your typical princess in that she’s very much the people’s princess. She has this big heart and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to look after her family and her people. So when King Richard [Timothy Omundson] comes and takes over her kingdom, she’s put into action to go and find Galavant [Joshua Sasse] in exchange for her parents’ lives.… It’s just been so wonderful painting this backdrop of her character. There’s a lot going on inside her head; she’s very feisty, and I can completely relate to that, because I’m "tiny but mighty," as my momma says [laughs].

MC: You’ve mentioned your love of costume dramas. Was it a thrill for you to do this kind of thing?
KD: The thought of being in a period comedy costume drama was a big dream of mine; I didn’t know if it was really gonna happen, realistically, because my look was not so much of the time, shall we say? [laughs] … I mean the thought of even dreaming and hoping of being [Pride and Prejudice's] Elizabeth Bennet was beyond my wildest imagination, so to be able to play a Spanish medieval princess in Galavant was really a dream come true. I got to do a period piece, it’s a comedy, and then I get to sing — it just doesn’t get better than that.

MC: Have you swiped any of those wonderful costumes yet?
KD: Oh, I wish we could keep them [laughs]. But I did get to keep the jewel of Valencia, because that’s such a big part of Isabella and her parents’ existence in the storyline.… I have that proudly sitting in mantle nook in my home here. So it’s there. And every time I look at it, I just smile because it reminds me of all the adventures we had on the show. 
Galavant premieres with back-to-back episodes Sunday, January 4, at 8:00 P.M. on ABC.

All Images Courtesy of Disney

Matthew Currie

Matthew Currie


A long-standing entertainment journalist, Currie is a graduate of the Professional Writing program at Toronto’s York University. He has spent the past number of years working as a freelancer for ANOKHI and for diverse publications such as Sharp, TV Week, CAA’s Westworld and BC Business. Currie ...


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