Apparently when Lauren Evans mentioned Hannah Waddingham’s name, Jon Kasdan was sure the Emmy-winner wouldn’t be able to make the shoot fit into her busy schedule. “I said, ‘Well, that would be great, but there’s no way we’re going to get Hannah to come to Wales and do three days,'” Kasdan recalled. But Evans knew something Kasdan didn’t. “She said, ‘Well, I wouldn’t be so sure. She’s sort of a big nerd, and she loves this kind of stuff.’ And literally 45 minutes later, we got a call back saying, ‘Send Hannah the scene. She’s so excited.'”
So Waddingham ended up in the scene as Hubert, a character who gets to engage in an axe battle to protect Elora, and deliver some of the show’s most entertaining lines before she kicks the bucket. “We tried to make it as funny as possible,” Kasdan said of his experience co-writing the episode with John Bickerstaff. He added that Bickerstaff pitched the idea that these two woodswomen would be in the middle of an average day when their lives are upended by Elora. “You get that chaotic energy and familiar imagery of someone running from a monster,” Kasdan noted, only “to stumble upon a character who was completely oblivious to what was happening.”
Waddingham’s sendoff is quick — her character is dispatched by Ralph Ineson’s dark magic-infected Commander Ballantine –- and based on the brief three-day shoot Kasdan described, it sounds like she may be dead for good. But we’ll always remember Hubert, whose cottage-core lifestyle, high-waisted jeans, and brave loyalty can be an inspiration for us all.
“Willow” is streaming on Disney+, with new episodes debuting on Wednesdays.