Looper recently had a chance to sit down with Josha Stradowski to talk about Season 2 of “The Wheel of Time.” He plays the leading role of Rand al’Thor, a country boy who learns that he’s the Dragon Reborn, a reincarnated hero who is destined to either save or break the world. After spending time building that world in Season 1, Season 2 dove headlong into the story, including the important introduction of Lanfear. Played by Natasha O’Keeffe, Lanfear is a character who is dead set (quite literally) on wooing Rand and winning over the heart of the reborn version of the man she once loved.
During our talk, Stradowski made the surprise statement that he, too, liked the idea of Lanfear and Rand ending up together. “I secretly hope that Rand and Lanfear marry,” he said. It’s not a head-over-heels-in-love kind of idea. On the contrary, Stradowski’s thought-out statement comes from a wealth of information; the actor has read all 14 of Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” books and is intimately familiar with the source material.
Stradowski started his explanation by saying, “Lanfear is the Devil, and you can’t love the Devil.” He followed this confession up by stating his case for his personal hope for a union between the two by saying, “It feels at times that Lanfear is the only one that really understands Rand, and because Rand is often very lonely in what he feels and sees, it seems like, at times, he can’t express it to anyone else, and she’s exactly what he needs — but she’s the devil.” It’s at this point in the talk that he concluded, “That was very interesting for us to explore, and I secretly hope that Rand and Lanfear marry, but I don’t think that will happen.”
Stradowski and Company had fun creating the Rand and Lanfear relationship
When Season 2 starts, Rand and Lanfear are both undercover. The former is lying low after his big reveal as the Dragon Reborn at the end of Season 1. Lanfear is in hiding as the innkeeper Selene, but only as an excuse to get close to Rand and win his love. As the season progresses, things start to spiral as both characters find it increasingly difficult to stay anonymous. It’s a progression that Josha Stradowski, Natasha O’Keefe, and director Thomas Knapper liked building up.
“We had so much fun,” Stradowski explained. “We were really lucky that we started off as the Innkeeper and the Young Man, and that was a really nice way to build that relationship with Thomas Knapper, who is a great director. We practiced all the scenes and wanted to make sure that all the nuances were there. Then, when we created that honest relationship, it was time for the reveal, and that was, for the both of us, very fun to shoot.”
Stradowski added that they were able to film the scenes in chronological order. In-order filming can make it easier to move into an on-screen relationship. In the end, the connection between the two is a strong albeit strange one, and it will doubtless continue to factor into the story as Rand discovers his destiny as the Dragon Reborn and Lanfear tries to ride on the coattails of his success.