Amir Wilson: 'His Dark Materials' Season 3 follows more mature Will Parry

Amir Wilson's "His Dark Materials" was released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday. Photo courtesy of HBO
1 of 5 | Amir Wilson's "His Dark Materials" was released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday. Photo courtesy of HBO

NEW YORK, April 25 (UPI) -- Amir Wilson says Will Parry, the hero he plays in the fantasy drama, His Dark Materials, has matured a lot over the course of three seasons.

"This is a new Will," the 19-year-old actor told reporters at a recent roundtable interview at New York Comic Con.


"He's a young man at this point. He has a sense of himself. He knows what he wants," Wilson added. "At the end of Season 2, he's at the lowest of lows. He's just lost his father. He's just lost Lyra. Things are really, really awful for him."

Wilson found it easy to connect to those feelings.

"The story's personal to me in ways I don't need to describe, but it's being able to deal with grief and how to approach that. Being Will has helped me deal with grief in my life," the actor said, revealing he would go rock-climbing after particularly intense days of shooting the show.


Based on Philip Pullman's novel, The Amber Spyglass, the third and final season of the HBO series, His Dark Materials, was released on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday.

It follows Lyra (Dafne Keen), prophesied to bring about great change, and Will, her fellow adventurer and the bearer of The Subtle Knife, as they journey to a dark place from which no one has ever returned.

James McAvoy plays Lord Asriel -- explorer, academic and Lyra's father -- who is poised to go to war against The Authority, the first angel who came into existence and convinced other angels, as well as humankind, that he is actually God.

"I remember when I got the role and a week later the Season 1 teaser trailer dropped and it was a 'pinch me' moment because it was like, 'This is a mad thing I'm going into," the actor said.

The road to the series wasn't easy and he auditioned six or seven times before nabbing the part.

"My last audition, I went in and I had these lines prepared and they gave me boxing gloves and they were like, 'We're going to need you to box,' and I thought, 'This is the weirdest audition I have ever had in my life,'" he laughed.


While the show is geared towards family viewers of all ages, it is complicated and explores big issues like power, corruption and freedom. The material at the heart of His Dark Materials is never oversimplified.

"There is so much going on, even at times, I'm confused," Wilson said. "There's so many worlds and so many characters! Who's where, at what time?"

One of the aspects of the story that most appealed to Wilson -- and audiences -- is the relationship between Will and Lyra.

"It was always nice that Will and Lyra don't know that there is something going on," he said.

"I like the idea that everyone else can see it, except them, including the audience. All the characters in the show can sense there is something going on, but [Will and Lyra] don't sense it," he added. "They are genuinely just friends until something does happen -- if it happens. You have to watch and find out."

Although Will and Lyra come from different backgrounds, they balance each other out and bring out the best in each other.

"Lyra is very spontaneous and Will is very thought-through," Wilson said.

"He spent his whole life looking after his mum and keeping to himself. Everything he does is thought-through and planned and has a schedule. Lyra is the opposite."


Literally growing up on the show's set while working 12-hour days for months at a time in Wales with 17-year-old Keen and seasoned artists such as McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott and Lin-Manuel Miranda was a life-changing experience.

"I knew I was grown up when I wasn't on child hours anymore and they could work me as much as they wanted," Wilson joked.

"It's cool going back and working with the same people in Seasons 2 and 3. You kind of build a family with people," he said. "Leaving, it was sad to say goodbye. You have such a tight connection with these people."

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