Gwendoline Christie is no stranger to iconic book franchises and their TV adaptations, so it's no surprise that she's taking the pressure of starring in the long-awaited adaptation of Neil Gaiman's beloved comic series with ease.
"I think it's always interesting when you're dealing with material that people really love and they have an invested relationship, but that's also what makes it enticing," Christie told ET when asked about joining another beloved series with a large fandom. "There's already an audience there that really wants to see that story brought to life. But I find that I have to go back to the character. It isn't helpful for me to think about that, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to do it. But it's heartwarming to know that there's already a whole world of people that have a meaningful relationship with the material."
The Game of Thrones and Star Wars alum stars in Netflix's new series as Lucifer Morningstar, the cunning ruler of Hell and one of the universe’s most powerful angels.
Tom Sturridge, Kirby Howell-Baptise, Vivienne Acheampong, Stephen Fry, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Jenna Coleman, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson and Mason Alexander Park also star in the series, with voice work from Patton Oswalt and Mark Hamill.
Fans met a different version of The Sandman's Lucifer before -- Tom Ellis famously portrayed the devious fallen angel on the 2016 Lucifer television series, which made its way to Netflix as a revival after initially being canceled. But Christie's incarnation of Lucifer is decidedly different from Ellis', falling much closer to the character's original depiction in the comics.
Christie shared that making a distinction was vital to Gaiman and showrunner Allan Heinberg "from the very beginning." The decision went beyond having the character portrayed by a woman rather than a man.
"It was their mission to make this and make it fresh, to really honor the source material and everything that people love about the comics, but to bring it to life in a new way," she explained. "It was also the added emphasis that Neil's always said it's over 20 years ago, so there are things that he might want to do differently now. He might want to present it in a different way. So I connected to that and I also thought about what my own views and opinions of the character were, how I would like to see it portrayed, how it was speaking to me, and how it relates to our modern world."
Gaiman elaborated on the show's decision, explaining that Ellis' Lucifer was too distinctive to "retrofit" into the original concept for the new series.
"And also, he is so lovable. He is so wonderful. You love him so much that I couldn't sell the world on Tom's Lucifer as being a genuine threat because you'd go, 'Ah, he'd get them all wound up, and then they'd go for a drink,'" he joked. "Actually, Tom's Lucifer would just try and get Morpheus laid and loosen him up a bit or whatever, so you know that you can't do that, so that allows us to go back to the original Lucifer and Sandman, to look at that David Bowie-inspired Lucifer, and with the fabulous wings, and to go, 'OK, that's Gwendoline Christie.'"
He added, "She's terrifying. You don't know whether she's going to jump, where she's going to jump. All you know is she's out-thought you and she is going to get whatever she wants out of this situation."
Still, Ellis' Lucifer isn't totally out of sight or out of mind for the creator/executive producer.
"Obviously, I would like to see the spinoff show in which Gwendoline's Lucifer and Tom's Lucifer go on a road trip," he shared. "We need to make that happen."
The Sandman is streaming now on Netflix.