Mackenzie Crook, who shot to fame as the awkward paper salesman Gareth Keenan in Ricky Gervais’ popular BBC sitcom The Office, has taken on a new role that’s worlds apart from the self-obsessed team leader and much more terrifying for fans of his work.
The 10-part series is based around the Roman Imperial Army’s return to Britannia, the name being the female personification of the island south of what is now Scotland.
Set in the year 43AD, people mainly consisted of mystical druids and warriors fighting for survival at any given turn, with power struggles between the Celts and the Romans also thrown into the mix.
Taking on the otherworldly role led to Mackenzie, 45, spending a great deal of time in the make-up trailer undergoing the monumental transformation.
During a time-lapse video taken on-set, fans could see the actor being plastered with flawed skin moulds that feature symbols and scarring, with only his sunken eyes remaining at the end of it.
New stills of the Pirates of the Caribbean star also featured him dressed in hand-stitched garments and a cape suitable for the harsh wilderness of the time.
The director is usually pictured with a full head of glossy blonde hair complete with moustache and beard, but his new look exposes stark and weathered skin and an uneven bald head, which will force fans to do a double-take before they can tell it’s actually him.
Speaking about what prompted him to helm the period epic, writer Jez Butterworth explained: ”I’m fascinated in what happens when gods die. Here we have a war between two pantheons – the Roman gods v the Celtic gods.
“It’s the heavyweight clash of all time, the one which most shapes who we are today.”
The series dubbed “the new Game of Thrones” and brought to life by James Bond film Spectre’s Jez and Tom Butterworth will also feature The Walking Dead alum and major villain David Morrisey, True Detective’s Kelly Reilly, Harry Potter’s Zoe Wanamaker, and Star Wars’ Ian McDiarmid.
Britannia will air on Sky Atlantic in 2018.