Ben Barnes Knew Fans Wanted Him As ‘Shadow & Bone’s The Darkling From Tumblr

Ben Barnes is opening up about taking on the role of General Kirigan, the leader of Ravka’s army, in Netflix’s Shadow and Bone.

The 39-year-old is well aware that fans have wanted him to play the character, who is also known as The Darkling, for quite some time.

“There was some chatter even a few years before the show — Leigh Bardugo had supported the idea of me playing that character,” he shared about fans dreamcasting him in the role. “I sort of felt a bit kismet that I was supposed to do it, in some way.”

Showrunner Eric Heisserer also opened up about the fan connection to the role for Ben, revealing that he personally didn’t know about it, but author Leigh Bardugo did.

“I had this old Tumblr post where somebody had done an edit of Ben with this fantastic quote, as the Darkling,” she recalled to Polygon. “And I sent it to Eric, and I was like, ‘Thumbs up for me.’”

Eric had then taken Ben out to lunch to talk about the role and towards the end, he had “slid over his phone at me, and it was the same Tumblr post, [and he was] like, ‘You’re gonna hire me now, aren’t you?’”

Shadow and Bone centers on Alina Starkov who has just discovered an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free.

The series will premiere Friday, April 23. Watch the trailer here!

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