A Discovery of Witches Diana Bishop, played by Teresa Palmer, is a witch unlike any we’ve seen before on our screens or in our books. She’s a work in progress, a reminder to love all the parts of ourselves, and the embodiment of the strong female character many have been trying to achieve for years.
Fangirlish got a chance to speak with Palmer about what parts of Diana will stay with her forever, that intimate birthing scene, and how her heart is filled with gratitude for the fans who have stuck by her all these years. And we’ve got to admit, we love this actress a whole lot more than we ever thought possible.
Palmer, first and foremost, will carry a part of Diana Bishop in her heart for the rest of her life. Because, yes, it was cool to play a badass witch with a myriad of abilities. But it was her humanity that enabled Palmer to think of Diana as the “greatest teacher” when it comes to loving and accepting parts of herself.
Across three seasons, Diana “stepped into her power as a woman, as a mother, and as a partner and lover and all those things. And I would say that aspect of her `has definitely deeply affected me. It’s just a good reminder that we need to lean into who we truly are. All the many colors and the beautiful parts, the ugly parts, the scary parts, the bits that make us feel vulnerable. All those things that are beautiful qualities in us.”
It took Diana a bit to get to where she is now, surrounded by loved ones and changing the world one step at a time. But Palmer wouldn’t change the journey or how it got Diana to stop squashing “the true essence of who she was” and become “self aware” enough to step up and get to know herself.
A huge part of getting to know herself and becoming comfortable with the changes in her life is tied to Diana’s ability to love, particularly Matthew and her children. And in one of the most intimate scenes we’ve ever seen on TV, we got to see A Discovery of Witches deliver moments during Diana’s birthing scene that felt honest and unapologetic.
A Discovery of Witches, and author Deborah Harkness, knew from the very start how important it was for Palmer to be involved with the details of how this birth was going to go down. “Anyone who knows me knows that birth is a passion of mine. I love it. I love talking about birth. I will sit with people for hours, breaking down birth and different birth types of birth and experiences.”
So when it came down to it, she wanted to help present Diana’s birthing scenes in a different way that she hadn’t seen presented before. Palmer explained, “I wanted to do something a little different, which was to be able to show raw birth, home birth. But one where the woman really takes charge and she listens to her body and she lets her body guide her and she’s not having someone tell her when to push and tell her what to do. She’s just really intuitively leaning into, like, the signals her body and her babies are giving her. So that was a big part of it for me.”
And as much as we love the support that Matthew was giving Diana during those birthing scenes, it’s the moments with Alex Kingston‘s Sarah that really stuck with Palmer. “You go back hundreds of years and you hear the stories of the women, the village coming together and being around the birthing mother. So I thought that it was a really special moment, a bonding moment between Sarah and Diana.”
The way that Palmer has bonded with fans, especially as she says goodbye to Diana and all the adventures they’ve had together, is also something that she will never forget. “My heart is just filled with gratitude,” Palmer said before continuing, “This show would not be what it is without the outpouring of support and enthusiasm and excitement from the fans because it really feeds us as performers. It makes us want to advocate for these characters and make sure that what is on the page, what the readers fell in love with, it translates to screen.”
And if she could say one thing to fans of A Discovery of Witches, Diana Bishop, and the glorious ship that is Bishmont, it would be “thank you.” So, thank you for the friendships, the support, the community, and for being with this show from the very start. Because no matter if the show is over, no matter where Teresa Palmer ends up next, we are part of a collective that bonded over a badass witch coming into her own. And that’s the most important thing of all.
A Discovery of Witches is available on AMC+ and Shudder.