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Several years prior to the announcement of Conan, Rose McGowan had signed on to star in a remake of Red Sonja as the titular warrior queen. Despite the existence of a couple of early posters, the film never made it to the production stage, and McGowan’s involvement in barbarian lore was pushed onto the shelf.
Happily, she would get finally her chance on Conan, for which she signed on to play the villainous Marique. And having spent much of her career playing a white witch on TV’s Charmed, it was fun for McGowan to experiment with her dark side.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played a character where I was so unconstrained,” she told Cinema Blend, “where you’re allowed to just paint some crazy landscape and be over the top! Normally you have to really pull it back. Steven [Lang] and I would start laughing at our utter ridiculousness! But I think we had a lot of fun with it.”
The elaborate costumes required for the role were less fun. “ The wardrobe was actually the hardest thing,” she explains. “You would think it would be the prosthetics, or the hair, but it was actually the wardrobe. They were feats of engineering. It would take two to three people to dress me and then on set they had a little toolbox of pliers and screwdrivers to keep me in it!”