#MoreGalavant interview: Karen David on Izzy’s relatability, Galabella’s future, and her hopes for S3


Karen David won our hearts as smart and spunky Isabella. (Photo credit: ABC/Disney via Twitter)

As the #MoreGalavant campaign continues to gain momentum and celebrity support, we look toward the future. We gleefully ponder how far this fabulous show has come and imagine all the stories “Galavant” still has left to tell. Naturally, many of those fairytales feature our favorite new Disney princess and kickass female role model: Isabella. Much like her character,Karen David is a strong-willed, tough-cookie who refuses to let go without a fight. She has been championing fans’ efforts and, in many ways, has been leading the charge with her motivational and focused daily “To D’DEW” lists. As promised, here are David’s thoughts on Joshua Sasse’s departure, “Galavant’s” future, and why she has come to love Isabella so dearly.

Back when news of Sasse’s exit from the show first broke, I immediately wrote an article assuring fans that “Galavant” is an ensemble show and his absence from it doesn’t mean this is the end. There is still so much more story to tell (and we’ve had fun coming up with some creative storylines). When I mentioned this over the phone, the princess perked-up and eagerly chimed in with a forthcoming and optimistic reply. David explained,

“I know millions of hearts sank when the news came out that Josh was going to another show. There’s a lot that happens behind closed doors and it’s wonderful that he had that opportunity. However, let this be known, “Galavant” was always, always an ensemble piece. You saw from Season 1 storylines to Season 2, how groupings changed.” David validates the fans’ observations by echoing our sentiments. Since “Galavant” is a “farce that pokes fun at the fairytale genre” and “flips it on its head,” she assures fans that “anything is possible.”

She continues easing our fears by pointing out that the show’s creator, Dan Fogleman, and Season 2 show-runners, executive producers and writers, Kat Likkel and John Hoberg, “are not short of ideas.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The writers have an abundance of ideas and “they are itching to go!” From the start, Fogleman and the writers have compared “Galavant” to “Game of Thrones” in that the fantasy genre allows for loads of wiggle-room with the narrative. Various characters are always dying, disappearing, or leaving on these types of genre shows. Team Galavant is prepared for any situation and they’re very excited to keep telling these fun tales in any way they can.

David gleefully elaborates, “Because it’s a fairytale, you can get away with using your imagination to the wildest tenth degree.[she laughs…] Anything is possible. This show is about each and every character, not just one. Sure the show is called “Galavant,” but the fans have also realized that Isabella is now Isabella Galavant.” That’s right! Who says Mrs. Galavant can’t become the titular character? As a matter of fact, that is something that Karen David takes great pride in. She says, “There were a lot of young girls out there, which made me very honored and proud, that were like, wait a minute, Galavant can be a girl too.”

“This is one thing I was so proud to play Isabella because she was a positive role model and a strong female character. She can be a hero […] I think all of the characters on our show […] They all have their own trajectory of their journeys” and “There is plenty of directions that the show can go into. This is a new chapter for our show […] whether or not we get picked up.” David applauds Team Galavant’s lofty goals, “Each season they wanted to raise the bar and make it bigger, better and stronger. We feel we’ve gone one step up with Season 2.” As a result, “Galavant” has delivered “good quality storylines and television.”

Part of what makes “Galavant” so successful is that it cleverly blends realism with fantasy. The show has some very “meta” moments where characters wink at the audience and throw in a bit of cheeky real world commentary in the middle of a spectacular song. Then there is a more nuanced narrative that reveals how these fairytale characters are relatable people with very normal problems, like romantic woes. David shares how much Isabella’s relatability means to her, “What I love about this fairytale story flipped on its head […] is in many ways it’s refreshingly different.” Ah yes, we all know the show’s uniqueness is a key part of its allure. But David specifically praises the realism of Galabella’s relationship. She gushes, “Galavant and Isabella were talking about love [and how] it wasn’t perfect. I love how real it was. How genuine. In today’s day and age, relationships aren’t perfect.”

Quoting one of the show’s hit songs, David elaborates, “Love is strange. […] The dynamics of a relationship, it’s never 50/50, it’s all about navigating everyday. Doing your bit to make a relationship work. That’s one of the things I loved about our show. […] What makes it a modern fairytale is its honest. Happily ever after can happen, but it comes with a lot of compromise, sacrifice, forgiveness, patience, and understanding. That’s what the modern day fairytale is. To find a relationship where two people respect each other.” She makes a great point, successful relationships aren’t easy. Modern day “princesses” no longer expect “Prince Charming” to appear and solve all their problems. As we all know, real life romance is a rocky road.

Galabella’s journey to “togetherness” was quite bumpy. Given Sasse’s departure, the writers may use this as an opportunity to throw another modern twist on the iconic “Happily Ever After.” Sticking with the theme of realism, we may not be surprised to discover that Galabella’s Happily Ever After doesn’t last forever. (For the record, this is merely my personal theory, David didn’t say anything to imply that this will come to pass.) Of course, we’d all be crushed by their break-up, then again, heartbreak is just another part of life. Things don’t always turn out as we hope, but that doesn’t mean we won’t move on to bigger and better things. Speaking of which, I wanted to look to the future and asked David what is on her wish list for Season 3.

David giddily replies, “I’ve always wanted Isabella to have a Fairy Godmother in the form of RuPaul or Dame Edna, something unexpected.” Oh yeah, we can totally see the “Galavant” writers having fun with that storyline! Although, it’s not like Izzy needs a make-over, she’s pretty fabulous all on her own. David would love to see the pirates (including Hugh Bonneville), Weird Al and the other stellar guest stars return. She takes a cue from the fans and says “Zachary Levi could totally be a [Galavant] brother!” Then she quickly reminds fans that there are still plenty of Galavant’s in play to carry on the show’s namesake. She quips, “There’s Arnold Galavant, the father. There is a whole house of Galavants.” To which I can’t help but add, there could even be baby Galavants! She laughs and says, “Anything is possible!” Then she admits that fans still ask how many kids she thinks Galabella would have. Maybe we’ll find out in Season 3, eh?

While on the subject of Season 3 hopes and dreams, I asked David if the cast ever pitches ideas to the writers. She says that after Season 1, the writers asked if there was anything the cast wanted in their storylines. But it sounds like they didn’t even need to ask in David’s case. She explains, “They are so in tune with each of us. They know what we’re like as individuals and as actors.” David was thrilled when she learned about Izzy’s Joan of Arc storyline because it added even more dimension to her already layered character.

“This season I wanted to fight more,” she says with excitement. “Isabella grows so much in her courage and bravery and learning from her mistakes.” This all ties back into the realistic aspect of the show. David is proud of Izzy’s Season 2 journey, “To see her go through heartbreak” and then find “the strength to recover from it.” Isabella transformed from a feisty fairytale princess into a heartbroken hot mess, and then found a way back to her true self.

David loved how Isabella came into her own, “She has to find the strength, to find herself and stand on her own two feet. […] That courage she has to take to lead the army into battle, I couldn’t have been more happy with that storyline.” Despite the fans’ disgruntled comments, David also enjoyed portraying Spellbound Izzy.

“I had so much fun when Isabella was under that spell! I know fans were like ‘We want our Izzy back.'” Nonetheless, it was a big change for the princess, especially since, as David says, “We all know Isabella is really a tomboy at heart.” It was a fun twist to see her acting so girly. It was yet another side of her complex character. Izzy is more than a stereotype, she is a very real person, experiencing extreme emotions.

That’s why David loved it when we got to see Isabella “broken-hearted, stuck in her pink room, eating Turkish delight.” In that moment, David explains, “She’s not a princess, she’s a human being like everyone else.” Beaming with pride, David observes, “[Isabella] became so incredibly relatable in that moment.”

Lastly, in a delightful and soothing British accent, our fair princess adds, “I’m so grateful to our writing team, they make us all look so good. The writing is so incredible. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to do more of it.” Sigh. From her lips to Hulu/Netflix/Amazon/Whomever’s ears.

A relatable fairytale is a rare find. That is what makes “Galavant” so unique and magical. It is a special blend of realism and fantasy. We feel deeply for these characters even when things get super silly because we’ve gotten to know them over the course of two magnificent seasons. Team Galavant’s ultra-creative combination of brilliant writers and mesmerizing performers has captured lightening in a bottle. A show like this comes along once in a lifetime, if we’re lucky. Fans and Team Galavant alike feel so fortunate to be part of something as extraordinary as this show and the #MoreGalavant movement it has inspired.

You know the drill, Galavanters! Here’s your “To D’DEW” list:

Check Karen David’s Facebook page for daily updates (including details on latest online voting polls) HERE.

Find details on the #MoreGalavant campaign HERE.

Sign and share the petition HERE.

Circulate the cast’s #MoreGalavant video online and get #MoreGalavant trending on Twitter!

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