How did you approach the character of Perrin? How did you go about creating his life experience?
I was lucky that I had so much material when approaching the role of Perrin. Robert Jordan’s novels alongside the scripts provided me with a wealth of source material to get stuck into. I thought about what makes Perrin stand out, not only within The Wheel of Time, but fantasy as a whole. Understanding the relationships Perrin starts off with is vital in grasping his trajectory through the show and his outlook throughout.
What do you like the most about him?
He’s a very thoughtful character, incredibly introspective and considered with everything he does. He has a particular relationship with violence that is very refreshing to me. Quite often you see big strong guys in shows picking up weapons without a second thought. There’s something very human and modern in the way he questions if violence or warfare is necessarily the only solution.
What was most challenging about the shoot?
It was initially quite a long shot anyway, but having the pandemic thrown in meant it took around two years to make. Getting shut down twice was tough as you lose momentum on what’s being filmed. The health of everyone and their families is obviously what’s of most importance. I think it being such a new experience that shook the industry, not knowing when or how you’re going to finish the project was challenging. The show did an immense job at implementing testing systems and covid restrictions so we could eventually work and get season 1 finished.
Considering how big the Wheel Of Time franchise is, and how loyal its readers are, did you feel pressure?
Of course, when you look at how many copies the books have sold there’s naturally going to be an element of pressure to create something special. I think having a showrunner like Rafe really helped us as a cast. He understood the expectations of the franchise but knew he had to be bold in order to create somethingthat the Wheel Of Time Community would cherish, whilst allowing newcomers to the series to be excited also.
How do you think the fanbase reacted to your casting?
It was a completely new experience for me, on the whole people were very supportive. Any apprehension was understandable as people had been in love with these characters a lot longer than we had and had naturally formed an idea of what they look like. I was excited to get started mainly and knew the protective nature of Robert Jordan’s work by the fans came from a place of passion and desire for the show to be executed well.
Can you tell us about your ambitions for the future? Any personal projects?
I’ve learnt so much on a show like The Wheel Of Time, things I’ll take with me as I hopefully get to work on new projects. I’d love the contrast of working on a smaller, more intimate gig perhaps, something similar to the work I started off doing. The balance of that and the epicness of this show would provide an amazing combination.
The Wheel of Time launches on Prime Video globally on Friday 19th November.
Interview by Lorenza Calamandrei
Photography by Andrea Vecchiato
Grooming by Eoin Whelan