I also asked him about his character’s journey, something that he would have liked to have seen, another character he would have liked to play and more.
Do you have a favorite aspect of the Merlin character?
I think it’s his ability to put himself to his sights and focus on the huge task that’s been put in front of him, despite himself. He overcomes any ego and he becomes a little bit selfless. He is working towards a future for himself but he knows everyone has to come before him so he can live in that future. I admire his ability to do that.
Do you like a particular way that the character has changed? A kind of type of growth, of maturity, or something like that?
Yeah. I think Merlin definitely started out as quite a naïve character. He was very trusting of people and as a result, he made a lot of mistakes along the way. As we progressed through the series, he did become a lot less trusting of people. He was sometimes ruthless in how he approached things because he’s kind of taking no prisoners. You know? He realized there’s such strong forces coming against him that he’s had to up his game and he’s become stronger as a result. And I think it’s his strength that I’ve admired and that I’ve really enjoyed playing over the years.
I completely see that. If you were given the opportunity to film one more episode of the series, is there any aspect of the character that you would like to explore that maybe wasn’t explored enough? Or, perhaps so that we could see a different aspect of him?
I always thought that a flashback episode would have been really good for Merlin’s life, before he came to Camelot. Perhaps like a season opener. Even if it were just for a few scenes, where you get to understand the circumstances about why he left where he was from or the circumstances of his birth or something. Something great, dark or sinister that changes your view of the character in a way, so you really understand where he comes from. Because his past is a huge, huge mystery both to himself and the audience and I think that would have been a really interesting thing to explore.
Sure. If you weren’t allowed to play Merlin, what’s another part in the series that you might like to have played?
I think one of the villains would have been really good. I once thought that Charles Dance’s character, the Witchfinder, was a really fun character — partly because he made it really fun. He was really creative. I always felt that was a really fun role. But, you’re kind of spoiled for choices of characters on the show because it mixes in with the fantasy genre. But I think definitely one of the villains would have been fun to play.
My final question for you is, do you have anything lined up that you’re looking forward to doing, or that you’d like to do?
Yeah, I always want to be looking ahead. I’m starting a new project in January. For me, it’s about finding the stories that you enjoy and want to tell. I know immediately when I read something if I really respond to it instinctively and it seems like the right thing. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a part of good stories, intriguing characters and work with positive people.
What do you think? What’s your favorite part of the Merlin TV series?