John Noble interview
of publishing: 17th February 2006
As Artistic Director of the ‘Stage Company of S.A.’
for ten years, John Noble was involved in South Australia’s
cultural explosion in the 1970’s and 80’s. He
performed with all of the States major arts companies. He
also directed on London’s West End (David Williamson’s
Sons of Cain), and acted in an award winning production at
the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland (Rob George’s Errol
Flynn’s Great Big Adventure Book For Boys).
In 2004, for his role as Denethor (The Lord Of The
Rings), John won a Screen Actors Guild Award for
Best Ensemble Cast; a Broadcast Film Critics Association USA
Award for Best Ensemble Cast. And, in the previous year, won
Best Ensemble Cast Award from National Board of Review USA;
and the Fellowship was nominated for Best Audio Commentary
for DVD Exclusive Awards. John played the role of Ben in Nicholas
Cohen’s feature Voodoo Lagoon, and recently completed
production on an episode of Stargate-SG-1
for MGM Television. Last year, he played the role of Ivan
Yugorski in Running Scared, and at the end of last year, played
Prince Ardmantha in the feature One Night with the King, produced
by Larry Mortorff and shot in India.
Nuytens: Could you say something
John Noble: I
am an Australian actor. I am married with three children.
The oldest Sam is an actress. She will appear in the upcoming
film See No Evil with Kane of wrestling fame.
Nuytens: What are your current/future
John Noble: I have about five projects being
negotiated at present. The only finalised is LA Noire which
is a new Sony video game. A terrific project.
Gilles Nuytens: You
played the role of Meurik in the last episode of this season
of Stargate SG-1, could you talk about this role? What can
you say about him, his personality, his behavior?
John Noble: Meurik was governor of Camelot
(yes that Camelot). The villagers live in fear of the return
of the Black Knight. Enter the Sargate team seeking information.
Meurik clashes with them, expels them, and finally relents
anf the village is saved by them. Great fun. Meurik is a terrific
character. He is a patriach who wants desperately to protect
Gilles Nuytens: What's
his importance in the story, his contribution to the SG-1
team? Is it a good guy?
He is the main guest for the episode. I have wonderful scenes
with main cast members. Yes, he is a good guy, although he
appears to be a bit misguided at first.
Nuytens: What do you keep
in mind from Stargate?
Friendliness and efficienct. The best of all worlds for an
Gilles Nuytens: How
did you come into Stargate and how was it with the cast/crew?
John Noble: The producers had seen me in
Lord of the Rings and offered me the role. The cast and crew
were wonderful. First rate.
And how was it to play Meurik for
Stargate? The role seems to be a
bit similar from Denethor as they're both leader of a village/kingdom
in an middle age world.
No not really. Denethor was mentally unbalanced. Meurik is
Nuytens: This role, any
chances for becoming a recurring one? Are you returning in
John Noble: No the
character probably won't be recurring. I think we tied the
story up in the episode. Pity. Iy was fun.
Nuytens: Could you talk
about your experience on The Lord Of The Rings, the
weeks or months you were there?
John Noble: I was in NZ for three months
during principal photography, and returned 18 months later
to film the scene in The Two Towers between Boromir, Denethor
and Faramir. It is difficult to imagine a more fulfilling
project to work on. Every detail was perfect, and everyone
who worked on it was totally committed.
Gilles Nuytens: Did you
read the books before playing Denethor to have a better
understanding of the character? And for you, what were the
most interesting parts of his personality?
Noble: Yes I did. He is a very complex man. We see
him after his judgement has slipped and his mental instability
has become evident. He was however a fine man and a fine leader
who didn't cope with the events in his life and world, and
tipped over the edge into insanity.
Nuytens: What did you put
from yourself to the character described in the book? What
are the differences?
An actor always 'creates' a character. This is based on description,
script, personal study and training. I guess Denethor could
have been played very differently.
Nuytens: Is there any blooper
or a funny inside story that you remember about The Lord Of
John Noble: Not really. I worked intensly
when I was there. All of the scenes were highly dramatic.
It was a focussed time. Nothing 'funny' happened, but everything
was extremely satisfying.
Nuytens: Same question about
John Noble: I did loose my footing in the
mud on Stargate and had a very very long stumble trying to
not fall flat on my face in three inches of mud. I did eventually
go down, but only on my hands, otherwise filming would have
been held up while they tried to clean my velvet imperial
clothing. There was so much mud, and a cable was buried in
it. That was what I tripped on. At the same time Ben Browder
was battling the Black Knight and getting coated from head
to toe in the mud. He did great in that scene.
Gilles Nuytens: Thank
you very much for your time!
about this interview on the forum
by Gilles Nuytens for The
Scifi World / Stargate