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Paul Blackthorne interview

Date of publishing: 16th March 2007

Paul Blackthorne interview Paul Blackthorne is a talented British actor with simultaneous film, tv, and radio careers. He first broke into acting through television commercials in England. His first breakthrough commercial in the UK was as the Grim Reaper for Virgin Atlantic. His first silver screen success was the role of Captain Andrew Russell in the Oscar-nominated Bollywood movie, "Lagaan," for which he spent six months learning Hindi. Paul’s most famous role on US television was as Stephen Saunders, a biological terrorist, on the third season of “24.” He also stars in a new series titled, “The Dresden Files,” based on the books written by Jim Butcher. Paul stars as the lead character, professional wizard Harry Dresden. (mini bio from TV.com)

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Linda Craddock: What was your first impression when you received notification of an audition for this role?
Paul Blackthorne: My first impression when I received notification that I got the role, I was very happy. I don't know what to say really. I was very happy.

Paul Blackthorne interviewLinda Craddock: What inspired you about the story line of The Dresden Files?
Paul Blackthorne: What inspired me. Well. It’s an interesting character. He's not your everyday hero. He's a little more reluctant than the everyday heroes. Suppose he does what he does because he can, as opposed to really really wanting to. You know, he'd rather stay home in bed really things like that. And the story line, the context of the world in which he operates is ... it’s interesting because he has to reconcile two worlds. He has to reconcile the real world. The likes that you and I live in and the more supernatural world, and when it comes to love, life, relationships, with yourself and other people, it makes it rather difficult to reconcile those both worlds. So from a character point of view it was interesting on that respect.

Linda Craddock: Do you believe in the possibility of a supernatural world?
Paul Blackthorne: All I know is that I can't say that ... well, we're human beings and we have five senses and we're very fortunate we have very good senses. And we do pretty well with them, but to think that all there is is that that can be perceived with those five senses, I think is a little potentially or possibly shortsighted. I think it’s reasonable to suggest there’s more than what we can perceive with our senses. What that is I have no idea.

Linda Craddock: Harry Dresden defense bracelet a gift from his mother.
Paul Blackthorne: Good Old, Mum.

Linda Craddock: What else can we expect from this life saving treasure?
Paul Blackthorne: She left me some lovely dresses as well, but I'm never going to wear them. What else can we expect mother left is that what you're asking?

Linda Craddock: The particular bracelet itself.
Paul Blackthorne: Oh, what else we can expect from that and its qualities. Well it has these defensive qualities as we've seen an all around generally protective. As far as I know things can change. That is as much as I'm aware of, the attributes of that bracelet being defensive and protective. My more offensive sort of attributes would be the hockey stick of course and the drumstick that pops up when I need something a little smaller.

Paul Blackthorne interviewLinda Craddock: Can we expect Murphy to buy into Dresden’s world or will the writers continue with this unspoken line between what Dresden tells her and what she believes is more to a scenario?
Paul Blackthorne: Well you see the problem the thing with Murphy is that she I mean, it’s more possibly a question of her really -- but from what I would perceive as an actor and a character, she seems to be a little cynical about the possibilities of anything existing beyond that which our senses can perceive. However, she gets herself in a little bit of a pickle because of course results are achieved in a way in which she doesn’t understand and as a police person she's happy that those results are achieved, but as a human being she is perplexed as to how they are achieved. This is an interesting thing to write to I imagine. And as much as from one week to the next she can receive greater or lesser glimses into my world which perplex her, accordingly. I think it's an interesting thing for a character to gauge how she's dealing with that, because she's getting results most of the time but the more she gets an incite to the world the more difficult it is for her to deal with. So have I covered your question? There’s a four pronged question and I may have covered one prong I’m not sure what do you think?

Linda Craddock: No. I think it makes sense your answer. And it’s just, you never know what to expect like you said from week to week.
Paul Blackthorne: Yeah that's the good thing about this show. The sci fi fantasy supernatural context within which it's set allows you a potentially -- so many possibilities you never really know what's next. I certainly don't anyway.

Linda Craddock: In "The Boon Identity" Bob mentioned the high council and your darker half, give us a little background on both?
Paul Blackthorne: Well. My background and my darker past, that is something which will be explored -- the background and any dark aspects of Dresden’s background are explored throughout the season and more so in the latter, the latter episodes.
And I think we should leave it for that really; because, I think it would be more interesting for you to watch it than for me to tell you about it actually.

Linda Craddock: Absolutely. Absolutely. With regard to a new television series, are you involved in any other aspect of the show behind the camera special effects suggestions etc.?
Paul Blackthorne: I do all the special effects and the catering. (laughs) I'm multi talented. And then if I've got time I'll do some acting. No. I'm an actor. In this show there's a great the actors and the writers and the producers all have an open mind and a good working relationship with the writers and the producers about aspects of the character. And we talk about that. But beyond that, no, my catering is terrible so they got somebody else.

Linda Craddock: They probably don't know what they're missing!
Paul Blackthorne: Not much. (laughs)

Paul Blackthorne interviewLinda Craddock: Tell us a little bit about your expectations for character development for Harry Dresden; for instance, in the walls you used your powers to ignite kaleb, this metal rod he was holding to ultimately destroy him. What other powers can we expect or character development can we look forward to?
Paul Blackthorne: Character development, I think that's one of the interesting thing about this show. There is good character development going on and the work says itself really. It develops as it goes along. I hope it happened during the first season. If we get a chance to go again then that will continue. And what that will be, who knows, because who knows what situations he’s going be faced with as his character develops.
But in terms of looking at the past, I think we can look -- more elements in the past will be explored, I would imagine. The relationships with Bob, with Murphy, I mean, they can go to different places, I would imagine. These things tend to sort of actually, hopefully, organically, evolve as you go along so it's hard to say really at this stage. It's hard to say. We'll see how this whole season feels at the end of it, and I imagine you can take it from there.

Linda Craddock: Okay. In that same episode, "The Boon Identity", an Egyptian tablet called "the lock of Anubis" was stolen and the hyrogliphics tattoo as part of the plot. Can we expect more stories to focus on Egyptian mythology?
Paul Blackthorne: Well I think once again with this strange world Dresden is a part of, I don't mean our world, I mean the other world you can get -- there's a potential for different possibilities, for different story lines and from different aspects of the supernatural and mythological and all that. We -- maybe that would be explored again, but who knows the writers have been coming up with some fantastic ideas thus far, exploring all sorts of things; so we'll see.

Linda Craddock: In the physical confrontation, does Dresden get tossed around quite a bit when he meats his adversary? Do you do your own stunts or a lot of them?
Paul Blackthorne: I do as little as I can when it come to throwing myself around.

Linda Craddock: Okay?
Paul Blackthorne: I'm not interesting in any of those heroics. I've got a funny little back. And I've had a few trips to the chiropractor. The stuntman Len, good old Len, takes care of most of that. He does a great job.

Linda Craddock: Okay. So are you able to continue with your photography based on your busy schedule?
Paul Blackthorne: Well my photography has been something that I've done through my travels or adventures or life. Really some of them have revolved around work being in different places. I had a good experience in India, where I was able to take some nice photographs and have an exhibition and what not. And I did a -- I picked up a few more travels and, therefore, pictures, in recent years. So they sort of, whenever I have an opportunity, take a picture didn't really get much chance in Toronto. Tthough I was really very busy; so I didn't get much chance to take pictures there.

Paul Blackthorne interviewLinda Craddock: Do you anticipate directing or writing any future episodes of Dresden files?
Paul Blackthorne: Yes. When we get to the second season I'll be writing and directing them all.

Linda Craddock: I'm so looking forward to it!
Paul Blackthorne: I don't know really, at this stage we've just got the first season completed and obviously that’s showing now. And we'll see if we get a second season, and see how it goes from there. If it does do that idea, who knows, I have no idea at this stage. We'll have to see what happens.

Linda Craddock: Working for Nicholas Cage, is this your first project with him? Was this the first time you met him tell us about that?
Paul Blackthorne: Yes. Absolutely. No I've never met him before and, no, this was the only time, in The Dresden Files.

Linda Craddock: Okay. Well I don't want to take up anymore of your time; because, I know how busy you are.
Paul Blackthorne: Well, I've got a dog in the car whose looking at me thinking, why are you wandering around on the telephone when you could be taking me for another walk. So that's the only concern presently.

Linda Craddock: Well, I just want to thank you for your time and I really look forward to much more of Dresden files.
Paul Blackthorne: Great.

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© 2007 - Interview by Linda Craddock for The Scifi World
Transcribed by Zan, Photos © 2007 SCI FI


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