The Legend of the Seeker returns tomorrow for the start of a second season, so I sat down with the show’s star, Craig Horner, to talk about the great guest stars, his affinity for sword play and what’s in store for fans of this fantasy / action series.
Let’s not waste any time here, Craig. Tell us what we can look forward to in this new season.
Craig: It’s literally hell on earth because the underworld has been opened now and the Keeper, which is Satan, if you will, is sending forth his minions. One thing we gotta watch out for are these things called Banelings, which are kind of like zombies. They’re basically people who get sent to the underworld and come back serving the Keeper, but they look exactly the same so you don’t know who to trust, what to do — how do you kill something that’s already dead.
For Richard’s character, he’s now been thrust into this new kind of world of leadership. You thought being the Seeker was hard enough but now he has to lead his enemies. Some of the Darkens are saying, you are our Lord Rahl, we’re going to follow you, what are you going to do? Now we’re not fighting each other, we’re fighting a bigger enemy; we’re fighting the devil.
I hear you have some great guest stars coming up this season.
Craig: Yes, Amy Teegarden from Friday Night Lights, Jolene Blalock from Star Trek. Oh, and Charisma Carpenter. I’m a massive Buffy and Angel fan so when she came on I was like, ohhh my god, I’ve now merged Buffy and my show together, this is a moment to remember. It’s great having these new flavors to spice things up.
So you a big fantasy fan before you joined the show?
Craig: Oh yeah, big time. I was that kid who everything single day was running around in the backyard pretending I was Ninja Turtle one day or Batman the next day or a Ghostbuster the next day or Kevin from Home Alone setting traps around my house or Luke Sykwalker on a speeder bike while I was on my bicycle. My imagination was absolutely wild. I would watch these films a million times and I would just love it. It’s really kind of crazy; Richard is kind of like that character I was pretending to be all those years ago.
Just when you thought you were too old to be running around with swords it comes right back at you and you get paid to do it.
IN THE MOOD
On the Season One DVD, you take us on a tour of the Legend of the Seeker sets. They’re so realistic, it must be easy to get into the mood of the piece.
Craig: Absolutely. We have a couple of massive studios. One is always a forest. You go in there and it’s literally a forest, you walk in and there’s a bit of work space but most of it is dirt and actual trees and we have to keep swapping them over every month because they die and get bugs. Then, you’re in a bar suddenly with all these extras dressed up in crazy outfits and all the crew is outside the bar and you look around and it’s actually kind of easy to imagine where we are. Then when we go outside and there are the real mountains and amazing lakes and sand dunes — we’re not shooting Jurassic Park 3 here. We can see what’s going on. We’re not talking to tennis balls all the time. Sure you gotta do it where you’ve got green screen you have to play off it, but it’s so much nicer when you’re sitting in the costume on the actual wagon that is made of real wood and brass with all the detail.
Your role is quite physically demanding. How did you take to it when you first began?
Craig: When Bridget and I got to New Zealand, we had about six weeks before we started shooting and in that time we could read the books for character research and we could also go horse riding to touch off on that and I wasn’t really good on a horse, I’d maybe been on a horse a couple of times. But these guys take it through like paint by numbers. Heels down, pull the reigns in and they’ll look at you and point out these tiny things and before you know it you’re riding a horse thanks to these amazing teachers.
The sword thing, as I mentioned, I was using a plastic sword for the first, give or take, ten years of my life and that kind of helped, believe it or not. If I was to step into a battle, I’d probably lose but to be able to make it look big and epic and have a little coordination came relatively easy to me, not to mention we have amazing stunt coordinators who choreograph these wonderful fights.
TAKING LIFE AS IT COMES
What’s been the best part of working on Legend of the Seeker?
Craig: That’s a tough question. I’ve never really been asked that. There’s so many pros. The schedule is incredibly grueling and when you’re tired, you’re tired. You can be a millionaire but when you’re tired that money ain’t gonna help you, you’re tired and you feel bad. But I look around and I go, this is fantastic. These are now my new family and friends. I had to go from Australia to here and we all get along really well. It’s such fast turn around, TV, you can’t spend so much time on things, we have to be moving fast and suddenly you’re doing a big life or death scene and then a fight scene and then go ride horses. It’s incredibly full on but enjoyable.
Are you as adventurous as your character?
Craig: I have a short attention span, if I’m in one place for a long time I have to move. I think, when I’m challenged with something I’ll try and rise to it but sometimes when you’re left on your own accord you could end up staying in one spot. You don’t know what’s out there so you just start assuming there’s nothing out there. Then suddenly someone will thrust you into something and it’s like, wow, I’m so glad I came here. Gosh, I think there’s nothing at all wrong with anyone saying, you know what, these three months I’m not going to work, I’m going to do it really cheap, I’m going to travel, rock up and see what happens. If you rock up with no expectations, you just go, this is life, life is about being here. . .I can’t really ask the world to give me anything, I’m just going to go and see what it is. . maybe things can happen.
Any final words?
Craig: If you can watch Legend of the Seeker, please watch it. We’ve had a fantasy void on our television for too long and I like to think of it as the fantasy void filler. Fantasy is a word that can throw people off. You say fantasy to my mom and she’s like, ‘no, not my thing.’ You say it to other people and they’re like, ‘it’s for dweebs and geeks, I’m not into wizards and dragons and all that stuff.’
But Legend of the Seeker is basically real situations that are set in an ancient time before you had cell phones and electricity. It’s a world of steel and leather and so we don’t really make it too crazy. Magic only happens every once in awhile; it’s really about these relationships. So don’t be put off by the word fantasy, but at the same token if you do love fantasy, then come on and step inside, you’ll get your fantasy fill.
Legend of the Seeker is a syndicated series from ABC Television. You can find out when and where it airs in your local area by visiting the website: LegendoftheSeeker.com.
1) “Legend of the Seeker” stars Bridget Regan and Craig Horner greeted fans in Times Square in New York City as they unveiled the Sword of Truth, a 9 foot custom faux sword protruding from a vehicle emanating smoke. The stars, who shoot the nationally syndicated action-adventure series in New Zealand, were in town promoting the second season.
Photo credit: Anders Krusberg/ABC Studios
Originally published on SFUniverse.com