Hi guys! So, why should we watch Barbarians Rising?
It does what I believe none of the other historical dramas have done, which is paint the fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the barbarians, as opposed to the pomp and stature of the Roman Empire. It’s from a perspective that no one is expecting.
And it’s like Saving Private Ryan – you feel like you’re in the battle.
It feels pretty realistic, then?
Yes, the fight scenes are shot in a gritty and dramatic way. It’s not structured just to be gory – it’s quite frantic, so you get the reality of what it’s actually like to be in battle.
The barbarians were pretty savage warriors...
Yes, people were getting legs and arms cut off – there weren’t these fancy finishes and slow-motion turns. It was this authenticity that we were after.
How did you relate to your characters then?
As soon as I started reading the script I emotionally connected with mine right away. The drive for justice is what I related to.
And I felt so much responsibility. Not many people have heard of Arminius and I wanted to do the first dramatisation of this story justice.
Amid all the battle scenes, did anyone get hurt?
I found a voice I didn’t know I had. On my first day I was being hung up and lashed – an easy start in the rain. By the next day my voice was about four octaves deeper. But it worked really well for the part. I had a lot of massive speeches. You could hear a deep, bellowing voice carrying across the field.
I just kept taking out stuntmen.
And when you’re not taking out stuntmen, what do you like to watch to unwind off the battlefield?
I tend to watch cartoons – Archer, Family Guy, Tom And Jerry. And if I’m working on something I’ll watch what the other actors have been in to work out how much I’m going to have to up my game.
I watch everything, just to see who’s got the jobs. I’ve got into Wayward Pines. The BBC is doing really well – Happy Valley, Doctor Foster – it’s a good time for British drama.