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Interview with Tom Hopper, Eoin Macken, Rupert Young, and
Adetomiwa Edun of "Merlin" on
Moderator: John Singh January 25, 2012 11:00 AM ET
Operator: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Merlin Knights of the
Round Table Media Call. Today, we have four actors who play the Knights
of the Round Table on Merlin – Tom Hopper, Eoin Macken, Rupert Young,
and Adetomiwa Edun. All lines have been placed on listen-only mode and
the floor will be open for your questions later in the call. We now turn
over the call to the four Knights of the Round Table, who are joining us
John Singh: Okay. Operator, are you there for questions?
Operator: Yes. I'm here. If you would like to ask a question, you can go
ahead and speak at any time. I'll go ahead and open the lines.
Unidentified Participant: (Inaudible.) Hello?
Jeff Renaud: Hello. This is Jeff from Comic Book Resources.
Unidentified Participant: Hello?
Tiffany Vogt: Hi. This is Tiffany Vogt with The TV Addict. How are you
guys doing today?
Unidentified Participant: Very good. Thank you. How are you?
Tiffany Vogt: Doing great. Thank you. Thanks for taking our calls. So
the first question I wanted to ask is what do you most enjoy about your
Tom Hopper: This is Tom speaking. I guess we do quite a lot of physical
stuff, which is a lot of fun. We do a lot of fighting and look cool with
a sword, which is always a lot of fun.
John Singh: I would just like to say that Adetomiwa and Rupert have
joined the floor.
Adetomiwa Edun: Hi. This is Adetomiwa. Yes, I absolutely concur. I'm
right behind Tom when he says it's a lot of fun kind of getting stuck in
with the action because we've got a couple of good ones in mix in this
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. I concur.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. What does "concur" mean?
Tiffany Vogt: Okay. Well, for a follow-up question for all four of you,
is there anything in the upcoming episodes that the fans should be
looking for that you would like them to see?
Unidentified Participant: You should probably look (inaudible) -- you
should probably look to see how many hair flicks Eoin Macken does in an
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking, and I think if fans can start the
episode where Tom wears anything on his arms, that would be epic.
Tiffany Vogt: Besides young children.
Eoin Macken: (Inaudible) you said that, not me.
Tiffany Vogt: Alright. Thank you, guys.
Unidentified Participant: Thanks.
Unidentified Participant: That was a great response.
John Singh: Hi, guys. This is John Singh from the PR side. I have a
question actually I would ask for the whole group, which is did any of
you actually watch Merlin before you got cast in Merlin?
Eoin Macken: Yes. This is Eoin speaking. I did because Merlin is a
wonderful show and I heard about it so often.
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa speaking. I also did watch Merlin
before. Sorry. I've got Eoin Macken here making some extraordinary faces
and it's quite distracting.
Eoin Macken: I just want to know what episodes you watched before you
Adetomiwa Edun: I watched the whole first three seasons.
Eoin Macken: What happened?
Adetomiwa Edun: You want to go through all of it? Okay. Episode one --
because (inaudible) job and I was enjoying it.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. When you auditioned for the show,
you -- normally -- I had a couple of days so I tried to watch as many as
I could. So I also watched -- and since being in it, I've watched it
even more. (Inaudible crosstalk). My mom makes me.
Tom Hopper: We all now watch the show because we're all narcissistic.
This is Tom speaking,
Steve Eramo: Hi, guys. This is Steve Eramo from The Morton Report. I
have a question for all of you. Speaking of auditions, I wanted to find
out if maybe you could perhaps tell us a little about your initial
audition for Merlin and getting started in your respective roles.
Tom Hopper: This is Tom speaking. Basically, I just did a -- when I
heard I was going for Percival -- so first of all, I just did a lot of
research and then -- in character -- which actually came to not a lot of
avail to what they actually decided to do with the character in the
show. It was slightly different from what they (inaudible) took on it.
But yes, basically the audition consists of -- and I (inaudible) this is
the same for the other boys as well -- is that you get your script
through and you read it through with the director and if you're right
for the part, then they'll give you the offer.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. When I first auditioned, I was up
for two parts. One was the (inaudible) Sir Leon, which I now play. I
really was -- and the other was another part who actually died another
night. Luckily, they cast me as Sir Leon. Otherwise, I wouldn't be
Unidentified Participant: Would he be dead? Is that --
Rupert Young: And I was only meant to be in a couple of episodes and
then they kept (inaudible) back. So I've kind of developed the character
with the writers so it's been quite exciting.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. I just sent a video being topless in
a bed, and that was my audition.
Unidentified Participant: No lie. It's true. Tomiwa, how did you get
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. I went in, I met with them -- the
director of the block that was I was set cast in, and -- yes -- I think
(inaudible) in the offices of (inaudible) who made the (inaudible). It
seemed to have the desired effect.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin. I did consider before Merlin I was going to
write them letters just asking to be in the show, but I thought
John Singh: And then as a follow-up -- again, for all four of you guys
-- can you tell us a little bit about some of the acting challenges you
found working on the show, and then also maybe how have you seen your
characters sort of grow and develop as you've been playing them out this
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. I think -- to answer the second
part of your question. What's been quite lovely, or nice, (inaudible)
the group of us working together is the right (inaudible) managed to
get, the kind of relationship we had off-screen and into their
characters. So it was quite nice to get that group dynamic which the
writers found and also we found off-screen. So that was really fun.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. I think the characters have
aggressed since we began and (inaudible) written very well and then we
came in and ruined it. So they might have to save it for a really solid
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa speaking for Tom and myself when I say
that I think we just agree that -- (inaudible) we beg to differ. With
one character (inaudible) --. Personally, one of the challenges I found
is shooting in Wales, although I love kind of --
Unidentified Participant: Because you don't like white people.
Adetomiwa Edun: All the stuff out in the forest -- is that it can be
quite cold, and I'm definitely solar-powered.
Unidentified Participant: Yes. Sometimes it gets as low as about 10
degrees Celsius down there, so it's really difficult. I (inaudible) with
John Singh: I don't want to take up too much more of your time in case
there's someone else to jump in, but I'll just again another question
all four of you guys. Loved the season 4 opener. Thought you guys did a
terrific job. (Inaudible) in your minds specifically about the filming
of the season 4 opener, what maybe you enjoyed most about shooting that
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. First of all, we were -- it was a
new -- we were shooting on 35-mm (inaudible) and everything was bigger
and better and so it just -- when we were filming, it was us coming back
together after being away from each other for a few months and it was
the first time the unit of knights were really huge. So it just felt
much more exciting and it was just a -- there was an excitement even
from day one that it becomes to be a specialty.
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Also, it was -- sorry. I beg your
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking because Adetomiwa has lost his train
of thought. I think what was fascinating about the opener was the fact
that because it was a much darker tone than the previous series and
because we had this great big (inaudible) quest feel and it was all of
us together, as Rupert said, going on an adventure, and with the Derocha
-- which had a lot of special effects -- it was -- we didn't really know
what was going on, which kind of lends to what was happening with the
characters. Because you can't see the Derocha and we didn't know what
was happening, it kind of -- our confusion was real and that was really
Adetomiwa Edun: If Eoin will let me speak -- this is Adetomiwa. What I
was trying to -- what I was going to say was that the scale of the first
two episodes was massive and we shot in some fantastic locations that
were -- that sort of really -- were really evocative and (inaudible) and
added to the experience of shooting it, which was a lot of fun.
John Singh: Was it tough with the special effects? I know there was a
lot, especially with the Derocha. Was it tough filming with those
Rupert Young: This is Rupert speaking. I think what's quite interesting
is when you're filming them, you don't actually know what you're trying
to attack. So if somebody tells you attack from all sides while looking
in this general direction and hold a flame, and so you do it to nothing.
And so it's not until you actually watch the episode -- you go, "Oh wow,
that is actually quite scary."
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. (Inaudible) working with the Derocha
-- when you're acting -- acting is about reacting. You need to react off
someone doing something to you. The Derocha don't really give you
anything back, so it was hard to act (inaudible).
Rupert Young: This is Rupert. It's like working with Eoin.
John Singh: Well, I have some other questions but I'll step back and let
someone else jump in and I'll wait a few minutes. Thanks a lot, guys.
Crystal Taylor: Great. Crystal Taylor. Are you there?
Unidentified Participant: Hello.
Unidentified Participant: Yes?
Crystal Taylor: Hello. Okay. First question is for Eoin Macken. Being
the feisty bad boy, Sir Gwaine seems to have friendships both with
Arthur and Merlin and they're kind of different. So I was wondering how
Gwaine would describe his friendships with each of them.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin in response to your question. I think that the
initial friendship with Arthur was actually more of a competitive
relationship that became a friendship through respect because initially,
Gwaine as a character didn't have any time for Arthur because he was
royalty. And Merlin was more respectful towards him and they became
friends much quicker. But I think as it developed this year, I think
that Arthur and Gwaine became much stronger friends, as Arthur did with
all the knights, and to virtue of they're fighting battles together so
you're fighting side by side. So Merlin and Gwaine haven't been as
strong friend-wise because Gwaine doesn't know what actually Merlin does
in terms of his magic, so Arthur and Gwaine would fight alongside each
other, as alongside Percival and Elyan. And so we -- because we have a
stronger bond that way, I think, than -- yes.
Unidentified Participant: Thank you, Eoin.
Crystal Taylor: Okay. Great.
Eoin Macken: Does that answer your question?
Crystal Taylor: Yes. It's for Adetomiwa -- you're Elyan?
Adetomiwa Edun: Adetomiwa.
Crystal Taylor: This series is wonderfully color-blind, and I don't know
much about British history but I think that blacks came to England at
the same time they came to the US. So when you were discussing creating
your character, I wonder whether you were discussing, like, playing a
color-blind character or whether they were talking about just making an
international type of cast -- a global feel to the knights?
Adetomiwa Edun: I believe that there were some Africans in the UK
certainly as far back as (inaudible) at the very least. As for sort of
being in this cast, I think -- I don't think there was any intention --
I don't think the thought process was to bring -- I don't think race
basically was part of the casting. I was brought in to join the cast as
Gwaine's brother, but I think beyond that -- I don't -- and I'm not -- I
don't think the series or the show is worried about making any kind of
particular statement in that respect. But I guess you might -- yes.
That's what -- this is what I believe, yes. I guess you could ask the
Unidentified Participant: But she's not asking were you color-blind,
Crystal Taylor: Okay. That's wonderful. And I was wondering, Rupert, Sir
Leon's been around with Arthur for a long time and, for the most part,
he would have seen Merlin as Arthur's servant. And now, things have kind
of changed, like when you guys were all out being subversive when
Morgana was on the throne. So I was just wondering if his picture of
Merlin has changed. Have they -- will they become sort of friends? Will
they interact? That type of thing.
Rupert Young: I think that with the relationship with Merlin is that
because he's been around and he's always at Arthur's side -- as has
Leon, in many ways -- they have grown to like each other. However,
there's always that status. So I'm always going to be a slightly higher
status than Merlin. So we all -- I will -- I think my character and all
the knights -- we have a joke with him, we have a laugh with Merlin, but
there's always a line, in the same way -- to a point -- but not as much
-- as Arthur and Merlin. They -- there's that respect there, but Merlin
always knows his place and we've always got to remember that he'll be
our friend, but when he needs to be, he is still a servant. (Inaudible.)
Crystal Taylor: Okay. Great. And one little quick question for Tom
Hopper. I had asked one of you. We have -- all these pictures are kind
of beefcakes. Can you tell us, like, where that photo shoot came from?
Tom Hooper: Oh, the GT -- the Gay Times shoot?
Crystal Taylor: Okay. Yes.
Tom Hooper: Is that -- that's the one you're talking about?
Crystal Taylor: Yes.
Tom Hooper: Yes, we did a shoot for a magazine earlier this year for the
promotion of the opening of the series, and we were asked by this
magazine to dress in -- well, not a lot -- with swords and shields and
stuff, but also making it kind of a fashion thing as well. So yes, we
did it. I think that's quite a popular magazine in the UK, so the
producers thought it would be a good idea for us to do that. Is that a
popular thing over there?
Crystal Taylor: I don't know, but they're great pictures.
Unidentified Participant: It's going to be now.
Crystal Taylor: They're great pictures, so --. Thank you very much.
Unidentified Participant: Thank you.
Unidentified Participant: Thanks.
John Singh: Oh, and it will be a popular thing now.
Crystal Taylor: Especially with us women.
John Singh: Next question?
Tiffany Vogt: This is Tiffany Vogt with The TV Addict again. I was
wondering, can we expect to see more about the knights' backgrounds or
personal lives, and if not, what can we expect to see more of in the
Tom Hopper: I think -- this is Tom -- and I think as the series goes on,
there (inaudible) things that happen (inaudible) story (inaudible). I
think you don't really get to see that much about our backgrounds
because this series very much focuses on the development of Arthur
becoming who he's going to be. And I think it's more about the knights
being there for him on that journey -- this series. So potentially next
series there may be more (inaudible). I think this series is more about
us being on the side of Arthur and being there for him on his
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Yes, adding to what Tom was saying, I
think this (inaudible) sort of (inaudible) of this season is quite epic
and it focuses on the overarching theme. So like I think you can expect
through the evolution of a slightly different Camelot, there are issues
raised by Arthur's relationship with Guinevere and things like that are
sort of foreground. And I think you do. You get glimpses of the knights,
but you see them primarily as actors in a -- or agitators in the
formation of this new sort of Camelot.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin Macken and I agree with everything Adetomiwa
said, in general.
Tiffany Vogt: So will we see you fighting more with supernatural beings
or with actual people?
Unidentified Participant: Do we prefer? I think you'll see that there's
a kind of a nice mix of (inaudible) to the supernatural beings. And then
(inaudible) there are (inaudible) actual beings. But no, the
supernatural beings are throughout the series as well. You get a whole
mix -- something for everyone.
Unidentified Participant: And I think it's kind of 50/50 spread in that
regard, like (inaudible).
Unidentified Participant: It's -- we have a lot of really great fight
sequences and -- coming up in terms of really epic battles and --
because we can. We have horses and swords and that's what we do.
Tiffany Vogt: And for each of you, what was your favorite scene to do?
Eoin Macken: My favorite scene personally -- this is Eoin Macken -- was
myself and Rupert have a really great scene coming up in I think episode
8 -- 7? -- where we're just really interesting. There's an episode that
basically mainly focuses on the knights, so I'm sure the fans will look
after that because we're pretty brilliant in it. And the scene -- it was
quite interesting because a lot more conflict between the knights in
terms of creating a different dynamic to our relationship. So I enjoyed
a scene with Rupert which we had in the forest which got quite heated
and it was fun.
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Tom and I did a little bit at the
opening of the series which was quite fun, rescuing the children from
the Derocha. That was good. And then following on again from what Eoin
said, I think that sort of -- if I may call it the knights' episode --
has some really nice stuff -- interplay between us all -- all four of
us, which was a lot of fun to do.
Tom Hopper: This is Tom. Certainly my favorite had to be saving the kids
with Adetomiwa in episode 1. That was a lot of fun. And saying again
really, I think the knights' episode -- which is, I believe, episode 8
of this series -- so I think for all four of us it was a lot of fun to
do that though because we all got to get a peek or hint of something
that was really on the story line of the episode. So that was a lot of
Rupert Young: Yes. This is Rupert. Same. As I have said, it's the first
time we all go out -- (inaudible) often, so there's a -- and it was just
nice to -- I think the characters developed a little bit in those, as
Eoin said, conflicts and that was the most fun to shoot. The rest were
not quite as fun.
Tiffany Vogt: Fantastic. Thank you.
Rupert Young: Thank you.
Unidentified Participant: I think we're going to leave Rupert to handle
Unidentified Participant: Well, we couldn't quite hear what you were
saying. You're -- I think you're breaking up with me.
Tina Charles: Can you hear me?
Unidentified Participant: Yes.
Unidentified Participant: Yes. Go ahead. (Inaudible.)
Tina Charles: Okay. So this is Tina from TV Goodness. I was wondering
what kind of feedback do you get from fans about your characters.
Tom Hopper: This is Tom. I think it's varied really. Three of us are on
Twitter and you get kind of mixed feedback, which is some girls and guys
that, I guess, have an attraction towards them and then I guess there
are some that just want to know every single fact about the show. And I
think they know more about the show than we do. But generally, the
feedback is good. It seems like we have some very nice, loyal fans. It's
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Yes, it's really nice. It seems that
this show has a really supportive family, which is awesome. I think a
lot of girls are very jealous of Eoin Macken's hair. I get a lot of
questions about what products he uses -- Pantene Pro-V, I believe.
Unidentified Participant: Head and Shoulders.
Adetomiwa Edun: And Head and Shoulders. Sorry.
Unidentified Participant: Yes, pretty much.
Adetomiwa Edun: And I get asked a lot as well how I feel standing next
to Tom's arms, and I always -- as I always tell people, if they'd let me
get my arms out, then --
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin Macken. What Tomiwa was talking about is not
euphemistic. He's actually being (inaudible) literal. Myself, Rupert and
Tom are all on Twitter so we really get interaction with the fans.
Adetomiwa doesn't know how to use Twitter. He's not very tech-savvy, but
we're trying to teach him. And I think the fans have actually been
great. And (inaudible) come to fans to have a chat. And being on Twitter
and so forth allows you to engage with someone, and they've all said
some -- I've actually learned an awful lot more about Merlin and the
show from them because, as Tom said, they do know everything about it.
And when we don't pay attention to what's going on, they remind us.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert. I think that's the amazing thing about the
fans of the show is it's all age groups. You do see -- there are a lot
of children -- that the age goes up to 80. It's a family show and it's
-- there are a lot of different people. And so what's interesting is
just seeing that dynamic and seeing people around the world who love the
show and know the show. It's (inaudible) to be a part of.
Eoin Macken: Yes. It's been -- I can say one more thing. So this is
Eoin. It's been genuinely fascinating because Merlin does have such a
wide-reaching fan base. It does hit all demographics and you do get
people all over the world, which is (inaudible) -- but it is great
because you get to see how everyone's got a different subjective take on
it from all the different (inaudible) of the world and because we all
seem to be connecting with it. It's great. Sorry. Rupert Young is just
trying to distract me, but --
Tina Charles: Can you talk about working with Bradley James and Tom
Tina Charles: Can you talk about working with Bradley and Colin?
Unidentified Participant: Are they in this show?
Unidentified Participant: Yes. They're great. Obviously, there's -- as
you can tell, there's a lot of banter between the boys here and it's all
a lot of fun. So having us all together, working with those two -- they
(inaudible) what we have joined and it's been great working with those
guys on their journey of making the show and it's -- they're good people
-- very good actors.
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin. Colin and Bradley -- what's great -- what's
actually genuinely great with working on Merlin is the actors on Merlin
are all of a really high caliber. They're bringing some great guest
stars and so forth like Nathaniel Parker and different people. But the
actors on the show are the main (inaudible) -- which is Colin and
Bradley and Katie. They often (inaudible) the actors. And Colin and
Bradley, in particular, are both brilliant and it is always great
working with them. And as people, Colin's Irish and Irish people are
generally great, and Bradley's British and that's cool, too. So it's
great working with them.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert. I think when you first set up on the show,
you can see -- Colin, Morgan and (inaudible) -- they're the
hardest-working people I've met. I know it sounds like we're sucking up
to them, but they generally are brilliant. The show wouldn't be
(inaudible). (Inaudible) work that hard and they're working flat-out for
8 months, and so they make us all raise our game. So it's -- yes, it's a
great -- two great people to work with.
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa.
Tina Charles: Great. Thank you.
Adetomiwa Edun: I guess our interaction with them is -- as a group, it's
slightly different, like Bradley is very much sort of (inaudible) one of
the lads and we have a lot of good times with him, and Colin is just
like one of the warmest, nicest sort of most generous people you'll ever
Unidentified Participant: (Inaudible)
John Singh: Operator and group, we have time for one last question from
Unidentified Participant: Can I ask please?
John Singh: Yes, of course.
Unidentified Participant: Hello?
Unidentified Participant: Hi.
Unidentified Participant: Hi. So since you guys are such a diverse
group, I was wondering if you could assign superlatives to each other,
like who would get -- hello?
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. I would call Adetomiwa "enigmatic."
Unidentified Participant: Sorry. Could you repeat the question? We
missed the question.
Unidentified Participant: -- assign superlatives to your character.
Unidentified Participant: Hello?
Unidentified Participant: Hello?
John Singh: Can you repeat your question real quickly?
Unidentified Participant: Oh, sorry. I was just wondering, since you
guys are such a diverse group, if you had to assign superlatives to each
other, what would they be?
Eoin Macken: This is Eoin speaking. I would call Adetomiwa "enigmatic"
Tom Hopper: I would call Rupert -- as a character -- as Leon or as
Rupert as a person?
Unidentified Participant: I -- either -- whichever works for you.
Tom Hopper: Okay. Rupert -- I would call "Baby."
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Tom "Big Guns" Hopper -- I think --
what would I say? (Inaudible.) A good man to have in your corner.
Rupert Young: This is Rupert. I'd call Eoin "confusing." Did you get all
Unidentified Participant: Yes I did. Thank you. One more question. Do
you guys think you'll ever get a love interest or do you think that
Arthur will continue to have a monopoly on the only girl in Camelot?
Unidentified Participant: I was going to say that because I wondered
where all the women were. I think Gwen just kind of just got rid of them
Adetomiwa Edun: This is Adetomiwa. Look, I'm sure you know the show is
influenced by fan feedback, so if the fans (inaudible) love interests --
Eoin Macken: There should definitely be more sex scenes.
Rupert Young: That was Eoin Macken.
Eoin Macken: That was Rupert Young.
Unidentified Participant: With an Irish accent.
Eoin Macken: He does a good Irish accent apparently.
John Singh: Well, thank you, everybody, for your time. Thank you for
participating and thank you to those who participated for your patience
as we got things underway this morning. We will have a transcript
available of this call, and now the guys needs to go off to a very fancy
awards show wearing their tuxes. Thank you all.
Unidentified Participant: Thank you, America. You're beautiful.
Unidentified Participant: Thank you.
Unidentified Participant: We love you, America.
Unidentified Participant: Thanks a lot.
John Singh: And this ends the conference call, but as I said, we will
have a transcript for you. Thank you very much for participating.
Operator: This does conclude today's teleconference. You may now
Photo courtesy of ©2011 Leigh Kelly/GT/FremantleMedia
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