While on hand to talk about his new role as the wizard Merlin in Starz’s ‘Camelot,’ the demise of ABC’s ‘FlashForward‘ wasn’t too far from actor Joseph Fiennes’ mind.
“It felt like I went through a series of blackouts for two minutes and 17 seconds,” he joked at the Television Critics Association panel for ‘Camelot’ on Saturday about the ending of the popular, but ill-fated show. “[I] woke up and the whole landscape had changed again, and here I was in a Celtic countryside.”
In all seriousness, though, Fiennes added, “I’m passionate and loved my time with ‘FlashForward’ and all the wonderful people I met with and worked with there. IT was hugely ambitious, sad. But being taken off the air for so long to find our feet that we didn’t pull it off. But then there’s an upside, which is that I’m working with Chris [Chibnall, writer of ‘Camelot’], Starz, and a really phenomenal series which I think will knock people sideways.”
Of his take on the Merlin character, Fiennes says it will be a “cross between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Donald Rumsfeld. “It’s about power, power sharing, the gaining of power, the distribution of power, and how we bring democracy, how we get the people on our side,” he explained. And, of course, “the magic is very much a part of our storytelling and what powers Merlin has.”
It was also revealed that ‘Rome‘s James Purefoy will be on the series as King Lot, as well. “He’s done an amazing job and considering we call him on set ‘James Pure Joy,’ it’s incredible that he’s manifested such a mean-spirited warlord.”
‘Camelot’ debuts on Starz on spring 2011.