by MaryD - June 2010
Craig Parker is Legatus Glaber on Spartacus Blood and Sand.
I am delighted to interview Craig who is a fan favourite spanning
multiple fandoms from Xena, Legend of the Seeker, Spartacus Blood and
Sand and of course Lord of the Rings. The interview started off being
serious but quickly turned into one of the funniest I've done for AUSXIP
Interviews. From theatresports to Legatus Glaber, learn more about Craig
Have you always
wanted to be an actor?
Was quite keen on
being a rabbit or superhero early on, then there was the pilot/astronaut
phase around 8, a nerdy computer stage in early teens as well as a
vaguely serious consideration of marine biology but from about 15 on, I
think I was reasonably certain I just wanted to dress up and have people
clap at me.
Was your family
supportive of your career choice?
terrified. I think they feared for me a transient, uncertain life of
You've done some
theatre work, what do you enjoy about theatre vs. film?
They are such
different processes each with their own joys and frustrations but
theatre allows one the luxury of time. To spend a month or so lost in
the mind of a great playwright is a fantastic privilege, as is the
intense process of working with a group of actors and a director seeking
a perfect interpretation of their script.
We read that
you've done some musical theatre. Are you very musical person? Is it
something you enjoy?
I sing like a dog and
have an absolute dread of doing it in public. The last musical thing I
did my friend, Joel, stood behind me and punched me in the back whenever
it was my turn to sing. Even then, I’d be half a beat out and several
‘whatevers’ off key.
You have done a
lot of sci-fi or fantasy work, what do you enjoy about these kinds of
I’ve never done
anything sci-fi but with fantasy shows, I still get such a kick out of
walking onto a set that looks just like the world I imagined when I was
a kid playing dressups… and you get to do cool magic spell casting!
What kind of
research did you do to prepare for these roles?
If the project is
based on an existing book then so much of the detective work is done for
you, especially the inner world of the character. If not, I curl up with
the script and read and reread and work backwards to come up with
reasons why the character does and says what they do. Oh yeah, and
practice cool magic spell casting in the mirror.
Who is your
acting role model and why?
Not sure if I could
name just one. I’ve seen so many brilliant performances from different
people and each one has taught me stuff… but I guess the thing the
people I really admire have in common is an ability to strip away the
‘acty’ stuff and make it look effortless.
Are there any
actors dead or alive that you would love to work with and, If so, why?
Lots, but too many to
name… though I guess the dead ones wouldn’t be all that much fun to play
with anymore… and would possibly get a little smelly after a day under
involved in Theatresports; was that an adrenaline rush? What attracted
you to improv?
I think I was 16 or so
when I first came across Theatresports and started playing regularly. I
was truly terrible at it but was 16 so didn’t care. Think I might have
made my first bit of cash out of acting from it too. Don’t do it much
now but I still love the terror of having no idea what’s going to
If you had to
choose between actor and comedian (and you couldn't do both) which one
would you choose?
When we do something funny, we have ‘range’ and when we’re not funny,
we’re ‘dramatic’… if comedians aren’t funny, they ‘suck’ and have a
scary, drunk audience ready to tell them so.
If you were
given a dream project to work on what would it be?
An enormous budget
film set on a Fijian island, very little costume, makeup or dialogue, a
great cast and crew to play with and home base is a super yacht moored
off the white sand beach.
Where do you see
yourself career-wise in 10 years?
Really have no idea.
For me, the great joy of being an actor is that the future is always a
Do you watch
Dailies? If so…how do you use them? If not…why?
No, I’ve never been a
big daily watcher. I figure by that stage the work is handed over to
other people. I do use playback on set though but it’s often more about
working out something technical with position or lighting. Far better to
spend ones energy getting the scene right with the other actors and
trust in the talent and skills of those around to capture it.
favourite TV show that you would love to have a part on?
There are lots and
lots of fantastic shows I’d have loved or would love to work on but
having to name a favourite leaves me stumped. Sorry but I really suck at
these ‘favourite’ questions… must be a commitment issue thing.
What was the
audition process like for Spartacus?
and relaxed thanks to casting director, Annabel Lomas. Popped in, read a
couple of scenes then went off to meet friends for coffee.
Has this project
differed greatly from Seeker, Xena, and Young Hercules? If yes, how so?
Spartacus shares much
that was great about making those other shows… production, crews, cast
and a very strong sense of making really watchable television but it
also has a great deal more freedom in how it can tell a story. Herc,
Xena and Seeker were family entertainment and so, obviously, there was a
limit to what they could show or do. With Spartacus being made for
Starz, it has the freedom to explore ideas in a much more adult way and
for actors, this gives an almost infinite freedom to explore who these
characters are without fear of scaring the children.
What was it
about Glaber that attracted you to the role?
Steven DeKnight has
created a world where flawed, damaged and lost characters do great and
unfortunate things in the pursuit of some kind of happiness. It’s not a
world of ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ and so, for an actor, it’s very
exciting. As I said above, there are no limits to the places one can go
with a character and Glaber has many a dark corner to explore. The joy
is finding those hidden recesses, discovering what lurks in them and
then seeing how that affects him and those around as he tries to find
his own kind of ‘happiness’.
This is the 4th
project you've worked on with Rob Tapert? What do you like about working
on his projects?
Rob has enormous
passion, knowledge and appreciation for all aspects of putting together
a show and one feels this filter through all his projects. Together with
a remarkable production team he assembles a fantastically skilled and
talented crew who, even with the tiredness, difficulties and madness
that come with a long shoot, continue to do beautiful work and treat
each other with kindness and respect. He expects everyone to work at the
top of their game, does all he can to encourage that and readily
acknowledges it when they do.
Do you find that
your daily preparation is different for a period piece vs. a modern day
There are the very
practical differences of costume and makeup but I don’t know if there’s
a great difference in mental prep. Each show, whether modern or period,
exists in it’s own world with it’s own rules and style and there is
always a mental adjustment that happens as you step into it. Though, I
do know it’s generally wise to check that your not still wearing your
watch or ipod before stepping into a period world.
Did you do any
research on the time period or history you're portraying? If so how has
that help you with your role?
Google is a godsend!
The more information one has about a character and their world, the
easier it is to understand what makes them who they are and the interweb
is brilliant for finding the odd, wonderful, random details to throw
into the soup.
Have you found
anything to be rather challenging?
Life, taxes and early
starts in winter.
be out for blood in Season 2, will Legatus Glaber be in the hunt for
Spartacus or will he be the hunted?
Spartacus. Season 2:
more hunting, blood and death than a weekend in the Cotswolds with Otis
You have done
some conventions spanning different fandom’s. Is that something you
enjoy, meeting the fans?
Conventions are mental
fun. To spend a weekend meeting fascinating, passionate people having a
great time with likeminded eccentrics is brilliant. I love that there
are grownups brave enough to still play dressups and it’s such a relief
to meet people as childish as myself.
surprised you the most about meeting fans from these different fandom’s?
I guess my biggest
surprise has been how quickly talking with someone’s nana dressed in a
Xena bikini becomes normal.
Do you have any
Seeker set stories you would like to share with the AUSXIP audience?
Honestly, truly, of
all people, it’s you guys that I want to tell all the wild, amazing,
crazy stories to but sadly, ‘What happens on set, stays on set’.
Do you have any
Spartacus set stories you would like to share with the AUSXIP audience?
You have been
working with some very talented actors, producers and directors on
Spartacus, what have you learned from them?
Every day on set is a
school day for me and when the home bell rings, I’ve learnt so many
lessons and, hopefully, got just a little bit better.
We've heard alot
about the nudity and the violence of Spartacus but, in your opinion,
what do most interviewers / reviewers overlook about the series?
It’s an easy grab to
headline the nudity/sex/violence of Spartacus and while I’m sure that
sensationalism doesn’t hurt the show, after watching Series One, I think
it’s clear that these things are parts of a greater picture. Sex and
violence have and always will be a way to gain power and the stories we
are telling have that pursuit of power at their very core. Oh yeah… and
it looks really cool!
We all have a
favourite quote that inspires us, what is your favourite quote?
“This too shall pass.”
What's next for
A bit of travelling
and then back to Capua to try to change history by catching that
Photos of Craig Parker for this interview are courtesy of
management at Karen Kay Management.
Photos of Glaber are courtesy of Starz Entertainment.
Photos of Darken Rahl are courtesy of 2010 Seeker Productions, Inc
Karen Kay Management
Parker Facebook Page
Official Spartacus Blood
and Sand Site
- Official Legend of the Seeker Site
- AUSXIP Spartacus
News & Multimedia
- Craig Parker.net (Excellent
- Craig Parker.de (Excellent
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