AUSXIP Interviews Craig Parker
(Legatus Glaber)
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 Parker.


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? 

Supportive but terrified. I think they feared for me a transient, uncertain life of alcoholic poverty

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 projects?   

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 hot lights.

You were 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 happen.

If you had to choose between actor and comedian (and you couldn't do both) which one would you choose?

Absolutely, ‘Actor’! 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 mystery.

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.

What’s your 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?

Wonderfully painless 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 piece?

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.

Spartacus will 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 Ferry.

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.

What has 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? 

See above.

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 Craig Parker?

A bit of travelling and then back to Capua to try to change history by catching that troublesome Thracian.


Photo Credits:

Photos of Craig Parker for this interview are courtesy of Craig's management at Karen Kay Management.
Photos of Glaber are courtesy of Starz Entertainment.
Photos of Darken Rahl are courtesy of 2010 Seeker Productions, Inc

Interesting Links

- Karen Kay Management
- Craig Parker Facebook Page
- Official Spartacus Blood and Sand Site
- Official Legend of the Seeker Site
- AUSXIP Spartacus News & Multimedia

Fan Sites
Craig (Excellent English site)
- Craig (Excellent German site)


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