Joseph Fiennes and Writer/Showrunner Chris Chibnall Interview “Camelot”

Posted by M. in Oct 26,2010 with 16 Comments

The new Starz original series Camelot, expected to air in the Spring of 2011, is an epic period drama with a talented cast that includes Joseph Fiennes as Merlin, Eva Green as Morgan, Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur and Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere. This 10-episode production takes a fresh approach to the powerful story of the legendary King Arthur, weaving it with the authenticity of the most classic medieval tale of all time.

During a recent interview, series star Joseph Fiennes and writer/showrunner Chris Chibnall talked about bringing this epic story to life in a fresh way, setting things up so that they can continue telling the story for multiple seasons and how being on Starz allows them to explore all aspects of the characters and story.

(…)

Chris, can you talk about how you assembled the rest of this cast?

CHIBNALL: That’s really the great joy of the series. We’ve got Eva Green doing her first television series. We’ve got a wonderful Arthur in Jamie Campbell Bower, who is a really terrific actor. We’ve got Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere. We’ve got some great guest stars coming in. We’ve got Fitz Regan, Sinéad Cusack and Sebastian Koch, from The Lives of Others. When it comes down to it, this is a show with an amazing ensemble, and my job is to keep feeding them and let them do great stuff. The caliber of acting in this show is something I’m really proud of and shall try and take as much credit for as possible, even though it’s down to the actors.

What is Merlin’s relationship with Morgana in this?

FIENNES: They dance around the position of who’s going to be king of the hill, in terms of the negotiation and the attainment of power. We’ll see that dance play out historically. Morgana was the daughter of King Uther, who was the right-hand man. So, their relationship has history, and we’ll see exciting stuff develop between the two of them, and see who feels they should have that position of power.

CHIBNALL: Yeah, there’s going to be a lot of contact between Merlin and Morgan, which is what we call her. There are going to be a lot of battles. It’s a story of a guy and his half-sister, who both have equal claims to the crown, throne and the realm. She’s denied because she’s a woman, so Merlin brings Arthur to the crown and she’s going to resent Merlin’s actions, which will play out through the season. They will have a lot to do with each other because putting Joe with Eva on screen is one of the great joys of this show.

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16 Responses to “Joseph Fiennes and Writer/Showrunner Chris Chibnall Interview “Camelot””

  1. Comment by EvaGreenWeb in October 27, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    Joseph Fiennes and Writer/Showrunner Chris Chibnall Interview “Camelot”: http://evagreenweb.com/?p=787

  2. Comment by George in October 26, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

    Thnx Mariana. The interview is very interesting and revealing about the role of Eva which is crucial in the series. A big challenge for her (…and for starz). Anxiously waiting…

  3. Comment by Nausicaa in October 26, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    An observation: Fiennes says Morgana [sic] was the daughter of Uther, who he calls “the right hand man.”

    Then Chibnall says that both Arthur and Arthur’s “half-sister” Morgan have “equal claims to the crown, throne and the realm.”

    In every version of the myth I’ve ever heard, Morgan wasn’t the daughter of Uther; she was the daughter of Igraine and Gorlois, who you could say was a sort of right hand man to Uther. Arthur was the son of Uther and Igraine. So maybe Fiennes meant Gorlois, not Uther. But if that were true, why would Arthur and Morgan have equal claims to the throne?

    A second possibility is that in this version, Morgan isn’t Igraine’s daughter; that the parent she and Arthur share in common is Uther, not Igraine. But even in this case, why would Morgan and Arthur have equal claims to the crown?

    Am I the only one who thought that part sounded a bit weird?

  4. Comment by Mariana in October 27, 2010 @ 3:01 am

    Nausicaa: Because if Morgan is the daughter of Uther, then she’s Arthur half-sister. Arthur is Uther’s soon. They’d have equal claims because they’re both legitimate children. But she happens to be a woman and in that time and age, women didn’t become rulers of nations.

  5. Comment by Lola in October 27, 2010 @ 6:19 am

    That line of thinking – Morgana being Uther’s daughter is also the storyline in the current BBC1 series Merlin – when Uther slept with someone else, whose name slips my mind, they were both lonely and of high rank…the up-shot being that Morgana is now scheming to have Arthur killed and supercede him on the throne, so maybe Eva’s Morgana will turn out to be evil and scheming too, as Arthurian legend always seems to make her out to be!

  6. Comment by George in October 27, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    Nausicaa: although your name refers to Greek mythology you are also an expert in Arthurian legend. Bravo!
    My conclusion is that mythology can be flexible, especially for the movies or series :) My only concern is whether Morgana’s character is fruitful enough, in order to reveal Eva’s talent…

  7. Comment by Alexander in October 27, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

    In the Prose Tristan, Morgana delivers to Arthur’s court a magic drinking horn from which no unfaithful lady can drink without spilling, hoping to reveal the infidelity.

    Morgana’s full name is Morgan le Fay. There is nice picture of Morgan le Fay by Anthony Frederick Sandys.

  8. Comment by Alexander in October 27, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

    In the legends of Charlemagne Morgana is famous for her association with Ogier the Dane, whom she takes to her mystical island palace to be her lover.

  9. Comment by George in October 28, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    I copy from the interview

    JOURNALIST: Being on Starz, how adult will this series be?

    CHIBNALL: …It’s all about great ideals compromised by falling in love with the wrong person.

    FIENNES: Sex gets in the way a lot.

    CHIBNALL: Yeah, that’s absolutely true. It also helps a lot, to be fair. It’s an element of our storytelling because it’s part of our palettes. Also, we have some beautiful actors, so why not?

    Is this a threat or a promise? :)

  10. Comment by M.C. in October 28, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    @ George: I think Morgan Le Fay is the perfect character to let Eva shine. She’s really colourful: Some legends portray her as priestess, wise woman and queen, others make her a jaded sorceress who wants revenge for her father’s death. But whatever your take is, Morgan is always one of the most interesting characters in Arthurian stories.

  11. Comment by George in October 28, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    Thnx M.C. You raise my expectations from Camelot…

  12. Comment by George in October 29, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    off topic – Lesley Manville says about Eva in Womb: “It’s a really strange, hugely atmospheric film about cloning,” explains Manville. “Eva, who is just fantastic, plays a woman whose lover dies, and she remains so obsessed with him that she decides to give birth to a clone of him, so it’s a baby that looks like her lover”

    Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/film-in-wales/2010/10/29/there-s-something-about-mary-91466-27561569/#ixzz13lqRCKP7

  13. Comment by Me_Interrupted in November 1, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    @EvaGreenWeb I <3 ur site, years ago I sent pictures of rovereto film fest! but what’s happened to the photoshoot session in the gallery? :(

  14. Comment by Lola in November 2, 2010 @ 10:20 am

    I know Eva’s a serious, intelligent actress – and we all love and respect her – but here’s something just for fun: http://www.gq.com/women/photos/25-sexiest-women-in-film-slideshow

    You can vote on out of the selection given. ;)

  15. Comment by Nausicaa in November 2, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    Eva’s been linked to another project!

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118026780.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

    I’m not sure if any of them will go forward, but this one is notable for having an approx. start date. I wonder what the source of this renewed interest in Eva Green by Hollywood is – is it Womb, early Camelot footage, or just the simple fact that Camelot will likely have raised her profile by spring of next year? Whatever it is, I’m not complaining!

    Regarding the discussion about Morgan above, I suppose if Uther were married to Morgan’s mother and then also legally married to Arthur’s mother, then Morgan and Arthur would be half-siblings with ‘equal’ claims to the throne (with Morgan arguing that she is the older sibling, and Arthur that he is the only male sibling). But I’ve never seen their relationship presented this way. BUT this series is about the manipulation of fact into myth, so it’s possible that this will turn out to be the true relationship between the two characters according to the series, with the actual myth version(s) also presented – but as political propaganda. That’s my theory, anyway. Thanks for your input.

  16. Comment by George in November 3, 2010 @ 10:58 am

    Thanks Nausicaa. That’s great news!