Interview: Merlin's Gwaine

2011-08-18 10:23
While the cast of the BBC show Merlin is still busy filming the fourth season, the BBC has already commissioned a fifth season which was not entirely unexpected, says Eoin Macken, who plays the role of Gwaine.

Eoin had a chat with Nuus24 about his career and what it's like on the set of Merlin.

"It's horrendous. I hate it. No, I'm only joking. To be honest with you, it's actually brilliant fun.

"We have a great time. It's really about the people that you work with and all the people that are part of the Merlin-crew are genuinely some of the nicest and coolest people."

Considering all the fun they have on set, it's only natural that a few pranks will feature here and there.

Rupert Young, who plays the role of Sir Leon, one of Arthur's trusted knights, will be the next victim, explains Eoin.

"The guy that does all the props is going to make a fake snake when we get back to France. We're going to plant it near where Rupert's doing a scene because he actually has a massive phobia for snakes.

"He'll probably end up screaming like a girl. So the plan is to capture it on film and then use it to embarrass him. It'll be nice if it works."

Of course, Eoin sometimes has to take the brunt of the jokes as well.

"The thing with Gwaine is he's the kind of character that becomes the butt of the jokes in a way sometimes which I think is just because of his innocence and he's so chilled and laid back about it. But then in real life, Tom (Hopper, who plays Percival) and Bradley (James, who plays Arthur) and the rest of the knights will just go "we'll just take the mickey out of Eoin" and I'll have to say "this isn't how it works in real life, this is just in TV-land."


Eoin says he decided to change his accent a bit in his portrayal of Gwaine. He thinks an accent really tells a lot about a character and that he initially wanted to use a Scottish one for Gwaine.

"It seemed like a fun idea. I was living in LA at the time and I came back to England to do the read-through so I was really jet lagged and hadn't really prepared for it. I thought I'd just do it and it'd be great, but the director of the first episode I was in was Scottish. So I decided to rather not do it."

Season 4 teasers

Season four will air in England in October so South African audiences will need to be patient for a while longer. However, Eoin was willing to reveal a bit about what can be expected. 

"I think it is going to be a lot darker this time. There is a lot more continuation from episode to episode which gives it a lot more flow if you know what I mean. There are also big changes for Arthur and Merlin's characters. They end up maturing an awful lot which makes things interesting and complicated at the same time."

On Gwaine's reaction should he find out about Merlin's Magic, Eoin said: "I think he'd think it's really cool. He'd probably ask him "hey, can you turn water into beer?" because that would be really cool. But then I think he'll get a bit angry saying something like "you had magic all this time and you sent me off for firewood when you can just light the bloody fire!" I think he'd find it really cool at the start and then be annoyed because Merlin kept it from him."

Swords and horses

Working with the Arthurian legend has been something that Eoin has always wanted to do. When he had the opportunity to work on Merlin he thought it would be exciting since he'd get to ride a horse, wave a sword around, wear chainmail "and say really cool things."

"I've always loved it. And I'm not just saying so… When I was a kid, growing up, I used to write a lot of stories. I used to love Dungeons and Dragons and stories with bows and arrows and swords and the stories of Arthur and Camelot and Cu Culain, the Irish legend. They were my favourites as a kid.

"What's really interesting about the legends is that there are just so many great stories out there. And I find that fascinating about them."

Merlin III was screened on M-Net earlier in 2011. M-Net have expressed interest in airing season four when it becomes available.

Eoin Macken, who plays Gwaine in BBC's Merlin, opens up about pranks on set, accents and playing with swords.
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