Legend of the Seeker will kick off its second season this weekend and no one is more excited about it than series star Craig Horner, who plays the titular Seeker, Richard. When last seen, Richard had killed the villainous Darken Rahl (Craig Parker), and as the action-fantasy picks up the story, Richard knows better than to get too caught up in celebrating his victory, as evil of all kinds is lurking, threatening him, Zedd (Bruce Spence), Kahlan (Bridget Regan), and the people and land they love. PopStar recently caught up with Horner for the following exclusive interview.
Let's go back to season one. How pleased were you with initial set-up of the story and the characters, and what intrigued you most about the way in which the season unfolded?
At first I wasn't so sure about the idea of Kahlan and Richard not being instant friends when they meet, like in the book, as well as Richard hardly knowing Zedd. In the end, this proved to be an effective dramatic change. It created conflict, which makes for good TV.
Take us through your experience doing season one. What was it like to suddenly be in pretty much every scene of every episode, to have such a physically demanding role, to do all the publicity as the face of the show, and to become something of a sex symbol?
(Laughing) I don't know about the sex symbol thing, but yes, my schedule was chaotic and still is. I burned myself out by episode 7 and passed out on set. Since then I've learned a way to pace myself. I power nap as much as I can, and have no social life! But it's kind of funny -- as much as I wish for free time, the only day I had off this year I was like, "What's happening on set?! What are they doing without me?! I'm bored!"
Season two kicks off this weekend. Let's start with "Marked." What can we expect to see in the opener?
You'll get to see one of the cool monsters that escapes from the underworld, as well as an awesome battle sequence involving numerous forces. Not to mention a lot of sexy Mord'Sith action.
They seem to have Richard becoming physically tougher -- facial hair, dirty, uttering that great line "Anyone else want to question my orders?" How will he continue down that path as the season progresses?
Richard is not one to back down on the challenges that he faces. When pressed with the questions of who to lead and how to lead them, he must trust in himself. No more looking to Zedd and Kahlan for the answers. It's up to Richard.
As much as fans enjoy the action and fantasy, the show doesn't work without the relationships between Richard and Kahlan, Richard and Zedd. How will those relationships continue to evolve? And since you spend so much time with them day after day, how have your relationships with Bridget and Bruce evolved?
I think it is incredibly important to keep the spark in those relationships. When you throw love into the midst of war, it makes it so much more powerful. Richard is separated from Kahlan and Zedd for a while, but this will strengthen those relationships. I love working with Bruce and Bridget. Our friendship is growing each day. I wouldn't want to do it alone.
You have some strong guest stars in Jolene Blalock, Charisma Carpenter and Aimee Teegarden. Give us a feeling for what they'll be playing and the impact they'll have on Richard and the Richard/Kahlan relationship.
Aimee's character is the most innocent of the three, but that's not to say she doesn't have a major impact on Richard and Kahlan's relationship. She throws a massive wrench in the works! Charisma’s a high-ranking Mord'Sith who creates conflict within her group, and Jolene's character is a mystery. Even Richard isn't sure who she really is and what her intentions truly are.
Season one was about Richard coming to grips with being the Seeker. Season two, at least at the start, he's dealing with the duality of being both Lord Rahl and the Seeker. What would you say is the overall theme of season two so far as Richard is concerned?
With opposing parties all pulling Richard in every direction he must keep his wits about him, and do what he always does -- trust his own instincts. He's still struggling with the concept of "prophecy" and believes that the future in not set.
Any other interesting guest stars you can tell us about?
I really enjoyed working with Gabriel Mann, who plays a young Zedd. That guy is "with it." He's so engaging, kind, and fun.
How far along are you in shooting season two?
We're only halfway (done). Our hiatus between seasons allows us all to regenerate mentally and physically, but it's not long before I'm itching to get back on set.
What, if anything did you do last hiatus, and what, if anything, are you going to do during this hiatus?
I hung out in Los Angeles with my three best mates. Four Aussie lads in Hollywood -- need I say more? I'm not too sure what I'll do next time. Maybe travel, do another gig, work on my music -- who knows?
Assuming there's a season three, what are you still eager to see for the show, for Richard?
The show right now is so fast-paced, packing in huge amounts of story and action. I hope we get to a level where the show can have fifteen-minute scenes that rely purely on great writing, acting, and directing. No special effects, no action, no bare chests. I think we have the capabilities to do that now, but we need to catch our audience still.