The great thing about meeting an actor is that you never know quite what to expect. By the very nature of the profession, they hide behind a whole range of invented personalities. As Peter Woodward arrives for lunch with Cult Times at a restaurant in Beverly Hills, its pleasing to discover a very warm, charismatic and charming man. After all, this is someone we might recognize as a serial-killing escaped demon from Brimstone, or the aloof, manipulative alien sorcerer Galen from Crusade. So whats a nice guy like him doing playing off-the-wall characters like these?
The great value of the British actor in America is in character roles, Woodward declares. Certainly thats how I see myself developing my career. The character roles are always more interesting, the baddies are always the best parts. A lot of American actors or rather their agents are very keen that they do not play baddies, especially if they are thoroughly wicked, like in Brimstone. Its a really deep mine of good parts.
Few classically-trained actors would be able to resist a role like Galen, the errant loner from a race who use science to simulate the effects of magic.
First introduced in the Babylon 5 TV movie A Call to Arms, Galen is the catalyst that eventually leads to the crusade. He brings together President Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner), the alien thief Dureena (Carrie Dobro) and Captain Anderson (Tony Todd), warning them of a forthcoming catastrophe. An unofficial pilot, A Call to Arms would establish the premise of the spin-off series, and introduce Dureena and Galen as regulars.
Having secured the role, and with the complete script in hand, Woodward elected to follow his gut instincts in bringing Galen to the screen. Id seen some of the series before in England and there was one particular episode where the Technomages were introduced [The Geometry of Shadows] and I got something from that about the brotherhood aspect of it.
I think they are an interesting group of characters because they have an enormous wealth of power, knowledge and wisdom but like a lot of powerful, wise people they seem to have very little sense of responsibility. In a way Galen seemed to be the one who felt the responsibility for humanity or the future of the Universe. Its the problem with elites. Knowledge itself is power and not sharing it you could say its protecting yourself, but Galen sees through that...David Richardson
Taken from a six-page interview feature in this issue!
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