Interview by Zach Van Norman - @TheZachVan
Zach: Thank you for your time, we really appreciate it. Obviously the season is going to end with a big twist for Robin’s story with Regina and Zelena. When you first got the script about Zelena’s pregnancy and the twist, what were your thoughts?
Sean: This is one of the rare times when I didn’t read it in the script. I actually had a conversation with Adam and Eddy and they explained what we were going to do. This was way back, six months ago or something. They sort of said “we wanted to give you an idea of where we’re going to go because they’re going to be some shocks”. I was like “wow, twitter…. I’m going to have to stay of that for a couple of years after that storyline comes out”. But it’s part of it, a lot of people get upset and angry but I have to remind people it’s a drama. If everyone was just going shopping and then drinking wine, it wouldn’t probably be as much as an engaging show. You have to put the heroes and the characters you love in jeopardy and put obstacles in their way for them to overcome it. It’s worth bearing in mind. I always say, and I think I probably heard it from Adam or Eddy “we’re not done telling the story yet”. Whatever’s happening to whatever character, whether it’s good or bad, it may not stay that way, for better or for the worse.
Zach: We’re not quite at Happily Ever After.
Sean: Not just yet. And hopefully not for a long time.
Zach: When you got Robin’s backstory, did it mesh with your own thoughts?
Sean: Not really. I tend to not try and second guess the writers. I was hoping when they told me--the same conversation they told me about the Zelena pregnancy-- that’s when they told me that there was going to be a Robin Hood centric episode. I had no idea what to expect, but I have great faith in them and they are terrific writers. I was really thrilled when I read the episode. I was really excited. There’s one thing in particular I don’t think anyone has noticed yet, at the end of the episode I say to Marian “it’s a charm” which obviously we now know Zelena used and that’s how she faked Marian. But it also explained why I look like Tom Ellis in Season Two. That’s why if you go back and watch it, because obviously Tom played him then and I took over because Tom couldn’t, but that’s the reason they did it. It was just clever little nuances like how he found the bow. There was also a line that was cut because of time I guess where I said, “Be merry men” and I threatened the money when I cut the Sheriff of Nottingham’s trousers off, which probably is now in the deleted scenes that you’ll see in the DVD. Again it was just answering little questions along the way. And it’s a shame we lose those things but we you only get 42 minutes to tell each episode’s story. I just thought it was great. It was really all encompassing. I just love the pace of the episode. It was just nice to have so much time to tell a bit of Robin Hood’s story.
Zach: It was nice to see as well. You did a great job with your performance.
Sean: Thank you.
Zach: What can you tease about the finale?
Sean: I think there’s some stuff that people already know. There’s some stuff that the boys have already teased know. It’s a two-hour finale so it’s like a movie really. It’s always exciting reading what the guys have come up with how they’re going to finish a season. But this one I think all of us as a cast were like “Did you read it? How are we going to do that? How are we going to pull that off? How are we going to shoot all of that?” Because there’s so much in it. There’s so much that happened. There’s stuff that’s going to make people really happy and there’s some stuff that’s really going to upset people. You probably know, you've seen the pictures. Not all of us swap characters, but we swap . . . personalities is a better way to kinda point it out. I’m just really excited to see it. I've seen nothing of it. I haven’t been in ADR so I've not seen a frame of it. All I've seen is the publicity stills. I want everyone to watch it live. Just watch it live, because once it’s out people will tell you what’s happened and it won’t as good second time around hearing it after people have put it on Twitter . If you’re near a TV, watch it live. It will be worth it.
Zach: What has been one of you favorite moment of the show so far?
Sean: On a personal level, the whole last two years have just been a game-changer for me. It’s wonderful to be on such a big show that’s so beloved around the world. It’s lovely to play an icon like Robin Hood. To play opposite my beautiful friend Lana. On a character note, I just really enjoy bouncing off Lana. We’ve found a really nice chemistry with each other. We’re very comfortable and easy with each other. So those are the scenes that are the ones come to mind that are really obvious. But also the Robin Hood episode, getting to play with Bobby Carlyle. I also haven’t worked with Josh much. I would love to work with Josh and Ginny more. I would love to work with Colin more. There’s nobody in the cast that I don’t have a good relationship with, just all fabulous people. I’m not veering off your question. Chasing down the street on the horse, even though it was a mechanical horse, was pretty exciting because we were shooting in downtown Vancouver. There were hundreds of people lining the streets. It felt very much like was a little boy dream realized. I get to be a swashbuckling hero and jump on a horse to catch a thief. It’s stuff like that. I get to play make-believe for a living and that really reinforces all the bad days as an actor. And there are quite a few. When you have days like that, you kinda go, “It’s all worth it”.
Zach: It’s funny that you mention more scenes with Charming, Josh Dallas. There’s a scene in the third season where he’s kind of in the stables drinking. It seems like those two would make really good friends.
Sean: We had a really lovely scene. I think it was a tough scene for Josh. His character had a lot of things going on, so he was playing a lot of things. I know Josh; he’s just a complete gentleman. So I just wanted to be there for him as his scene partner. Him and the director, I think it was Ralph, were in a hole trying to figure it out. But he’s a phenomenal actor and an absolute gent. That scene was nice. You could see there was a little bit of kindred spirits, a sense of understanding between the two. All of the actors that I haven’t had a lot of screen time with, I would love more. Even the seven dwarfs, or Emilie and I haven’t done a lot together. I would love to have a bit more screen time with her. Well, we all want to play with each other, because we all get on.
Zach: Those are the kind of scenes I think that would be good to reinforce positive male role models for the audience. There’s kind of a lack of that. The really strong male characters.
Sean: I would say that rather than there’s a lack of strong male characters, I would say it is a predominantly strong female show. Which is a good thing, because so many shows and movies are male-led. It’s nice to have something swashbuckling and exciting that has really strong female characters. I think when Adam and Eddy conjured up the show, they wanted to-- Adam I know especially his daughters-- wanted to find something that he could point to and say, “Look. These are strong messages. These are strong females”. In this world where women are not being paid the same as men, which is just disgusting and outrageous to me. . . I’m a male on the show and you’ll never see me complaining, “It’s too female led.” Every other show is male-led. Everything is male. The world is male-led. Frankly, I think we’re not doing a particularly good job with it. I think maybe we should let women run the world for a little bit. I think women are more nurture. Women are less quick to get into a fight. They’re like, “let’s see if we can figure this out.” Now, not in a girls’ toilets when they’re trying to do make-up, that’s an entirely different thing. But on the world stage, we would do well to follow women’s lead a little more. And coming back to your question . . . Seeing strong characters dealing with very universal themes led by very strong women and very strong actresses, I think it’s good for TV, I think it’s good for women. It’s good for family viewing. I’m very, very happy to be a part of that.
Zach: A very interesting answer. I wasn't expecting that. What would you want to say to the fans who don’t have an opportunity to meet you at conventions or the set? What would you want to say to them?
Sean: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for watching this show and loving it with the passion that the fans do. A lot of people say, “Well, actors, without us, you don’t have a job” and some actors say “Well, that’s not true.” It is true. If people don’t watch, we don’t have a job, and if that job disappears, we got to find another one, and if people don’t watch that, we don’t have a job. Yes, it takes hard work and talent and we have to get there by ourselves. But we need fans to get behind something to be passionate, to travel and spend your pocket-money to come to conventions to see us and stuff. I’m just so grateful to them. A lot of fans say, “Ah. Thank you, it means a lot to me. The show means a lot to me.” Well, “Right back at ya.” This is a dream job for me. I’m getting to work with a new family that has become a family to me. My wife and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have evolved on this show. Without the fans, it sound cliché, but without the fans, we don’t get to do this. That’s why I’m always going to go the extra mile and always take the time and always very happy to --even if I’m out and about—I’m happy to oblige with a photo or an autograph because it reminds me that people watch. It reminds me how lucky I am to have a good job like this. And long may it continue!
Zach: Thank you very much for your time.