Adrian Paul (2008)

This interview with the extremely lovely Highlander star, Adrian Paul, originally ran in Death Ray 10 next to my review of The Source. I didn’t like it, sad to say, but I did like him.

Who wants to act forever?

Q&A: Adrian Paul

The Anglo-Italian star of the Highlander TV show has a jammed life. Besides acting for two decades, he’s done modelling and dancing, he’s produced and directed and, as sidelines, done loads for charity as well as being a keen martial artist.

If that were not enough, Paul is attempting a move into writing. He spoke to us from Budapest, where he is renovating an apartment, though only when not at work in neighbouring Romania on his latest film, or travelling to meetings in Europe and the US…

Guy Haley: It sounds like you’ve got plenty to do…

Adrian Paul: You could put it like that! This year’s been really good. Nine Miles Down, the psychological thriller we’re starting soon, will be my fourth film this year.

DR: You’ve been doing Highlander now for 15 years, the franchise is 21 years old. Are you surprised that it maintained its popularity for so long?

AP: Even before I started it I thought Highlander was a great idea. I remember seeing a poster for Highlander 2 in a casting office about a year and a half before I even went up for casting for the series, and thinking “Wow, that looks so cool, I want to do something with that.”

It works well because it crosses boundaries of culture. Everybody wants to live longer, or look younger or botox themselves – it doesn’t matter if you’re in England, Germany, Japan, America  – everybody wants that. But Highlander‘s also about honour, it’s about survival, it’s about love, most cultures contain that. From the east to the west.

DR: The Source is advertised as the first of three… are you signed up for the others?

AP: That was the original idea, but I don’t know if that’s still the case. Bill Panzer, who was the creative side of it, died earlier this year, now Peter Davis owns the rights, I’ve no idea what he wants to do. So who knows?

DR: Will you be sorry to see the end of it?

AP: No. You know, one of the reasons I enjoy, or enjoyed, doing Highlander was that every other week I was somebody else, I was going back to 1592, 1638, so you’re effectively a different person in those periods, you’re dressing differently, I love doing that as an actor, but after a while, once you’ve done the same thing over and over again… first of all it typecasts you, secondly it’s not as interesting as before.

DR: Highlander franchise has quite a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies, what for you is the “real” Highlander?

AP: We tried so hard in the series, and I was very adamant about this, to keep it consistent throughout. When you’re dealing with a franchise, that has a long-running history, I think you have to. And in the series we did. I actually told them right in the beginning that I wanted to create a timeline so we could keep track of where and who he’d been.

Where the inconsistencies happened was with the films. Because you’re not dealing with the same writers, the same producers, it gets taken off into another area, you don’t have the control. It ticks me off because sometimes people just want to make money and they don’t give a toss about the fans. They think that people are stupid but they’re much smarter than they’re given credit for.


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