Michael Raymond-James : “Neal’s father did what he thought was best at the time”

Panel Robert Carlyle & Michael Raymond-James - The Happy Ending Convention

Photo: Roster Con

After Beverly Elliott and Giles Matthey, we had the opportunity to chat with Michael Raymond-James during The Happy Ending Convention by People Con in Paris. It was the occasion to talk about Neal (Once Upon A Time), René (True Blood) but also about other projects he did during his career.

Neal, like Henry, makes many unselfish sacrifices to help the people he loves. Do you think this is a way of saying that he is very different from his father?

I guess your question is about choices. I think Neal’s father did what he thought was best at the time. With the information he had, he thought he was doing the right thing and it took him a while but Neal eventually understood that.

Neal is linked to many other characters from different worlds. Except Emma, what’s your favorite relationship between Neal and another character in Once Upon A Time ?

I think Neal and Robin Hood had a really strong relationship. I remember when they met, I was with Mulan. I think they had a particulary strong bond, a strong friendship.

If you could have Neal linked to another fairytales character, with whom he has no connexion who would it be?

Let’s see. I’m not sure. It could be a question for Adam and Eddy…

You have many scenes with Robert Carlyle, which one is your favorite?

All of them ! But in particular I like the scene where we see each other for the first time. I’m able to tell him how much it hurts when he let me fall down.

You play the guitar, if could set up a band with 3 characters or actors from the show who would you choose?

Colin (O’Donoghue) because he is the best guitar player, Sean (Maguire) because he is a rock star and…

Choose Beverley (Elliott), she chose you just before

Yeah Beverley ! It’s a great choice!

We also wanted to talk with you about True Blood. How was the ambiance on the set of the show?

It was very great, very cool. It was a lot of fun.

Were you aware of the True Blood’s books when you started to play on the show?

I was aware of them but I didn’t read them until after because I didn’t want to before. I knew that Alan Ball, the creator, was going to do his show and that there were going to be changes. And I didn’t want to read them beforehand and read the script and say ‘that’s not how it happened in the book’. I really wanted to discover it the way Alan Ball wanted to tell it.

Rene has a very strong accent, how did you prepare for the role?

That’s kind of fun. I hired a dialect coach and it was almost like learning another language. I was kind of free because when you go down that road anything is possible because it’s so different from reality, from my reality. It’s all brand new so it was a lot of fun to do.

Can you explain how it was to shoot your death in the cemetary, killed by Sookie

It was a lot of fun, I got my head cut of with a shevel. It was very very hot though and the blood was very sticky. There was also a lot of ants… but it was good.

You did many scene with Ryan Kwanten and Jim Parrack, how was it ? Are you still in touch with them ?

Yeah i’m still in touch with them. They are great guys. I had a lot of fun working with them.

Terriers has become a cult series after its cancellation notably thanks to its broadcast on Netflix. Last year, Ted Griffin talked about making a film. Is the project still underway?

Yeah I hope the movie happens but there are issues with getting the rights from Fox 21 but it would be so much fun making that and honestly anything those guys write I would just love to do. It would be interesting to see when Britt get released from prison and reunite with Katie and the child and Hank. It would be great.

You have the leading role in the movie Carter & June, can you tell us more about this project ?

It’s a fun little romantic comedy movie that we shot in New Orleans in 19 days. It’s doing its thing in the festivals and hopefully it will get released world wide very soon. I don’t know, they’re still working on the distribution.


Game Time

We wanted to end this interview with a little game. In Once Upon A Time, your parents are not the best in the world so… if you could choose your father/mother who would you choose between :

Homer Simpson or Peter Griffin – I d’ont really watch those shows but i would go with Peter Griffin.

Walter White or Dexter Morgan – Walter White I guess

Emma or Regina – Neal would say Emma

Madonna or Beyonce – Beyonce

Trump or Poutine – Can I say neither ? Can I say Macron ? (laugh)

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