Exclusive interview with Paul Blackthorne

February 14, 2013 | The charismatic british actor Paul Blackthorne has found his way into the American show business by playing a diverse range of characters. His break through was the role as terrorist Stephen Saunders in the third season of the hit show "24 - Twenty Four". In season 2011/2012 he was in the mystery show "The River" and since autumn 2012 he plays the role of law enforcer Quentin Lance in "Arrow". myFanbase was able to catch up with Paul Blackthorne, who talked about his work as an actor, his passion for travelling and his new documentary.

Note: © myFanbase 2013 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the writer's name and link to this site.

Foto: Paul Blackthorne - Copyright: Jennifer Cawley
Paul Blackthorne
© Jennifer Cawley

1. You have done a lot of traveling and seen lots of countries. Which experience made a big or the biggest impression on you?

The music of Mali, a snow leopard in India, the great wall of China, many great experiences, but driving across America for a month speaking with everyday people about how they feel about the country was right up there!

2. A few years back you had a photo show "Delhi to Manhatten". Can you tell us a little about that?

I was fortunate to be involved with a documentary commissioned by 'the missing peace project', this trip to India entailed visiting many spiritual/religious centres culminating with a meeting with his holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. Given my proximity to the displaced tibetan communities of Northern India I then trekked through the Himalayas meeting many of these people. After all that fresh air I then went to Mumbai to visit my friends from the Bollywoood film "Lagaan" - much fun had by all! My next port of call was New York to film a TV series. The Delhi to Manhattan exhibition at Tibet House chronicled these travels: the text and photos can be seen on my website www.paulblackthorne.com

3. Recently you worked on the documentary "This American Journey". What can we expect from it?

Candid interviews with people out there discussing the state of the American dream, religion and what truly makes us happy. Times may be tough but after speaking with the people we met, there's clearly hope out there...

4. How did you plan the documentary? Contact people first or work with the spontaneity?

About 2 weeks of prep and off we went, the route of the journey and the people we spoke to was all completely spontaneous. I wanted it that way, to me the unexpected is always more interesting.

5. Working on the docu were there any moments that were a surprise or had a special impact?

The shattered stereotypes were the biggest surprise. It's amazing when you actually sit down and talk with people. The things you learn from them, despite the initial judgement you make according to their appearance or the way they talk. Our NRA guy is always everybody's favorite...

6. "The River" was set up like reality TV. How do auditions work for such a show, different in any way?

In the case of "The River" there was a lot of improvisation in the audition process, unlike the usual audition process. The filming of the show was very challenging too, quite unlike the usual approach, with several cameras filming at the same time. It was interesting getting your head round that. Your very own Mr Thomas Kretschmann was a lot of fun to work with too...

Foto: Paul Blackthorne, Arrow - Copyright: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Paul Blackthorne, Arrow
© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

7. On "Arrow" you play Quentin Lance, Laurel's dad. Will there be more focus on the father daughter realtionship and do you know how it is going to play out?

Yes there is, but if I told you how it is going to play out it wouldn't be as much fun to watch, would it!!?

8. What is most fascinating about working on a show with a supernatural aspect?

Supernatural is interesting as ANYTHING can happen in that world, you never quite know whats round the corner... "Arrow" is interesting too though, as for all it's heightened comic book reality, the character's are very much grounded in the reality of everyday existence, self doubts, relationships etc.

9. Some of the most exciting scenes so far were when Quentin found himself working together with Arrow. What do you think makes for that special chemistry?

It makes for good conflict being forced to work with someone you despise!

10. New people coming together for a new show do you feel like you've grown close already? Are there pranks on set yet? Anything we might find on the gag reel?

Everyone gets close pretty quickly shooting the hours it takes to make these shows! Strange things happen when cameras roll - I'm sure there'll be plenty for the end of season gag reel...

11. On season 3 of "24" you made a big impression with your portrayal of the grim and unapologetic Stephen Saunders. What do you remember best from that time?

Running down the dry LA riverbed to my getaway helicopter then seeing it explode as fighter jets fly overhead was quite memorable! And working with Kiefer [Sutherland] - that was a treat!

12. What was working with Brooke Shields like on "Lipstick Jungle"?

She's a magical woman. Working with her was one of life's treats.

13. myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows. Do you have one or more favorite show(s)?

I'm not a big TV show watcher - I like watching movies. The ones I watched this weekend: "Searching for Sugar Man", "Diana Vreeland - The Eye has to Travel", "Wagner's Dream", "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

I hear "Arrow" is pretty good though!

Thank you, Paul, we wish you all the best for your future projects!

Annika Leichner - myFanbase