Over the holiday weekend, Dragon Con brought a number of celebrities to Atlanta, Georgia to meet and greet with con attendees. Stars from movies and television shows like ‘Star Trek’, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Once Upon A Time’, and much more graced the Walk of Fame and participated in panels for the benefit of their adoring fans.
One show that had a huge presence at this year’s con was ‘Torchwood’, the ‘Doctor Who’ spinoff featuring Captain Jack Harkness and his new team of alien hunters. Practically the whole team including John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, and Gareth David-Lloyd, along with guest star James Marsters and writer Jane Espenson made an appearance over the course of the weekend.
But in between his convention commitments, Gorman took some time to talk with the press about ‘Torchwood’ and a number of other projects that he’s been involved in since then. The actor spoke about his stint as Owen Harper, his brief appearances in ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, and quite a few other projects that are in the pipeline, like the upcoming AMC show ‘Turn’, which explores the beginnings of espionage during the American Revolution.
He also gets into the future of a little movie that wowed audiences this summer from Guillermo Del Toro called ‘Pacific Rim’ and he shares a rather… graphic… story about being on set with John Barrowman. But before any of that, he gets the ball rolling by telling us that he’ll be revisiting a former role this week! Check out that revelation and everything else that he had to say in our exclusive interview with Burn Gorman below:
Burn Gorman: Well, I’m doing a new series of something. Whether or not I’m allowed to talk about it I don’t know contractually, but on Saturday, I’m getting on a plane to Ireland and it begins with ‘Games’ and ends in ‘Thrones’ and it’s series four of that. So yeah, loads of dirt and pig shit… I mean, I’m a big fan of ‘Game of Thrones’. I wanted to be in it desperately. I was in season three for like two seconds, but I’m really looking forward to maybe possibly going back to do that.
SF: Charlie Day has said previously that his character in ‘Pacific Rim’ could be a villain in the sequel. Have you talked to Guillermo Del Toro about what your character would be doing in the sequel?
BG: I don’t honestly know. I do know that Guillermo is a genius and he’s got this whole world completely sorted out. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s already written a sequel and I know that if it does go to a sequel, I would be involved, or I’d hope that I’d be involved, but I don’t know. I can’t really tell you much more than that.
SF: What was it like working with Charlie Day?
BG: Charlie is awesome. He’s such a joy to work with. And obviously because he’s been doing ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’, he’s very willing and open to try new things. He’s very flexible. In fact, we enjoyed working together so much that he got me in on the next season of ‘Sunny’, so it’s kind of Newt and Gottlieb back together, except on ‘It’s Always Sunny’.
SF: Can you talk about working with Christopher Nolan?
BG: That was definitely a pinch me moment. He’s just a genius. He’d walk on set, very calm and very quiet. You’d get on with it and he’d give you a note or two, but he’d just let you do your thing. And the scale of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. It was the biggest thing that I’ve ever worked on. It was just massive. Every day I’d just come into work and just watch and drink it all in. I was obviously honored to be asked since I’m a fan myself.
SF: Was there any pressure stepping into the franchise?
BG: Because it’s so focused on set and Chris has got everything sorted out, it’s actually pretty easy in the sense of the pressure because everything was pretty calm. It was an actor’s dream to work on.
SF: Unfortunately, we lost Owen Harper a couple of times on ‘Torchwood’. Are there any storylines of his that you wish that they explored more?
BG: I think that Owen got a pretty good run for a pretty, let’s be honest, obnoxious character. I thought he was developed pretty thoroughly. In season one, I wish there were times where he wasn’t such an ass. But you needed that cynicism in order for him to grow into season two. We’re complex characters, humans. And one of my chief things in choosing roles is to not have someone who is instantly likable or dislikable. It’s the grey stuff that interests me. Some days we’re assholes but some days we’re nice. That’s what makes a complex character and that’s what interests me, ones who aren’t instantly likable, which Owen certainly wasn’t. That’s not my job. My job is to play what the writers created and play that as true as possible.
I do wish that me and Naoko Mori, who played Tosh, maybe had just one date to see if that would have worked out, but I had a good run.
SF: I just came from the ‘Torchwood’ panel and your co-stars Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd were a riot.
BG: They’ll scar you for life. I’m trying to avoid them until the end of the day.
SF: Well, Eve told an interesting John Barrowman story…
BG: There are a few, I could tell you…
SF: Could you?
BG: Oh my god yeah! I don’t know if any of them are broadcastable. Needless to say, it may have involved doughnuts and something hard and long and human perhaps… Yeah… Yeah… Yes, he’s a great guy.
Overall, we had a pretty relaxed and enjoyable experience chatting with Burn. Besides talking about the roles that he’s come to be known for, he mentioned his great desire to do more voiceover work for animation and to play William Shakespeare’s Richard III at some in his career.
If you want more from Burn Gorman, check out this video of highlights where the actor talks about Torchwood being involved in the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary, Ianto Jones originally dying before Owen, what makes a good Doctor, his ‘Pacific Rim’ action figure, all the “pig shit” on the set of ‘Game of Thrones’, and J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars’: