November 7th, 2009 by thetvchick
I would not call myself a lover of all things fantasy (vampire, yes…fantasy, not so much). However, I thought the premise of Legend of the Seeker (based on the book series written by Terry Goodkind) was interesting. The acting was wonderful, the scenery was breathtaking, and I really found myself very interested in the story. So, maybe I am slowly revising my take on fantasy/sci-fi…and getting aboard the Legend of the Seeker train. I do adore Lost, but that’s more sci-fi lite than anything else. In any case, Legend of the Seeker returns tonight with its 2nd season premiere. I have seen it, and I can tell you it is fantastic. I recently had the chance to chat with the lovely and gracious Bridget Regan, who plays Kahlan (or The Mother Confessor), about filming, the fantasy genre, her character and what’s coming up this season.
What originally attracted you to the show?
Well, it was the role. The character of Kahlan was not like any part I had ever auditioned for or played. So, I was immediately drawn to it. I thought that she was really tough and kind of timeless, epic and theatrical which I really was drawn to. I went to a drama school and I grew up doing theater, so I quite liked that the show was kind of heightened and it wasn’t the sort of low energy, common chit-chat show, it was big and epic and exciting and high stakes and all that which I loved.
Are you a fan of fantasy?
I wasn’t at all, actually. (laughs) It was pretty embarrassing when I moved to New Zealand, because the fact that I hadn’t seen Lord Of The Rings, I thought that they were going to turn me around and not let me into the country. But, once I got into [it], I really enjoyed it. The fans are really passionate, and have really strong opinions about things, which I like. You know, we had a fan base before we even started filming the show, which was so cool and bizarre. People had thoughts and feelings about what color my hair should be and my eyes and that was totally new to me.
Have you read the books or met the author?
I have not met Terry Goodkind. You know, my parents have because they went to Comic Con in San Diego. That’s where I grew up. I’ve read some of the books. I haven’t gotten through all of them, but I’ve been skipping around. The series isn’t really following the books perfectly, and so you know, I find them really helpful. But sometimes I find it frustrating, because I’ll read something and I’ll be like ugh I really wish we would do this in the show. Or there’s an episode coming up — the one I’m going back to film right after I leave the states — is totally an escape from the book and nothing like that’s happened in it, and I’m so excited to do it because Kahlan gets split into two different bodies…almost like a yin and a yang sort of thing. One of her is the confessor in her, you know, [is] magical, has the powers and everything. And the other is just a woman. And without having both of them in check, things kind of go crazy and it’s such a cool episode for me, and I’m so excited to do it, but it’s not in the book, so you know I’m kind of thankful that we do stray because we get so many cool other opportunities.
You were saying before how Kahlan is such a tough character. What does it mean to do you to play her? Do you think it sends a powerful message to women?
I actually do. This season even more than last, because this season, we introduce a lot of other characters as well. It’s not just me, there are a lot of really kick-butt chicks. The light, the dark and all the mord-siths and everything. But I have a hard time playing the weak ingenue. I wouldn’t get cast as that when I first moved to the city. And I don’t even know, maybe it was because I’m pretty tall and I’m not a tiny little thing. And I thought maybe that had something to do with it. I love it when Kahlan gets to be really strong. I had a dream actually — it’s funny — I haven’t told this to anybody. I had this dream where we were doing a scene and it was a massive, big, war/fight scene. And we were fighting — Kahlan and Richard were fighting all these mord-siths, and we had these resistance fighters who were these scrappy guys. And I was all upset because they cast all these big massive guys to be the D’Harans and all these kind of small, hungry looking guys who were all weak and disheveled to be the resistance guys. None of this really happened in real life, but I dreamt it. So we’re fighting all the mord-siths, and the choreography was that we were supposed to lose. And I was supposed to get beaten, and we were supposed to get captured. And I changed the choreography, confessing all these mord-siths, making them fight with us so that we would win. (laughs) So I was refusing to lose.
Well, maybe we will see it in a future episode!
I know! I actually told one of our directors, and he laughed at me. Because in the dream I was looking over to him being like “look see, I got her, she’s on our side now!” Because once I confess someone, then they immediately change, and they’ll do anything to defend my life. So I was totally cheating.
Is there anything specific you do to get into character or does it just sort of happen when you put on the costume and makeup?
It’s amazing. I’ve never played a character this long before. But when I put on the dress and the corset, I immediately feel different. It’s not like throwing on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. Everything about the costumes are really authentic. There’s no zippers, or buttons or hooks or anything. So to get in that dress it takes twenty minutes of just lacing. And it’s kind of like a ritual in the morning. And that helps. I often go back and read Wizard’s First Rule. I have it in my trailer, my old beat up copy. I have little parts marked. And I really love the sections when it’s in — because the book changes narrative — sometimes it’s in Richard’s head, sometimes it’s in Kahlan’s. I love it when it goes into hers, because it’s like a little cheat sheet, you get to get some ideas. So those sort of things. I listen to a lot of music as well. I have a lot of playlists on my iPod that I bring on set to get me in the mood.
What’s your favorite song that you listen to?
Oh my God. I really want to do an iTunes playlist! I talked to some people about that. You know it’s actually kind of dark, sad music. It’s a lot of Radiohead, and some White Stripes, too. I like the kind of aggressive, kick ass…sometimes you need that empowering sort of stuff. You know, Kahlan went through a lot of stuff last season…really, really heavy things. And so it was a lot of sad music.
Well, that makes sense. And what has been your favorite part of filming so far?
I think — I have to say, it’s really simple. But I love acting every day. It’s so simple, but that’s always what I dreamed of doing, was being an actor, since I was a little kid. And the fact that I get to wake up every morning, and do that, when I have so many friends that are really talented and are living here in New York and in LA and they can’t seem to get that break where they get to do it, so I mean that’s a joy. And playing a part that I love as much as I do is pretty cool — pretty awesome.
And you were talking about last season being pretty serious. But have there been any funny moments on set?
Oh my God, there’s lots. I actually was talking about this with Craig just a little while ago. We always want to cut up and play jokes and things like that, but we’re so pressed for time. Because we’re trying to do feature film quality special effects, on a really fast television turnaround schedule. So constantly I want to make him break and do something silly, but we feel like we have to reign it in. But a lot of the girls in wardrobe love to play pranks on Bruce Spence, and I sometimes try to get in on them. But one day, they were all waiting in Bruce’s trailer, wearing pajamas, watching “Dirty Dancing” and eating popcorn. (laughs) And he walked in and thought he was in the wrong room.
What’s it like filming in New Zealand?
Every scene that we do that’s outside, it’s all on location all over Auckland, and we’ve gone to the South Island a few times to shoot there as well. It’s really remarkable. It can be energizing as well, you know on a Wednesday in the middle of the week when you’re really tired. And I go to work in the dark usually, around four thirty. And then I come out of the makeup bus, with all the makeup on and everything, and there’s the most insane sunrise you’ve ever seen. And it’s pretty beautiful. I notice the air being so different, as soon I got off the plane in Los Angeles. I take one breath in, and I’m like wow, that did not smell nearly as fresh as it does down at that end of the world. But it’s remarkably beautiful.
And how long do you have to be away from home at a time?
Like nine months out of year. I kind of am calling that home. I guess it’s weird. Home in my cell phone is my parent’s house in San Diego, so I probably shouldn’t say that but home — I have a few. California is for sure one, New York will always also be a home, and now, oddly enough, New Zealand.
Do all of the cast hang out during your downtime?
We do. It’s actually such a small town, even if I’m not planning to see Craig [Horner], I run into him all the time. Because we live really, really close to each other. But we do hang out. We get brunches here and there. Bruce and I go to see plays when they come into town. We went and saw this Italian play together with our significant others. We hang out, we do. We have a great time together. It’s like we work really hard, and the crew is really terrific. And honestly all of my friends down at that end of the world are friends from work. The girl that was my dresser, she finally took her maternity leave, and she’s having her baby I think right now. I just got an e-mail that she was in contractions. They’re all my dearest friends down there, all people from work, and they’re gorgeous people who have a real down-to-earth outdoorsy sort of feel to them. They all like to rough it, because we do, we schlep up these mountains to work and they all are really good sports.
You were saying how there has been fan reaction to the show since before it started shooting. What has been the fan reaction to your character and the show? How was your reception at Comic Con?
Oh, I didn’t go to Comic Con. I did Armageddon, in Auckland, which is kind of like their version of Comic Con. But every time I come home, there’s just all this beautiful letters from fans and things like that. The best compliment that I get is when people say to me “You’re how I envisioned Kahlan,” or “How you played her is just how like how I pictured her,” things like that is just like wow. That’s amazing to me, because for one person to read something and another person, and then my interpretation — for me to bring it to life, that’s really bizarre and has kind of a cosmic-y, spooky kind of feel, because in your mind — when you read something, you get your own picture. And for someone to write to me and go “now when I read the books I picture you,” it’s like wow, that’s so cool.
And can you give a little teaser, without spoiling too much of what’s coming up in season two?
Hmm…well honestly I don’t really know too much further than a few episodes ahead of us. Because Ken Biller, he keeps a lot of it under wraps, he won’t let us know all the time. I think he changes it often, because I think he’s just got so many ideas. We do have a lot — we’ve had so many good guests from the states, like we have Charisma Carpenter in the first episode, and then we have Jolene Blaylock coming up from “Star Trek,” Amy Teegarden from “Friday Night Lights,” Gabriel Mann from “Mad Men.” I mean, some really great talent has come down to have a little play with us. But, it’s going crazy. I will tell you that on Tuesday, when I go back to work, I have a love scene, a sex scene, and I’m nervous…another one! This season’s been really racy, I can’t believe it, it’s really sexy and cool. I think it’s also Tabrett — because Tabrett’s new, she has some really hot, steamy scenes.
And I’m sure it’s too early to know, but has there been any word on a possible season three?
Everybody talks about it. It’s so funny, the second you finally hear you’re doing two, it’s like is there going to be three? I don’t know. The show has been sold in something like 130 some countries, so we’re doing pretty well in terms of interest all around the world, which I can imagine is quite a good sign of the studio wanting to continue. I don’t know, I think it’s just a matter of people tuning in. I know that it is hard for us, because I think a lot of our air times are up against a lot of sports and things like that. And I know a lot of people watch our show on Hulu and iTunes, and things like that, which don’t really count for our ratings on TV. I mean, I don’t really understand all this stuff that much but I do know there’s a lot of factors that go into it, other than us just having a good time. But I kind of hope we go to a third. I’m really enjoying my life down there, but you know it’s one of those things where sometimes it seems like it’s going by really slow, and then you go Oh my God, we’re halfway through the season, where’d this year go? Then it goes by really fast.
I know you were saying you weren’t really a fan of fantasy before you started this project. So what would you tell viewers who might not watch a lot of fantasy — why should they tune into this show?
Well what drew me to it was, I guess you could say, the romance: the relationship of Richard and Kahlan. I mean, to me it’s like Romeo and Juliet. It’s the sort of forbidden love thing. And I really think that’s part of the show, more than sort of magic and wizards and things like that. Maybe to some people it could be distracting, but I really find it to be kind of like, just an escapism sort of thing, where you get to go home, and forget about your day, and just kind of go into this other world — literally. It’s not reality.
What other projects do you have coming up?
I did a film in between the two seasons called The Best and The Brightest, and it’s with Neil Patrick Harris, and Amy Sedaris and Christopher McDonald, and Bonnie Somerville. It’s a really fun, great movie. I’m actually going to do ADR for it this afternoon, and I haven’t seen it yet so I’m really excited. That will be coming out sometime in 2010.
Be sure to tune in TODAY for the 2nd season premiere of Legend Of The Seeker. Check here for your local time and station!Tweet