Not long ago I had a opportunity to catch up with star Ray Stevenson (mind you, it was over the phone) to chat about his turn as the iconic pirate known as Blackbeard on the STARZ‘ series, Black Sails. Far from being a stranger to playing iconic roles (having played The Punisher in PUNISHER: WAR ZONE) or being apart of critically-acclaimed shows (such as HBO‘s Rome or Showtime‘s Dexter), I asked the actor what it was like to be a newcomer to already running STARZ‘ series as well as what it was like to take on a character that already been portrayed many time before. In addition, I also ask Mr. Stevenson about returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Asgardian warrior, Volstagg, from the THOR franchise. Check out the interview below…
BT: Hey Ray, how’s it going?
RS: It’s good brother, how are you?
BT: Good, good! So I’m fan of many of the shows that you have been apart of…Rome, of course, being one, and Dexter, being the other. Therefore I wanted to know what draws you to a project [since you seem to have a good knack or instinct for what projects to do]?
RS: Well, its difficult to say…[For me] If I feel I can bring something to a project to enhance it; more importantly, if there is a need for a story to be told or bring a character to life, that what’s draws me. It’s as simple as that.
BT: Gotcha. Now, you have jumped onboard to an existing series before [with Dexter], so what’s it like to do that again with the series, Black Sails [working with the cast, crew, etc.]?
RS: They’ve [working on the show] have done such amazing work on seasons 1 & 2…. [Coming on the show] Everyone was so incredible and welcoming! That environment made it to easier to concentrate on my character and making sure that he fit into the universe that has been creating thus far for the show.
BT: Alright, great! So, Blackbeard is such an iconic character and has been played on numerous occasions-by various actors-as I’m sure you knew when you took the role. Therefore what was your approach in bringing something unique to the part?
RS: Well, why Hamlet exist? It’s because you have different actors interpreting the role.
BT: Right, right…
RS: I didn’t look at other actors’ interpretations; instead, I looked at what STARZ was doing with the world of the show….
(Continuing) He (Blackbeard) is such an integral, dynamic part of the series [this season]…so it was great to realize that and breathe life into the character.
BT: Absolutely, absolutely! So I’m going to switch gears for a moment…Aside from BLACK SAILS, you are apart of another universe, known to many as the MCU or Marvel Cinematic Universe.
RS: (Smiling) YEAH!
BT: (Smiling) So, there are going to be a lot “shake-ups” within the universe as CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR kicks off Phase 3 of the Marvel films. Now, with that said, keeping in mind the reveal of Hulk appearing in the upcoming THOR [RAGNAROK] film, will we see The Warriors Three interact with “The Big Green Guy?”
RS: “I’m not sure to be honest with you. The Marvel Universe-the way its played out-as you know, has had three IRON MANs, [there will be] three CAPTAIN AMERICAs, and then they’re (Marvel is) building up to this amazing climax of THE AVENGERS…With that said, I feel that everything [being planned] is geared towards creating a library which fans can immerse themselves in. Now, does this mean that fans will see every single character will be involved [in THOR: RAGNAROK]? Who knows? Would I love to be involved in that? I hope so….However, even if I’m not, I just wish [Marvel Studios] continued success in their incredible endeavor. I definitely feel that [what they’ve done] has become a staple to our generation.”
BT: So, at this point, is it too early for you to know if you will be apart of it?
RS: “Yeah. Until you [as the actor] sign the dotted line or know that it’s actually a reality, it’s up to the ‘powers that be’ to decide if your character is right for the story [of the new film]…At this point, I don’t know.”
BT: Alright, cool! Well Ray, thank you for taking the time to chat with me, and I look forward to any universes-tv, movie, or otherwise-that your characters inhabit!
RS: Thank you, my friend! Take care!
Interview by Brandon Troy
Season 3 of Black Sails premieres Saturday, January 23rd, on STARZ at 9pm.
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