I was just complaining yesterday about there not being a Willow sequel, and today I find out Warwick Davis is guest starring in tonight's episode of Merlin. If you haven't been watching the show, we're now on season three on SyFy (Fridays at 10pm EST,) and, to quote our CBQ BFFE, PattyBoom, "shit just got real." After the jump, we have a clip from tonight's episode, "The Eye of the Phoenix", and an interview with Wicket himself, Mr. Warwick Davis.
(On a semi-related note, as a kid it always messed me up that Brad, the dickhead from Superman III, was the dickhead soldier in Willow. Asshats can transcend universes? FREAKY.)
In this episode, Arthur embarks on a quest to retrieve the Golden Trident from the Fisher King and prove himself worthy of the Camelot throne. He's asked to do it completely unaided, but I don't even know why we're going to pretend that Merlin isn't going to stalk him the entire time. It's what Merlin does best. Maybe that's why I like him; he's clingy and ignores protocol. Sort of like a wizard R2D2.
I love how sad Gwaine is that his sword is flowers. And now, a few words from an Ewok:
How was it, guest starring on Merlin?
Warwick Davis: Well it was lovely. It's very flattering [being asked to guest star] and I was absolutely thrilled because we love to watch Merlin in this household. For me, it harks back to being a youngster watching dramas such as The Chronicles Of Narnia, which I had the honor of being in, too.
What can you tell us about your character?
I play a keeper of a bridge. He is a sweet little character called Grettir. He guards a bridge which leads to the Lands of the Fisher King. He gives people a bit of a hard time if they want to come across – they have to have the right reasons and be the right person to cross this bridge. Obviously he wants Merlin and Arthur to get across it because ultimately he wants to see the lands restored so he lets Merlin and Arthur pass without too much trouble. But he takes his job quite seriously.
What was it like working with the cast and crew of Merlin?
It was terrific. It's often hard going into a project where, like Merlin, the cast and crew have been together many years now and you walk in as the new boy. It feels very much like the first day of school and you don't know anyone. I was immediately made to feel very welcome and it was a really, really fun filming. I felt very at home and very part of it. Colin [Morgan] and Bradley [James] were top blokes, really good guys and very welcoming.
Some of the show is shot in France. Where did you film your scenes?
We filmed in a very interesting location, in a place called Puzzlewood, in the Forest of Dean. It's like an art director went in there and created this set, but it's a natural area. It was a mine at one point and all these little areas have been dug out. It looks magical, it looks like you're going to walk round the corner and you'll see a goblin standing there. It's absolutely perfect and the little bridge that my character guards actually exists.
People that watch the show can go and find my bridge if they wish to. It isn't a set; somebody put it there in the past. In fact, it was the place that inspired JRR Tolkien to write “The Hobbit.” We were talking about that while we were filming because it does have this magical quality to it, even though it was tipping down with rain when we were filming. That's filming for you – everyone thinks it's such a glamorous world but most of the time you're standing in mud in the pouring rain.
If you could have a magical power, what would it be?
I think being invisible is quite useful at times, although you'd have to be very respectful and use it correctly. For me I think levitation would be very useful. Often I can't reach counters in shops, cash machines and books on shelves. If I could just levitate up and get to these things it would be very useful for me.
Of all the roles you've played, do you have a favorite?
It's really hard. When you play a character, they become sort of part of your family in a way. So thinking of a favorite is very difficult. I think Wicket, the Ewok I played in Return Of The Jedi – my very first role – has got to be up there, just because he has given me this amazing career. Professor Flitwick in Harry Potter, I am very fond of that character, too.
What's your next project?
I am working on my comedy series, Life's Too Short, with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, which we are shooting in May. It's great, such a laugh, and with Ricky and Stephen you have the reassurance that what you are doing will be funny. They've managed to gain such great insight into my world, because it's about me – I play myself – and they've really got that. I can't believe I am working with them – I've hit the jackpot getting those guys on board!