The hot sun beats down on the arid pre-Industrial Age mining commune as its scruffy residents go about their daily routine. Suddenly, the general hustle and bustle breaks out into a frenzied scene as men, women and children run for their lives trying to dodge explosions and flying debris. A handsome young man named Adric Thane looks up into the sky as something moves menacingly towards him. Knocked to the ground, he lies motionless as his friends rush to his aid.
“Cut! That was great!” yells Knights of Bloodsteel director Philip Spink. Getting up off the ground, Christopher Jacot, who plays Adric, brushes himself off and walks over to a canopy. Picking up a water bottle and taking a sip, he sits down for a chat. “The scene we just shot is where our four knights arrive at these mines, and it’s the first altercation that they face in our story,” notes the actor. “After each of these life-and-death encounters, they become closer and closer and form more of a dynamic.
“I spent most of this morning running away from explosions along with everyone else, and then in this shot, my character is trying to get away from a flying weapon. It’s missed killing him twice, but he ends up on the ground and covered in debris. The knights rush to see if he’s OK, which is when we first acknowledge our characters being dependent in some way on one another. This lovely girl Bess [Paulette Hinz], who Adric met in the vllage, also comes to his aid. She rubs his head and uses her elfin charm to make him feel better after the evil attack,” he says with a smile.
With his boyish good looks and affable nature, Jacot is the perfect choice to play the roguish confidence trickster Adric in Knights of Bloodsteel. As one of four heroic leads, his character reluctantly agrees to help protect the island continent of Mirabilis from crumbling to the will of a despot known as Dragon Eye (Mark Gibbon). To prevent this, they must first locate the last remaining supply of bloodsteel, a unique ore with magical properties. In his audition,the actor drew inspiration from multiple sources to bring his character to life.
“I threw in a bit of a magician as well as con artist and Fagan from Oliver Twist and started to play around with that, ” says Jacot. “It’s really after you’re cast in a role that you’re afforded the time to be able to do that and turn the part into less of a character and more of a realistic individual. In this case, a strange but realistic individual,” jokes the actor.
“Adric is the con man of Mirabilis and holds court within The Keep, which is kind of the bustling New York City of this world. He subsequently gets thrown into this journey involving Mirabilis and finds it very hard to understand what his real purpose is. Throughout his whole [story] arc, Adric finds love, certain strengths and independence that I don’t think he knew he had. It makes him that little bit more whole and human.”
At that moment, an AD (assistant director) comes over to collect Jacot, who is needed back on-set to film a scene where his character delivers a rousing speech to persuade the villagers to help fend off an attack from Dragon Eye’s soldiers. “It’s around a three-page monologue, which isn’t a great deal insofar as memorization,” he later says, “but it’s more a question of how do you sing the song of a monologue and turn it into layers that tell a story. So that’s been tricky, but, honestly, with a project like this, believing in the moment is sometimes more challenging. By that I mean scenes with dragons and things like that. That takes much more [acting] discipline.”
Led by John Serragoth (David James Elliott), Jacot and his fellow do-gooders travel the land of Mirabilis to complete their mission. A number of British Columbia locales served as the backdrop to our heroes’ dangerous journey. “On our first day of work we shot on some cliffs up towards [the resort town of] Whistler, where several of the 2010 Winter Olympic events will be held,” recalls the actor. “We’ve been filming at some other really beautiful places including rivers, waterfalls, woods and even today’s almost desert-like setting.
“At one point, they built a man-made swamp and us knights walked in up to our necks and trekked through that all night long. When we first went into the water at one in the morning it was funny, but five hours later there was nothing very funny about it,” he chuckles. “Next week we’re shooting in The Keep of Mirabilis, the capital of this world and where humans, elves and goblins gather. I’ve seen some of the sets and they’re pretty cool. No matter where we’re at, though, we’re fortunate enough to be working with a great group of people, so that makes the job much easier and enjoyable.”
If you think you have seen Jacot’s face before, you most likely have. In addition to feature films and made-for-TV movies, the actor has guest-starred on such TV shows as Mutant X, Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, Psych and Smallville. He also plays the recurring role of Larry Haberman on the hit Sci Fi Channel series Eureka.
“Larry is the resident kiss-ass on the show,” says Jacot. “He’s basically trying to climb the ladder at Global Dynamics, which is the scientific facility that the town of Eureka is based around. My character is a scientist there, although I don’t know if he’s much of a genius, but he’d certainly like to be. Larry harbors a very jealous streak towards anyone who has any particular talents in that regard. So he usually ends up kind of screwing himself, but it’s his own fault because he doesn’t have any stoplights when it comes to trying to knock someone else down in the hopes of gaining some glory. And that, of course, makes him that much more fun for me to play.”
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