EXCL: Iain De Caestecker on playing High King Uther’s banished son in 'The Winter King'

He's the king in the making! 
© 2023 Bad Wolf Ltd. All Rights Reserved
© 2023 Bad Wolf Ltd. All Rights Reserved

As chaos ensues, High King Uther’s banished son becomes the warlord the Dark Age Britain needs, not wants. From an outcast to a warrior, Arthur protects a child king and also a throne no one thinks he deserves. In a spectacular retelling of the author Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles trilogy, The Winter King starring Iain De Caestecker narrates how Arthur became one of the greatest rulers of Britain.

And Iain, whose acting talents were long due for a lead role, does a fantastic job in this story of betrayal, blood combat and convoluted family ties. Iain as Arthur is resilient, staunch and diplomatic and in an exclusive chat, we ask the Scottish actor, best known for his role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D about what piqued his interest in the series, whether he mirrors any traits of King Arthur in his life and lots more...

<em>© 2023 Bad Wolf Ltd. All Rights Reserved</em>
© 2023 Bad Wolf Ltd. All Rights Reserved

What elements of the series convinced you to come on board?
It’s such an iconic character that I didn’t think in the first place that I would have the opportunity to tackle it. So, when that came along, it was a little bit too hard to resist. Plus, they wanted to do something different with it and that intrigued me the most. It’s a much fresher, newer and bolder take on the characters in the Arthurian legend and I thought that’s an exciting thing to explore.

What is the significance of the title The Winter King?
My interpretation of it is that the Winter King means somebody who is coming in and taking the mantle of being the king. He’s coming in the time of winter, in a time of great peril where things are looking dire. It’s about a man who’s taking them through that season and trying to move them into a year and a new place.

When you read the book, what characteristics of King Arthur appealed to you the most?
In the book, we see Bernard’s point of view but with the series, we sort of take Arthur and put him front and centre. It gives us the ability to see him behind closed doors. You see him as this man with a strong sense of leadership and a strong sense of morals and his ability to get things done has tenacity.

Within the same genre, what are other series and films that you have previously enjoyed?
To be honest, I haven’t really watched historical fiction before and I think that worked in my favour. The cool thing about this particular story, The Winter King, is that it is really relatable and has universal themes and emotions within the story that I think transcend time and borders. Yes, we have huge historical locations. We have horses, we have romance, we have sword fights, we have all the things synonymous with these kinds of stories. But at the heart of it, we have really grounded characters and relationships. |

The series has been shot in such stunning and grand locations. Do you have any favourite travel destinations or places you love to visit when you have the opportunity?
I mean I have to say India is one of my favourite places that I have been to, so far. I mostly try and go to places for food, so I love India. I tried the street food. I tried some curries and I also went to Goa where I had the most amazing prawns ever in my life. It was incredible.

There is also a lot of bloodshed and violence in the series. After a packed day at work, how do you like to unwind and relax?
I like to spend a lot of time with family and friends. That’s probably the most important thing to me in my life. That’s where I feel most comfortable and content. I have also got a couple of cats at home. People find this sad, but I enjoy spending lots of time with them. They bring me lots of happiness. Other than that, I like to go for long walks. I like to read and listen to podcasts. All that kind of usual stuff.

The Winter King streaming on SonyLiv.

Mail: muskankhullar@newindianexpress.com
Twitter: @Muskankhullar03

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