Jamie Campbell Bower wonders if it’s something other than his talents that helped him land roles in two of Hollywood’s most successful fantasy film franchises — “Harry Potter” and the “Twilight” saga — not to mention the role of legendary King Arthur in the new Starz epic, “Camelot.”
“Maybe I have a look,” he ponders about his career in the genre. “Do you think I have a look?”
After posing a few questions about tackling the iconic Arthur to the 22-year-old, we’re pretty sure his appeal is more about charisma and confidence than just that smoldering stare.
What kind of king do you play in “Camelot”?
A child. Torn from his home, from everything he thought he knew, and thrown into a position of great power. Our Arthur, to begin with, is scared and confused, but throughout the first season, and hopefully subsequent, he grows and develops into a man and into a true king.
How does he differ from other incarnations of the character?
Not many interpretations of the myth pick up the story [with Arthur as a boy]. People may have this preconceived idea of what King Arthur should be like — a big, bearded, brutish hero, but what we have done is add realism to the story. If — because there is no factual evidence that this man existed — he did exist, Arthur would have been a boy at some point, and what episodic television allows us is the time to explore the realities of life and a development of character.
Did you have any apprehensions in bringing this legend to life?
Yes, of course. With great power comes great responsibility. It was terrifying for me but I love a challenge.
Have you experienced any criticism for your interpretation of Arthur? Fantasy fans can be a tough crowd.
Yes. I think there are critics out there who have, like I said before, a preconceived idea of who this character is and they are not willing to change that. The whole idea of our show is progression. It should be exciting to see this character grow. I suppose you can’t please everyone.
Bower is a familiar face in stories with supernatural elements. So why does he think the genre is experiencing so much popularity right now?
“Above anything, people want to be taken away from the monotony of daily life,” he says. “They want to invest in characters. People want to be entertained. I don’t think it’s a genre thing per say — it should be all about story.”