For those who are yet to hear about it, what can we expect from Black Sails?
It’s a realistic, gritty pirate adventure that mixes historic pirates with the characters of Treasure Island. It’s a character-driven adventure on the high seas.
The show is pitching itself against Game of Thrones, and it shares director, Neil Marshall. This is a brave move as GoT has been so hugely successful. Do you believe Black Sails will be as big?
There is definitely room for more than one big budget action adventure television show. I am a huge Game of Thrones fan, but when I see John Snow trudging through the ice, it does make me happy our show is set in the Bahamas.
Michael Bay is an executive producer for the show – are there lots of impressive effects?
Absolutely. We just won an Emmy for the visual and special effects. The first time I saw a completed episode it blew my mind.
Black Sails has been dubbed as a ‘certified binge show’. Do you think its release as a DVD box set will help lure in those who are yet to download it?
This is not a simple story of buried treasure, it’s got a huge cast of characters who are always turning on each other, backstabbing, changing alliances. The show never goes where you think it will. And since there are only eight episodes in the first season, it’s hard not to drive through them in one sitting.
What box sets have you lost whole days on the sofa with?
I lost a weekend recently to True Detective. And I’ve recently gone back and started watching The Wire. That will eat some hours very easily.
Tell us about your character in the show, John Silver…
When we meet Silver he’s no pirate. Just a self-serving chancer who’s stumbled across a potential prize. He gets sucked up into the pirate world and always needs to be one step ahead to avoid getting run through.
You are already an accomplished swordsman. How did this come about and did it help you land this part?
I learnt sword fighting to play Romeo in a small production, and then kept up my training for a while. I ended up working on PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan film while I was still at high school. Unfortunately John Silver is not yet the most accomplished fighter, so I haven’t been able to draw on those skills just yet…
Jack Sparrow helped make pirates sexy – do you think you rock it too?
On Black Sails we leave the eyeliner at home, but it’s definitely a sexy show. I don’t feel sexy on set though. Generally just sweaty, dirty, salty and sore.
There are lots of sex scenes in Black Sails – are you involved in any of them? If so, any awkwardness?
In the first episode there is a scene in a brothel. It’s kind of Silver’s initiation into the island. We had a lot of fun and it wasn’t really that awkward in the end.
Black Sails was mostly filmed in Cape Town. How did you enjoy your time there?
It’s a beautiful place. The weather is fantastic and the scenery is wonderful. The perfect place to set up our pirate life.
If you were a pirate, what would your treasure be? Some quality aged rum.
Season one of Black Sails is available to download on iTunes or you can buy the DVD box set at Amazon.com. Image supplied