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Interview: Legend of the Seeker’s Craig Horner

April 27th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

Fans of the epic fantasy series Legend of the Seeker take note: The series is back, with a new episode, “Mirror,” added this weekend and four more on the way, including the Season 1 finale. For those uninitiated, Legend of the Seeker follows the journey of Richard Cypher, a young woodsman who discovers that he has a bigger mission in life: he’s part of a prophecy to end oppression with the help of a mysterious woman named Kahlan (Bridget Regan) and a wise wizard named Zedd (Bruce Spense). The show is based on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth book series, and was created by Sam Raimi and others from the team behind Hercules: Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. Last week, Hulu spoke to Legend of the Seeker‘s Craig Horner, who plays Richard. — Rebecca Harper (), Editor

Craig Horner

Hulu: Legend of the Seeker is filmed in New Zealand, but you’re from Australia. What’s it like? Are you isolated while you’re shooting?

Craig Horner:
Even though it’s like a three-hour flight, it’s still like I’m in a different place. I’m completely isolated from my friend and family and just don’t have the time to go back. I work so late, it’s hard to get the last flight on a Friday night, and it’s just not worth flying for one night. It’s tough.

In terms of culture, there are a lot of similarities between Australia and New Zealand. We’re close to each other but so far from everything else. We’ve got instant passports, so you can shuttle back and forth between Australia and New Zealand, no matter where you’re from. My dad’s a Kiwi, so I knew a bit about New Zealand, so it wasn’t that hard for me. But it was hard for someone like Bridget because Auckland and San Diego couldn’t be more opposite. She learned and adjusted really well.

So were you into these sort of fantasy epic adventures when you were younger?

Yeah, absolutely. I loved Conan and Star Wars and anything like that. I was obsessed with it, I loved it.

Before you tried out for the role of Richard Cypher, had you read any of the Sword of Truth books that the series is based on?

I read a little bit for the first audition because I didn’t know much about it, but a friend of mine who’s a writer, he’s read like five of the books, so he was like “You should really audition it, here’s a book and just read a bit of it.” So I did that for the first audition and sent away the tape. When I got asked to do a real kind of screen test, I read the book and it was awesome. He was right. We didn’t have too many scripts available, so I did this guy based on the book. The book was great. It was an awesome character. No matter what happened with this role, I could do good stuff with it.

Many of the scenes in the book are too graphic for TV. How have you guys worked around this?

You know, it’s not necessary. We’re making a different show. If we were making Wizard’s First Rule, then we’d probably have to go to all that graphic stuff, which wouldn’t be allowed on TV. So I think the fact that now we’ve just fully accepted that we’re making our own show based on the Sword of Truth series, we don’t need that stuff. I think it works better in books. You don’t want to go to those dark places every day in your [living room] with your family. You just want to read them and think about them and let them have an effect on you. But you know, it wouldn’t work on a family show. We did an episode like “Denna,” which is — gosh, in the book, the torture is long and there’s a lot more sex involved, but I didn’t care if we got to do that or not. I just wanted to go through this journey of a defiant man who was basically just tortured and has to put his dignity away in a little room, lock it away with a key, and just get through this situation and be this woman’s slave so he can just get through and survive. That’s all it was about. When I read that part of the book, I didn’t go “Aw gee, I really hope we get to go on and do all those horrible things which I won’t name.” Instead, it was “Gee I really hope I get to do that journey as an actor, that’s really cool” and I did.

How did you prepare for the role of Richard? What skills did you need to learn?

In terms of action, I definitely needed a couple weeks’ prep. And we’ve got really good stunt coordinators and horse wranglers and all that. So I had a few weeks of just prepping myself for that, because I knew it was going to be demanding and I wanted to do as many stunts as I can. I hate it when you have an action hero but when it comes to those fights scenes, you just don’t believe it. And that’s so important, it’s just as important to be able to actually fight like a hero as it is to act like one. You don’t want to rely on the stunt double. So I really wanted to do well in that, and I tried really hard.

In terms of developing the character, the book is such a good source to go to. It’s kind of like told from his point of view, and you really get to go in his mind and journey.

I read that your stunt double, Glen Levy, has the hardest punch in the world. Has he taught you the secret?

[Laughs.] Kind of. You have to develop these first few levels before you can get there, but I know the gist of it. I just can’t do it anywhere near as good as he can. You basically have to build up strength, that core strength and everything. I just got him to start teaching me the one-inch punch, and it’s all these tiny little things that you have to just think about and basically not think about, and do them all it once and very minimally. You do it like 100 times, and you literally get it once and you go, “Wow, oh my god, that’s it!” That’s what’s been around for hundreds and hundreds of years in kung fu and China and all that kind of stuff. It’s crazy, and I have a respect for it. It’s basically channeling the Earth’s energy from the ground, through your big toe, sending it through your body, and releasing it three inches away from a person. You’re sending all that energy into their organs, into their lungs, their heart, wherever, their muscles. And it sends all that negative energy, those electrons that just have nowhere to go, so the muscle just starts pulsing… We’re getting way off-topic here, but I just get so interested in it. Every day, I’m like “Glen, teach me, teach me, teach me.” If this show only lasts for two or three seasons, I want to have absorbed as much of his kung fu knowledge as I can.

You have an athletic background and it says you enjoy playing soccer and kayaking. Did that help with all your training?

Absolutely. I think it’s a result of where I grew up. Take practically anywhere in Australia, especially in Queensland. You’ve got heaps of space and it’s a very heavily outdoors-oriented kind of culture. Every kid goes out to play. You get home and you go straight out on the street, where the kids in the neighborhood play soccer and run around. So it was a combination of that and having a dad who was always willing to play cricket with me and my mates after school, or just getting out and throwing tennis balls, it doesn’t matter. I was always very, very active. I love sports. That was kind of easy coming into this physically demanding role. I just had to make a few adjustments of learning how to swing this way, and swing that sword that way. My horse riding wasn’t that good, so I needed a lot of help in the area.

Can you talk about your relationship with Bridget Regan, who plays Kahlan?

Me and Bridget get along like a house on fire. We’re really good. We got close as soon as we got here because like Richard and Kahlen, who are traveling an unknown world together on their own, and that’s kind of what we did. She’s from America, I was from Australia, we’re in New Zealand. We bonded quite instantly. She’s smart. Some actors just get it and some don’t. She gets it.

I don’t know how long they’re going to keep this Richard and Kahlan thing going in Season 2. It’s the classic Capulet and Montague story. They want to be together, but they really can’t, and they’re not supposed to. How long can they fight it, and what are they willing to sacrifice? But the last five episodes of this season are really good, they delve into a bit of that.

This show has some fanatic fans, with page after page of discussions on Hulu. Some of the discussions go so far as to critique the way you wield a sword. Were you expecting that sort of reaction, that minute attention to detail?

Let’s face it. I was one of those kids. Probably because I didn’t have access to a decent computer and Internet at a young age, I didn’t really do that kind of stuff where you go on and you blog and all that. But I probably would have. I wouldn’t have taken it [as far as some people do], but I don’t mind that. It’s totally cool. It’s just a hobby, and when people understand that it’s all fun and games, it’s kind of a fun thing, too.

Are people here in the U.S. starting to recognize you? Have you had any funny run-ins with fans?

This nice little gentleman pops out of a massage parlor yesterday and says to me “Are you the Seeker?” I was like “Yes, I am.” How is cool is that? As a kid, you dream that when you grow up, someone will come up to you and say “Are you Batman?” and you go, “Yes, I am.” This kind of happened, in a way. It was cute. And then he gave this weird, Earth Day lollipop plant or something that looks like something you should shove into the ground. I didn’t know what to do with it, so it’s sitting on my kitchen table. It looks pretty — well no, it doesn’t really, it just looks like a piece of dirt on a stick.

Well, Happy Earth Day!

Yeah, “Happy Earth Day, here’s a piece of earth! On a stick!” It was really awesome. I made his day.

What’s it like playing a hero?

It’s cool because it’s something I’ve wanted. I’ve been in the acting industry for nine years now and I’m glad because it takes about that time to really be able to go “Hey, put me as number one on the call sheet; I’m ready.” Certain people have different challenges at different times and yeah, someone’s first job might make them number one, and they might own it. Or they might not. I think I was ready to take on that kind of role now, bringing that know-how to the show, being a leader. It was a challenge I was willing to take on and really hope to do well at.

I have to ask, what’s the secret to those abs?

Ha-ha. Look, I work out a lot. I try really hard. Richard Cypher’s supposed to be a very chiseled woods guide. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the books, but you know how those books are “as he rips the vines, his muscles…” He’s a strong guy, and I wanted to look strong, so I try hard. I exercise as much as I can and eat right, go to the gym and all that, run. Exercise and food, that’s the secret.

Last comment: Oct 9th 2014 46 Comments
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  • millie999 says:

    I stumbled across the series and since then I could stop watching it. Hope they revive it.

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  • monty hope says:

    i just finished watching the 2 series and i thought they were very good, craig and bridget look perfect together and they should try at a relationship… not only it would be great for them but the fans as well. btw i wish you guys will re consider making a season 3 for the fans.

  • Honey says:

    Legend is a very matured and fantastic movie.i love all the characters especially the wizard of the greatest order.

  • Kuyedh says:

    Craig nd Bridget!wow u both r great bt i hope u date each other cos u both have gud chemistry.I hope 4 a great season 3….bside i love d part whr bridget was jealous of cara

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  • Makayla says:

    When I first watched an episode I was instantly attached. I watched the episodes back to back, and I hope that a miracle will happen to make season 3!!! This series has caught my eye in a way no other movie has, or will. I just love Legend of the Seeker, and I give a thumbs up to everyone involved mainly Craig Horner, and Bridget Regan!!!! I love ya’ll!!

  • Taylor says:

    Everyone who loves this show sign my petition to get it back! :) http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/LegendoftheSeekerS3/

  • jamielyn says:

    hi! i hope their is a season three! i sped the last the last month of my summer watching seekers!!!!!!! :) (season 1 and 2) i was HOOKED the first time i watched it, i was very sad that their no season three, all i think about is richard and kahlan, richard and kahlan!!!! and i am only 10!

  • Kayleigh says:

    everything about the show is fantastic… I hope to see it go on for at least a couple more seasons.

  • Emiliy says:

    Hmm, is there anything more Tham friendship between craig and bridget

  • kate says:

    i love legend of the seeker craig is so so cute when he gets hurt

  • Josh says:

    I just discovered this show while flipping through channels on the season premiere of season 2, last November, and was shocked I never heard of it through advertisement or word of mouth. Since then I’ve watched every single episode and seen the entire first season. I’m looking into majors along the lines of acting with cinematography so I could only hope to try for a job on the set of LoTS in the future.

  • Kaitlyn says:

    i started watching this show from episode one. at first, i was a little iffy on everything, but it had such POTENTIAL that i couldn’t NOT keep watching. now i’m officially hooked. i watch every episode the day it comes on hulu. i loooove the cast and the chemistry is amazing. Bridget, you are beyond gorgeous. Craig, seriously soooo sexy. i hope you both have similar personalities to the ones your characters have. :). you’re both brilliant actors. i’m really glad that Tabrett is a consistent character….she’s very impressive. and what can i say about Bruce? lol he’s great! i just really love this show. i really hope it continues to be successful and grow.

  • Omar says:

    Bridget is jaw-dropping.

  • liz says:

    Very very awesome show with great actors and actor chemistry. Thanks to hulu for doing the interview! Looking forward to more seasons! Love the books!

  • Sara says:

    I think, no I KNOW your the hottest person ever! I’d love to meet you sometime!!!!!!!!

  • Sara says:

    I love u craig horner soooooooooooo so much! The one thing I life I want to do is 2 meet you!!!!!!!

  • Jennifer Campbell says:

    omg i love this series so much i have watched all the episodes like 5 times,im big on reading so i bought the first two books of the sword of truth series i hope they are just as good as the show,im really hoping that richard and kahlen stay in love cause if they dont then there is no point in watching the show cause them being together is amazing and richard and kahlen are so fantastic togther and so what if richard is the seeker..that shouldnt stop them!!!!!anyways i cant wait for season two……i love craige horner and bridget regan and spencer!!!!!!!!!!

  • LotS fans says:

    Lol same here! I stumbled upon this show and whenever it was on I would watch it. My most favorite tv show!

  • Theresa says:

    Love the show and love this interview! It’s nice to get more insight into the actors behind the characters, and into their motivation!

    When Legend of the Seeker aired on South African television on July 25th, the promotional material described the show as a series which brings excitement, special effects and the excellent quality of the big screen to television. It continued to say that the scope of the show was enormous, the story compelling and the characters completely spellbinding! Legend of the Seeker was described as a tale of heroic adventure, friendship, and most importantly, of the importance of fulfilling your destiny. I can think of no better praise for “Legend” than the one given in our local television magazines! It is wonderful to watch a series, week after week, which brings the world of fantasy so vividly to life, but also has a more serious edge to it. There aren’t enough spellbinding moments in the world anymore.

    Thanks to both Craig and Bridget for bringing these wonderful characters to life!!

  • Joel says:

    Nice interview that adds some depth to how the show is put together. I like the show quite a lot.

    I know that some critics claim it is too derivative of other works, but frankly that reflects laziness on the part of those reviewers. Virtually all storytelling of any kind is derivative to some degree, and neither this show nor epic fantasy in general is an exception.

    However, as a long time reader of much fantasy, I see some nice creative elements in most of the show’s episodes. I haven’t read the books, but clearly some of that depth is based in the original source material.

    The most critical part that the show has gotten right is the casting and depiction of the characters. If the writers and actors can get you to care about the characters, they’ve done the biggest portion of their job. I like the work of the three lead actors very much; kudos to them on their portrayals.

    Looking forward to season two.

  • Dee says:

    Super interview. Enjoy the series especially since I have had a chance to see all the episodes.
    The actors certainly put the umph into the scripts. Love hating the bad guys/gals because they are soooo good in their roles. Then there is RIchard and Kahlen. This is the first romanic series in a long time I have become a fan of. (I’m more of a Numbers, CSI, Flashpoint fan). Craig and Bridget are extremely professional actors and have a fantastic chemistry on screen.
    Looking forward to the 2nd season..and the DVD’s…

  • Kumar says:

    he needs to explain a little bit more about those abs, if you no wat i mean

  • Dee Sebenik says:

    Finally got a chance to see all of the episodes. I AM SO READY FOR SEASON 2. From Craig Horner’s comments about the last 5 episodes addressing the issue of Kahlen’s and Richard’s love and relationship….Oh my…is it going to take us that long??? I haven’t read the books, yet. The series has been very good, no actually excellent. All of the actors have
    really delivered. I shall miss Rahl. He was a great evil presence to go against Richard. I had not seen this interivew. Both Craig and Bridget sound very down to earth, real people who take their work seriously, but have remained grounded. How refreshing for people not to get caught up in all the superficial “stuff.” Comment on the Mirror Episode. At first I was taken back by the “Mirror” episode, then after the second viewing…and now the third. It is so great for the actors and both delivered excellent performances. Please get someone to put these out on DVD!! LOOKING SO FORWARD TO SEASON 2…Romance, stunts, suspense and magic – so complicated – so delicious – so ready for those “date nights” with The Seeker. :)

  • NAJI ZAZA says:


  • Ziggie says:

    I think I’m in love. *sigh*

  • Josh Campbell says:

    I hope to see more of Craig, Bridget, and all the others of course. You all did such a wonderful job, It was all to easy to fall into the story! I look forward to following you both in your growing carriers.

  • kennedy says:

    I am so in love with this show! I stumbled upon it because I couldn’t sleep one Saturday night but now I can’t get enough! I think I’ve watched the season…. three times? And it just keeps getting better. This interview was really interesting, Craig Horner seems exactly how you would imagine a “hero” to be. It’s nice to hear that SOMEONE in the acting industry finds risque on-screen events unnecessary for once. I really hope he does well with his future acting career.

  • A Fan says:

    This was a good interview. I stumbled across this show on Hulu.. never read the books, but I have seen what people have said in the comments. I can understand how books can be ruined when brought to life.. I can understand why they made some changes. I would personally love a more gory and graphic version that is available to adults, but then again.. I would love a million dollars too… and we all see THAT happening..lol!

  • Tim says:

    Thanks to Hulu for interviewing Craig. Well, I’ve been a fan of the series for a long time, so when they made it into a TV show I was pretty stoked. I understand it will be changed and different from the book series, but it’s still nice to see it visually, even if it is different in some ways (and drastically different in other ways). I was a bit disappointed in the season finale, but I’d still keep watching and hope they have a good run of seasons.

    While quite a bit of stuff was changed from the books, I think that all of the cast do a fantastic job portraying the characters, and really capture the essence of the whole Sword of Truth series. Keep up the great acting!

  • Lynz says:

    I found this by accident and I couldn’t stop watching! I read the first book of the series but I completely forgot about them until now. I’ve got to go back and read them now!

    :D Kahlan is my hero.

  • Robert says:

    I’m a huge fan of Terry Goodkind’s “Sword of Truth” series, and I’ve really looked forward to seeing this TV series come to fruition. Although I enjoy following the series, I do feel compelled to routinely return to Goodkind’s land as it exists in my imagination and his vivid writing. The books read like movie scripts; it’s possible to see the action in your imagination as it plays out on the pages. After the season ends, I would like to see a more detailed version made on the scale of the Lord of the Rings movies, if budgeting permits. I understand that such a movie wouldn’t be a substitute for my imagination, but I’d like to see it come close and perhaps give the books more credit for being stunningly amazing.

  • Ziff says:

    My dh was watching this show on hulu (he’s a hulu junkie) and I LOVE fantasy and it caught my attention. I then watched all the shows in a couple of days (even w/ kids running around) and I’m now hooked. I think the acting is great!! I was really impressed by it. I am loving the story line and I LOVE that Kahlan isn’t a pansy. That girl can fight!! ;) I am going to have to find the books now.

    Thanks for the interview! They’re always fun! I’m curious about the other two now, too. =D

  • Erin says:

    hooray! Thanks for interviewing Craig! I love Legend of the Seeker!!! It’s so much fun.

  • Lin says:

    I love the show. I really think that everyone is doing great in the characterization. I had read some of the books before the show aired and as soon as I saw the promo, I was like “Wow.” I couldn’t stop smiling for weeks. Since the show has aired it’s the same, they have really captured a lot of the emotion of the books into the show from the books. I have no complaints except sometimes I wish it was longer. I hope they have many seasons to come.

  • chris b says:

    I really hope that they do make a movie based off the books so that the gritty battels and stuff like that can be experianced. I have read all of the books years a go and plan to read them agian and agian because they are so good. Good job at playing richard

  • jack says:

    hey richard .. squeeze bridgets rear for me shes got great “hmmm assets .. also dont need to be confessed to worship her ..lol..

    anyhow i stumbled onto this series a week ago never knew
    it was on tv .. now i got to read the book

    keep up the good work .. whether you are faithfull to the book or not .. keep up the action

  • McKayla says:

    I also stumbled upon this show thanks to Hulu who advertised it on the home page. I got to admit I normally am not a fan of the genre, but the characters and the storyline got me hooked for life. I seriously watched all the episodes in a day and half, only allowing breaks for bathroom and sleep. I think the cast is perfect for this show!

  • tony says:

    Many thanks to Hulu.com for hosting this amazing show. I’ve never read the books but prolly will now that I have watched this show. I wait every week to watch the new episode and this show has become my favorite show. Craig Horner does a great job and so does his fellow cast members. Keep up the great work.

  • Mary says:

    I have been a fan of the books for over ten years now. It is a great series and I recommend it to anybody. When I first heard of the show I was excited. When I watched the first few episodes I have to admit I didn’t like them because they were so different from the books. But that was a few months ago, and I decided to give them another try. After a marathon session on Hulu I have changed my mind about the show and now I can’t wait for the next episode. Its not the books, but it does carry the same feeling. Its a fun show that I want to see unfold.

  • Andy says:

    Great interview. Are Craig and Bridget dating in real life? They do seem to have captured the love story part of the show very well…

  • Js says:

    I stumbled on the show too! Then I was telling a friend about it and she said she’s obsessed with the books, so I ran out and bought some. And Craig is totally right…so dark and twisted. If you loved the Denna episode…you’ll love the books!

  • I stumbled onto this show completely by accident and got hooked.
    I haven’t read the books, but now I’m going to have to. “Denna” was one of my favorite episodes because it was so dark and twisted. Love that.
    Awesome show.