WotSeries: Hello. How are you?
Marcus Rutherford: I’m good, man. How are you doing?
WotSeries: Good, good, thank you. I’m Omar with wotseries.com. Nice to meet you, Marcus.
Marcus: Nice to meet you too, man. Thank you for everything you do.
WotSeries: Thank you, and big congrats on season 2. Amazing work.
Marcus: Thank you. Thank you so much.
WotSeries: How are you feeling about season 3? Finished or still going?
Marcus: Still going. Still going at the moment. We packed away a lot of stuff, it’s exciting, it’s really exciting.
WotSeries: Great. All right, so let’s jump right in. I’ve heard you many times refer to Perrin as the gentle giant. And just as a quick aside Perrin is one of my favorite characters (one of my kids has a middle name Perrin, you know?) For this season, you know, and I’ll ask a couple questions about the physicality of the character, how much did that recede over the season? The “gentle giant”, is it still there by the end of season for your character? Is it moving backwards a little bit or is it still there?
Marcus: I think that kind of “knows his strength but very reluctant” – and you can see that’s kind of embodied in what happens in the first episode if he kind of embraces his strength – I think it’s definitely still there, but I think what’s nice throughout season two is he meets a lot of different people and learns about violence and fighting. And at the end he learns about the inevitability of fighting and that kind of warfare and stuff.
So I don’t think he’s as scared of the power that he has or the ability or the strength that he has, and I think that’s quite nice.
WotSeries: Honestly, if you had asked me before the season, who would have the most fight scenes, and I think you do, because you have Atuan’s Mill with the Seanchan attack and then you have Atuan’s Mill with Aviendha and the Whitecloaks, and then you have the Falme scenes… that must’ve been taxing. How was it like to prepare for all of them?
Marcus: Yeah, it’s a lot, man. It’s a lot. I think where Perrin is throughout the season, he’s kind of just been thrown in the middle of a lot of stuff as well. He’s getting dragged around and stuff and I think they were planned really well and it kind of had to go up a notch in terms of the action and the sort of the fear. I think the Seanchan needed to create a new level of jeopardy that I thought they brought.
I think it set the groundwork for what we’re doing in season three and everything like that.
WotSeries: That fight with the Aviendha fight sequence. How long did that take to film?
Marcus: Oh my god. It took a few weeks because we were filming and it was COVID. And it was the middle of winter and the ground was frozen and obviously Ayoola and the stuntwoman, they’re rolling, they’re doing wrestling moves and capoeira, and it was on the hardest ground ever. So we had to go back a couple times, but yeah, quite a few nights.
WotSeries: You mentioned meeting new characters. Your character introduced us to some really good ones. There’s Ayoola Smart playing Aviendha; there’s Dain Bornhald, Jay Duffy. And then obviously, Ka Lupinka, the wolfdog. Can you tell us a little bit about working with the wolfdogs?
Marcus: Yeah, it’s amazing, man. I mean, obviously it’s a real animal, I think there’s a certain element of scale and jeopardy you get with CGI. But I think what you lose is that real sense of connection that you get with a real animal. And I think obviously, you can see that towards the end of episode 8. It hits way harder and I think people can see their own animals or their own pets and that kind of scenario. Yeah, she’s incredible, man. She did exactly what I wanted and then we had kind of formed a real bond, which is special.
WotSeries: Has Perrin embraced “wolf brother” completely, or does he have a few steps more to go until he embraces it all?
Marcus: I think he’s still cautious. He’s definitely embraced it. I think he’s accepted that he can’t run away from it anymore and I think it was a big thing throughout season two. I think there’s still some stuff he needs to learn.
WotSeries: Interesting too, that to start the season, honestly, Perrin had carried a lot of weight as a parallel to the books. Sorry, you’ve read the books or part of them?
Marcus: Yeah, yeah, it’s where we’re filming and just past here.
WotSeries: So, you know, the great hunt was supposed to be the hunt for the Horn with Perrin, Mat and Verin and Rand. Here you’re just Perrin, carrying on the load. Did you know that coming in? I know there were some changes between season one and season two because of COVID and everything else. But from a preparation standpoint where you already prepared from season one that when we get to season two “this journey for me is going to stay the same but others might go different ways”. How did that play out?
Marcus: I think obviously there were some changes for different reasons, but I think I knew he’d be isolated by himself and I knew, talking to Rafe, it was quite needed for Perrin’s development. I think especially when he’s in those big groups back in season one, for a character that doesn’t particularly articulate himself or or say exactly what’s on his mind. And amongst big, confident Nynaeves and Rands and stuff, he kind of gets lost a little bit, he’s a bit quiet in the corner. So I think isolating him and putting him in these situations, I think he has to carry the weight, and I think he kind of has to fill those roles whether it be leading with the Seanchan, or being with Aviendha, or Elyas in the woods.
WotSeries: Honestly, if I don’t ask you this question, I will lose my Wheel of Time fan card. And again, it is a reference to the books, so answer it whichever way you will, but who’s better at talking to women: Perrin, Rand or Mat?
Marcus: Ooooh, okay I love that. I remember filming that scene with Avienda, but literally thinking like Rand would know what to do.
I gotta say Rand. I gotta say Rand. Certainly, look at it. I mean, Josha! That’s definitely for sure (chuckles).
WotSeries: That’s a good answer! Do you follow fan reactions by the way, memes and any of that?
Marcus: Yeah! I do a little bit. I think it was all quite a lot when we first started so I kind of just was a bit like “I’ll just go over here” but I think what’s been really lovely is kind of dipping into it and seeing how much people are loving it and especially season 2. The love for season 2 has really meant a lot to all of us. Yeah, and the fandom and the memes, I mean the amount of stuff you can get from Lanfear and all those little bits is just incredible. There’s a meme where the characters – and I think knowing what happens in season three… is just. Yeah, it’s just… the amount of characters who come in. It’s just so exciting.
WotSeries: If you keep giving us some behind the scenes dance moves from Marcus, that’ll be fantastic. We’ll use it if they come.
WotSeries: Rafe referenced a couple of deleted scenes, one of them, I believe, was Ingtar’s, you might have been in it, with Ingtar. Can you talk about any of these?
Marcus: The deleted scene with Ingtar, was it shown?
WotSeries: No, it was never shown. That deleted scene or any others.
Marcus: Yeah, I think I can’t remember what others, I know for episode 1, there’s a chat with Ingtar. And I think people know Ingtar’s arc in The Great Hunt. You might not know if it fully came to fruition if you watched this season. It still plays out really interestingly and I think Gregg (Chilingirian) played it beautifully. The idea of what Ingtar has been holding this whole time, and all that kind of stuff, and the kind of a reveal in a sense, but I think that’s what it would be.
WotSeries: Any special memories from behind the scenes or filming that you can share with us?
Marcus: I think honestly filming with the dog was just incredible. There was a scene where I sat in the woods in the cold and the dog hadn’t eaten for ages. We’ve been filming long hours and they put this massive carcass, where all the other dogs had to eat in the scene. And I was just like, “there’s no way this dog isn’t gonna just walk up,” like you’ve just put food in front of it and set up action. And I was just like “it’s not going to work. You can try it. It’s not gonna work,” Ka Lupinka just stayed there the whole scene. The scene with Elyas, and he talks about the bond and stuff. And I just thought that was such a special moment. The trainer, Monika, was just like, “that’s crazy”, it’s really special that she (Ka Lupinka) just sat there the whole time.
WotSeries: That’s amazing! Part of the filming, I thought the visual representation of the communication with the wolves was really well done because it’s a tricky thing in the books. You’d say “it’s a sending, you know, the wolf sent this to you”. That must have been a little bit difficult to try to visualize full scenes where people are not there. How was that the prep for that? How was it presented to you? How did you act it?
Marcus: I think Thomas (Napper) did a really good job. I think obviously what you kind of see plays out, so if it’s kind of like we see Padan Fain go through an attack like he’s there on the day and they film that scene first so I can kind of see what happens. Then when they move in it’s kind of like a 360 camera and I just follow it around.
I think he did such a good job of bringing that, it’s really hard with a lot of Perrin’s stuff to kind of bring it to screen. You know, he does whole POVs in his head and all those kinds of things. Even coalescing characters like Hurin who have particular abilities, who aren’t in the show, and I think giving some of those things to the wolf brothers, in terms of smelling violence, that kind of idea, I thought was really interesting and I think it made it that we could kind of represent it through those kinds of visions effectively, which I think was done really well.
WotSeries: All right, that’s our time for today. Marcus, thank you so much. Again, fantastic season 2. Cannot wait for season 3. Really looking forward to it. Best of luck on wrapping it up and hopefully we’ll talk soon.
Marcus: Thank you so much, man. Thank you for your support as well.
All eight episodes of season 2 are available now on Prime Video. Go binge!