Interview: Karal Adrus (CardinalSin)

(1) Tell us a little about your character.

Adrus is a mess of almost contradictory things. He's devastatingly intelligent but about as slow-witted a person as you're ever likely to meet. He's very charismatic, but not especially urbane, fairly naive, and lacking in any form of social cunning.

But the most important thing about him is his moral core. This is a quintessentially heroic character - happily risking his life for a stranger as much as a friend. On a more everyday level, he's painfully honest even if it would be to his disadvantage; guileless is the word.

Really, Adrus is a bit of a geek, and I think he would be quite happy spending his days reading treatises on sorcery or messing around in the forge. He's lucky to have a group of friends that drag him out on adventures, and a special military programme that forces him to diversify his abilities and try new things.

(2) What intially attracted you to this role?

I first came up with the idea for this character partway through Golden Opportunity, in which I played Raiden Shadowfire. At the time, it seemed pretty inevitable that Raiden would at some point meet a sticky end, probably sooner rather than later (though in practice he proved extremely effective at wriggling out of the jaws of certain death). The cast consisted mainly of power-hungry characters with few scruples, and I had begun to wonder whether the group really needed a strong moral compass.

There are wider considerations though. Most popular characters in recent years have been world-weary, wise-cracking, antiheroes. Han Solo, Indiana Jones... come to think of it, a lot of them are played by Harrison Ford. But the point is, the uncomplicated moral hero is a relatively rare thing in modern storytelling. And it's a new thing for me too - most of my characters have tended to be at the very least flawed heroes, or in some cases borderline villains. So I'm looking forward to playing what some people would refer to as a "big damn hero".

(3) What other characters would you say have influenced your portrayal of this character?

There are two major role models I can think of. The first is Superman. In some ways he's probably seen as a bit hackneyed these days. Superman Returns isn't seen as a patch on Christopher Reeves's movies, and maybe that has something to do with the trend I mentioned before. But he remains the template for your basic, pure hero. Still, he is a bit two-dimensional in many ways, so I'd say I'm using him more for inspiration than for influence as such.

The other is Constable Benton Fraser, of Due South. This is the guy who spent about an hour standing by a door in a shopping mall because he insisted on holding the door open for everyone who happened to be walking past. He won't lie, even if it's to his own advantage. I also vaguely recall him and his partner being tied up by villains; his partner tried to convince the baddies to let them go, but Fraser persisted in informing them how he intended to arrest them. It wasn't bravado; it just wasn't in him to do anything other than state the truth. He has a lot in common with Adrus.

(4) How would you describe your characters outlook on the world? Or his reaction to the situation he's found himself in?

Adrus is a natural optimist, seeing the best in others and always seeking the good in any situation. No doubt that is how he will react to what has happened. For now, he is grieving for the loss of two of his closest friends.

(5) How would you like to see your character develop over the course of the season.

He's already developed a little bit. Through his preludes he's become a bit more of a raucous, hedonistic character than expected. Alcohol in general played a larger role than I had anticipated. But in some ways that slightly impulsive nature that came out in the preludes matches my intentions precisely; this is a guy who is very sure of himself.

In some ways I hope and expect that Adrus's development will see him stay true to what I want him to be: an uncompromising and uncompromised hero. But that's not to say he won't change. As the story starts, Adrus is fairly naive, bookish and unsophisticated. I think he'll become a lot more savvy and world-wise as time goes on. Still, he'll always be limited by his fundamental honesty and trusting nature - he's not made for manipulation and intrigue.