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Anomaly Research Centre:Exclusives/Niall Matter Interview

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Primeval: New World unit publicist Crystal Braunwarth put ZEM in contact with Niall Matter for an interview. Niall Matter plays visionary inventor Evan Cross in New World. Thank you very much Niall for your patience and answers to my questions!


1. How did you become involved in New World?

I was going through pilot seasons and my manager wanted me to read it, so I checked it out. I liked the first script quite a bit. I talked to Martin Wood about the project, and shortly after that they offered me the role.

2. Do you know if anyone else was interested in the role?

I think initially they were looking at Michael Shanks for the role. I think they had a couple choices of cast, around Michael Shanks there would’ve been an older cast and if they got me, they were looking for the cast that they hired, ultimately.

3. What were your first thoughts about the role?

I liked Evan Cross because my vision of him and Martin’s vision of him were actually on par. He said he saw Evan Cross as “Bruce Wayne meets Tony Stark” and that’s exactly what I read when I read the first episode.

4. Were you familiar with the original Primeval?

No, I didn’t know it at all. But obviously when I got the script, and they told me it was a spin-off, I started looking into the original Primeval and I watched it, Seasons 1, 2 and 3 were available at that point. Except for some CGI that wasn’t that good, I thought it was a pretty good show.

5. Did you have any prior experience with CGI?

Yeah, I don’t know if you know my work at all - but I come from Eureka, which is a lot of CGI.

6. How is New World different from/similar to your previous work?

Well, New World is a lot different than my previous work, because this show we were actually shooting outside, on location, a lot more than a lot of the other shows I’ve been on. My shows have been in studio a lot, even when I’m down in LA.

With Primeval, we were travelling around Vancouver and the surrounding area trying to showcase the city. Not only is Primeval: New World filmed in Vancouver; it is set in Vancouver as well. I think this will add a really cool element to our show; as our sets are actual landmark buildings in Vancouver - this city is almost like another character.

We filmed in an old train yard, which is actually a museum, so we have some history there and that adds a certain element to our show as well. When were filming that episode, I found myself looking at the monitor and thinking it looked a lot like the Sherlock Holmes films, the new ones with Robert Downey Jr.

7. What can you tell us about Evan Cross?

Evan Cross is basically the leader of these misfits that he’s collected. He builds a team of scientists, and they go out and try to put these creatures back into their natural habitat. He doesn’t want to destroy anything in regards to any timeline – he doesn’t want to create the butterfly effect. He doesn’t want to damage them or harm them in any way; he wants to put them back, if at all possible.

He also realizes that they’re dangerous, and so he brings on the character Mac Rendell (Danny Rahim) as protection, because Mac comes from military training. Evan also invents new weaponry, most of which is passive weaponry, and is just used to knock the dinosaurs out so he can get on top of them and control them.

8. Did you have any memorable moments on set that you would like to share with the fans?

The most memorable moment that I have from shooting this season was from Episode 1.11, it was written by Jon Cooksey. We had to shoot the episode in four days, whereas normally we would get seven days to shoot it. I remember looking at the page count for one day, (18 pages), and I felt like that was going to be an impossible task to take on. But every single actor showed up prepared.

Martin Wood was directing that episode and he had a plan - we had four cameras that day, and we ended up shooting a 12-minute take. The day was long and it was tedious, but it was the most memorable experience I’ve ever had as an actor to date, because I felt like I was actually doing a stage play, but keeping the acting real for filming TV.

9. Anything else you’d like to tell Primeval fans about the show?

Hopefully you guys enjoy the spin-off that we’ve created, here on North American soil. I think you guys are really going to enjoy it. I’ve seen snaps of the dinosaurs, they look amazing! So, I think it’s going to be a really fun ride, and I hope that you guys enjoy all thirteen episodes.

10. Do you have a favorite character in New World?

I don’t know how much I can give away to you… because there are things that come later on…

But I really liked Howard Kanan, who is a character that you guys will see in Episode 9. He is played by Colin Ferguson, a close friend of mine. His character is just so "out there" and Colin plays him so well. So that would probably be my favorite character of the season.

11. Do you have a favorite creature?

Until I see the creatures, I can’t say that I have a favorite one or not.

My least favorite creature is the Albertosaurus, and that’s because he ate my wife. The fans will see that right away, the first episode actually goes through that with Evan, lives through that moment in his life, then picks back up six years later – into the present time – and that’s where the remainder of the show takes place.

12. Do you have a favorite episode?

1x11. I love that episode.


Note: All opinions expressed in interviews belong solely to the crew or cast member interviewed, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ZEM, Primeval Wiki or Omni Film Productions.

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