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Adrian has been very generous to his fans attending many conventions and signing autographs


Adrian Paul As Duncan MacLeod 

in Highlander : Endgame


By Lyria Wollich


With less than a week to go before the opening of Adrian Paul’s new movie, Highlander: Endgame, the excitement mounting in the eyes and hearts of fans everywhere is palpably discernable.

For Highlander, Endgame is a series of firsts. Most notable is the juxtaposition of the Movie and Series, and to the delight of fans the introduction of Duncan MacLeod to the big screen. Highlander Fan Central recently caught up with Adrian, who talked about his jump to the big screen with a lot of expectation and a little trepidation. “It was kind of fun, kind of difficult and kind of fearful, all in one,” Adrian explains. “It was a challenge to see if he could make it to the big screen. He stands up on the big screen.”


And Adrian admits he was sort of surprised at the enduring popularity of the character that he brought to the Series. “When I first took Highlander on, I thought it was a fabulous idea, I thought it was actually great, so I thought it had the chance to be very successful. It depended on what the content was and it brought a certain amount of philosophy with it. What I got out of the first film, the best part for me, the part I’ll always remember, was the beach scene with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, when he’s talking to him about feeling the stag, and the idea of what Immortality allowed you to feel and sense. I thought if the Series had that type of bent to it, it would have a very interesting following, but it went on to be something even bigger than that and I’m happy about that.”


 And Adrian did bring a whole new dimension to the Highlander genre, introducing a character with incredible depth and understanding. Duncan MacLeod, so much more so than Connor MacLeod before him, forced us to ask truths about ourselves, about the nature of life and living, about the quality of friendship and honor, and most of all, that no matter how well we live our lives, there are times when the difference between black and white becomes very, very gray. Such a role requires someone of similar depth to play that kind of character successfully, and Adrian Paul proved he was more than up to the challenge. Not only did he successfully bring the 400-year-old Immortal Duncan to life, but he also lent him a certain sophisticated strength and dignity that fans have come to know well and remember. The other essential element that Adrian Paul brings to his work comes from his physical background in sports such as soccer and rugby, dancing, and most notably as someone who has a 12-year background in martial arts. It’s much of that quality that further defines the character of Duncan MacLeod and makes him infinitely more believable, not only as an Immortal but as one who has made it so far.

In talking about Endgame, and the introduction of even more action and martial arts, we spoke about the stunt work. Adrian spoke frankly about his part of it. “I did all the fight scenes myself, but as far as falling and getting crushed by motorbikes, that kind of stuff, I leave that kind of stuff to the professionals. But all the fight scenes, yeah, that’s what I’ve always done and it’s part and parcel of what I enjoyed about doing on the Series, and what I wanted to be able to on the screen and bring something better on the big screen than what I’ve done on the Series before. It was a challenge for me to do that and I kind of enjoyed doing it too, but it was a lot of work.”

But, as with all action sequences, there are the bumps and bruises that go along with them. Adrian had mentioned the cuts and scrapes a few times during his filming of the Series, and he’s had more than his fair share of them. It was no different for Endgame.

“I still have the scar on my left hand from a sword slice. Bruce (Payne) got me once, and Christophe caught me with a head butt in one scene, and I caught him in the eye. But you know, when you’re dealing with metal and waving objects, you have to have timing, and it has to be choreographed correctly and it has to be done over and over again. That way, once you start filming, you don’t have mistakes, or less mistakes in combat, which is when they happen.”

Working for six seasons and 117 episodes with sword in hand during the Series, Adrian Paul knows well the dangers of too little time spent in rehearsal. On the Endgame set, there was a different set of dynamics that came together making it difficult to always be “on the mark.”

“On the film, I personally had 5 or 6 fights to do. The problem was to make sure that the style was very discernable, that there was a difference in every single fight that we did. But the problem, then, became actually shooting it, because with the shooting schedule being constantly in flux while we were shooting in Romania, you couldn’t really hone in to one particular fight and know that you would do that fight the following week or the following few days. It would suddenly change to something else, and you would have to get that ready and that was really hard to do because you really want to concentrate on the fight you’ve got on hand.”

  And as many people know, shooting in Romania was difficult at best. There were many obstacles to be overcome there, including language and the technical expertise of the people hired to work there. Also significant was the weight of burden that the people who lived there carried, having just coming out of a long dictatorship by Nicolai Caucescu. This was their first attempt at a free society. Adrian talked about the situation there quite emotionally at the last Gathering convention and the situation there seemed to effect the whole cast and crew.

“In Romania there wasn’t a lot of room for error. The technical capabilities were not that great, though the people really wanted to do something well, technically sometimes, in the way you work, it’s different, and if you’re not ready, you really run into problems because then you’re constantly playing catch up. That plus the things that happened on the set: Bruce Payne got ill, for instance, so we lost three weeks of his time which we had to shoot in London, so we had to change the choreography for three fights and then we only had eight days to re-shoot them.”


But all in all the cast and crew survived the difficult conditions and long hours to produce what will no doubt be dynamic and totally visually spectacular fight scenes.


Adrian also spoke about his feelings about working with director Doug Aarniokoski, and he gave Doug a lot of credit being able to juggle so many things at once. “I think the final product’s going to be really good.” Then with an obvious grin he adds, “Doug’s got to be one of the most patient guys I’ve met.”


So what about the dynamic of Christopher Lambert and Adrian Paul? Christopher told us recently that they were like two little kids on the set. Adrian laughs. “That’s what I tell him. That’s my line! He’s pinched my line.” Case in point. The type of relationship that they share on screen as well as off is that wonderful synergy that happens when two people are on the same wavelength. “That’s basically what it is, I mean, that is who Christophe and I are, and we have a good chemistry and we enjoy having fun. We enjoy each other’s company and that I think will translate on to what we have on screen. That is one of the strengths that I think is the mainstay of this movie. But yeah, we were like two big kids.” 

And as an extension of the relationship the two had started during the Series premiere, “The Gathering,” the two Highlanders form a bond that Christopher and Adrian term more as a brotherhood. “I think what Endgame will show is that the relationship between the two of them evolves from one of teacher/pupil to one of friends, to one of brothers, to one of Immortals that exist on this planet and that have an equal strength in different qualities. And so that is really where I think you will really see that relationship, that brothers thing. If you think of brothers, they are as good of friends as they are brothers. But they’ve known each other for 350 to 400 years, so it really is something there: a closeness that goes beyond the fact of being distant cousins.”

But being as close as brothers can sometimes be painful, as Christopher found out during a rehearsal for a fight scene with Adrian. “We were rehearsing with wooden swords, and going over a specific thing with Christophe, and I had a particular thrust, a hidden thrust that he needed to parry vertically and he parried it horizontally, which happens sometimes, you know, in the heat of the action and he missed it totally, and I couldn’t see it, so I extended, missed and it bounced off his glasses and hit the point right below his eye.” Ouch! It might be one of the few times Christopher was glad he wore glasses.


But beyond the movie, Adrian has been moving in some exciting directions in his career. It’s all reflected by the advent of his new Celebrity Boulevard Web Site. Savvy and high-tech, it delivers a wonderful combination of sight and sound that is very cutting edge. “I wanted to create a Flash site. And I’ve heard a lot of comments about ‘Why is the Peace site over?’ Well, it’s not over. The PEACE Fan club site will be within the Celebrity Boulevard site. The main site is more for the general public, more for the business, and the business side of Adrian Paul, and I will develop that site more. It’s still under construction, so it’s constantly being improved. I’m doing things all the time on it. The other side of it, the PEACE Fan Club side, I wanted it to be more of an interactive site with the fans and make it more of a private thing, which was what the PEACE Fan Club was intended to be. Since things have changed and grown a lot over the last four years, I wanted to give the people a lot more information, about the inside story of Adrian Paul.”

    So what’s in Adrian Paul’s future? As we look deeply in to the crystal ball, it’s still hard to tell. But Adrian has a lot of plans and is juggling a lot of projects. “I have a lot of different avenues I want to go into. I want to do directing, I want to produce some stuff and I want to continue my acting. I’m trying to create that entity that will bring the different aspects of what I think I can do in this industry. I’m setting those things up now.”

And one of those things is his Hi-Def directing project that he is currently working on. Adrian met the co-founder of the Hi-Def site a short while back and they talked about what Hi-Def was trying to produce. Adrian showed him his reels and they decided that he was the man for the job in the type of movie they were trying to create.

“Hi-Def basically deals with all the new high-definition cameras and 24P, Panasonic, Panavision lenses and Sony cameras that are out there. I’m very excited about being able to do that movie, I’m actually working on the script as we speak, and we’ll see whether or not this comes to pass. We’re still in the process of actually creating it and I may become much more involved in Hi-Def if I continue working with them on this movie.” 

George Lucas is currently using such cameras and techniques to film the latest adventure in a galaxy far, far away, and the H-Def work Adrian does will put him on a technical level that so far has been reserved almost exclusively for Star Wars

Adrian juggles all of these talents, plans, and projects with a simple philosophy of life: “Do what you want to do, follow what you really want to do in life, and don’t get seduced by the natural instincts that we all have.” What is that in a nutshell? Adrian says it plainly. “People don’t tend to judge you when you’re doing well, they tend to judge you when you are down. And that’s when you find out who you really are as a person. I believe that there is this Karma in life, that what you put out comes back to you in kind.”

And he has a great story that reflects that philosophy coming up in a future AP Moment, which he says he will be updating once a month. That’s very welcome news for Adrian Paul fans who love listening to his insightful comments and views. Adrian is definitely “one of a kind,” possessing intelligence, wisdom and talent.


So look for Adrian and his friends this Friday, September 1, in Endgame, and keep an eye out for him in the future. From what I can see from this vantage point, the future looks very bright.


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Look For Adrian's new savvy, high-tech Flash web site at Celebrity Boulevard 


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