Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

There Are So Many Things in Beowulf People Still Relate To. You Might Not Have Heard of Kieran Bew Yet, but You're about to. the Shaggy-Haired Actor Is the Star of ITV's New 12-Part Mythical Action Drama, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. He Tells ELLA WALKER about Writing Rubbish Poetry, Working with William Hurt and Breaking Ribs

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

There Are So Many Things in Beowulf People Still Relate To. You Might Not Have Heard of Kieran Bew Yet, but You're about to. the Shaggy-Haired Actor Is the Star of ITV's New 12-Part Mythical Action Drama, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands. He Tells ELLA WALKER about Writing Rubbish Poetry, Working with William Hurt and Breaking Ribs

Article excerpt

tomorrow at 7pm.

What first attracted you to Beowulf? It sounds epic. IT WAS the promise of a long, exciting adventure saga with horses and tribes and swords and it was connected to such a beautiful period of our history, of poetry, that I was familiar with, but they had brought in all of these new ideas.

I mean, what's not to be excited about there? It's like being an eightyear-old all the time during filming!

Why do you think Beowulf still strikes a chord with people? THERE are so many things in the poem that people can relate to, whether it's just the joy of listening to an arrogant hero state what he's going to do and then go and do it.

Or the more nuanced thing that it's fatalistic, it's a message about life or the thing that you assume will kill you eventually. I think it relates to people because life is tricky and it's a journey and there are challenges that you have to overcome.

Plus, it inspired almost every single story in the broadly termed 'fantasy' genre.

Are you a big fantasy fan? I LOVE Lord Of The Rings and Game Of Thrones. I fell in love with Joanna Crombie, who writes what they call "Grimdark". But I also love sci-fi and Philip K Dick. These writers inspired so much of the cinema that we grew up watching - whether it's Blade Runner, Minority Report or Willow. I'm just a sucker for a great story.

There's lots of combat scenes in the show. Did you get any injuries? I GOT injured a lot. I broke about three ribs in the second week, so I took a lot of painkillers.

The other thing that happened was that I hit myself in the eye with a rubber axe, and, yeah, it did bounce off.

I was hitting this monster, and the monster was being played by a very confident stuntman, and he had on a protective back plate. So as I ran past him, I hit him on the back and the rubber thing bounced off his back plate and hit me straight in the eye. I think I shouted for an ice pack before I'd even hit the ground!

Did you have to grow your hair specifically to play Beowulf? I DID, and my beard, which I loved growing. I'd much rather not shave!

Will you do an 'Emma Watson' and cut it all off when the series ends? …

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