He’s suave, charming, and plays the brash American Ethan Chandler in Penny Dreadful, a gothic television series that reprises some of the most popular characters from horror fiction. And he’s loving it. Here’s John Hartnett, talking about his experience with the second season of the television drama.
How are we introduced to Ethan in Penny Dreadful?
Ethan, at the beginning of the show, is working in a wild west show and is travelling through Europe as a sharpshooter, which is the star of the show. And he is enjoying himself in a way. All of the characters in this piece have secrets and Ethan definitely has his as well. So where we meet him is not necessarily who he becomes.
How are the characters from classic horror stories woven into the story?
Initially, it might be a hook that brings people in, but what’s really going to keep people interested in the show is the drama and the characters are all played in a way that is probably pretty new to people’s understanding of these characters.
Why do people enjoy horror so much?
It’s just elemental. We’re drawn to these sort of dramatic feelings. We love to be frightened, but we also like characters that remind us of our own sort of alienation.
What is it like working with Timothy Dalton?
I loved him. He is one of the most sardonic human beings on the planet. He has always got a quip and it’s done in such a dry way. He’s hilarious!
And what about Eva Green? We’ve been doing a lot of scenes with a lot of meaningful looks, but we haven’t really loosened up into the intimate scenes yet. I think that will come further down the line. She has been working more with other people, but I love being around her.
What do you enjoy most about working on series television?
I enjoy the fact that it’s this ongoing sort of vessel that you’re attached to and you just have to kind of hold on, hang on and enjoy the ride. Also, I really enjoy the fact that you don’t know where the character is going to go specifically.
Airs on October 30 and 31, back to back from midnight to 5 am. On AXN