There are a lot of reasons why Owen Teale loves being an actor, but the stunt work might just be at the top of the list.
The Game of Thrones star and veteran Welsh actor plays a witch in A Discovery Of Witches, which just dropped its second season on Binge, and with that role comes some impressive magical stunts.
Teale, 59, portrays the skilful Peter Knox in the Sky series, starring alongside Australian actress Teresa Palmer, whose character Diana Bishop is also a witch.
The pair are at odds from the get-go, with Peter – who has a seat on the Congregation that represents witches – wanting to wipe out vampires, while Diana is in love with one, Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode).
Their disagreements lead to some pretty epic sorcery-style showdowns, with Teale telling news.com.au how it’s achieved behind the scenes.
He said one of the episodes in the upcoming third season – which is still being filmed – features some of his most extreme stunt work yet.
“I won’t give much away but Peter tries to bully her (Diana), and she’s a very driven character, she is extremely angry, and this manifests with witch wind and me being blown across the room about 120 feet and landing in a heap of chairs which all fly through the air,” he said.
“They had a stunt man for me and I said, ‘No I’ll do it.’
“It’s a lot of harness work, and they’re putting incredibly powerful wind machines at close range, and then they pull the wires and you’re Peter Pan. It was awesome.
“I think I ended up doing three-quarters of that stunt.”
Thankfully Teale didn’t suffer any major injuries, but said he has been bruised in the past.
“When I was younger I couldn’t resist (doing stunts) and you learn along the way, this is stupid,” he laughed.
Fans of the show will know Peter is an intense character, and will stop at nothing to get his hands on the mysterious book Ashmore 782 – which only Diana has possession over.
Witches think the book contains the first ever spells that detail how vampires were created – meaning they could potentially undo it and wipe out the species entirely.
As for how he taps into such extremity, Teale said all he needs to do is turn on the news.
“You do look at modern life, there’s a lot of it around at the moment with the terrible scenes in America … How you can incite people to believe things by not telling them the whole truth and playing on emotions,” he said.
“That’s your job as an actor. Look around, find it, get it and make it into a concentrated essence and let that burn within you.”
While Teale is no stranger to the biz, and is particularly revered in theatre having won a Tony award for Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1997 for his performance in A Doll’s House, he is perhaps best recognised for his work on Game of Thrones.
Teale played Castle Black master-at-Arms Alliser Thorne from the first season until his death in season 6, which in the world of Westeros would be considered a long and prosperous life.
His character was responsible for the most shocking TV death in history, after helping kill Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in the fifth season.
A Discovery Of Witches S1 and S2 are now streaming on BINGE + every season of Game of Thrones. Sign up for a 14-day free trial at binge.com.au
As we know now, Snow did rise from the dead and returned in season six. Teale said that particular period on set was madness as producers tried desperately to keep the plot twist a secret.
“We would hear people were employing drones … We would want to go get food and be told, ‘Can you not … Can you just stay at the hotel?’” he said.
“And just when you think ‘Oh it’s fine I’ve never given my number to a journalist before’, you get calls from The Times, and it was just one after the other.
“And they would say, ‘What’s it like to work with Kit Harington?’ and ‘When are you going to see Kit next?’ And you just start making things up. You fall into the game of it. It was really funny.”
As well as promoting the second season of A Discovery Of Witches, Teale is eagerly anticipating the release of his new movie Dream Horse, which stars Damian Lewis and Aussie actress Toni Collette.
He also can’t wait to come back to Australia.
“I just love it there. I had the best time there. Say hello for me.”
A Discovery Of Witches seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Binge