http://viddler.com/v/ Peter Wingfield's Methos was probably the most enigmatic and fascinating character in the Highlander TV series. So it's awesome that Wingfield has taken the time to answer 11 of your most pressing Highlander questions.
We posted a call for questions a while ago, and at the time we were told that Wingfield would probably answer five of those questions. But instead, he managed to find the time to answer 11 of them — and his answers are thoughtful and revealing. If you had any doubt that Wingfield has put a lot of thought into this character, these answers will dispel it once and for all.
UPDATE: io9 commenter Ruthless (If you let me) has gone to the trouble of transcribing all of his answers, so I've added the text below. Thanks Kyle!
As for the prizes that go along with having the best question for Peter Wingfield, we've just been told that the replica katana is going to Andrew Kerrigan, while the Highlander season one Blu-ray set is going to Serenada. Please send me your U.S. mailing addresses so you can receive your prizes, guys!
So here are Wingfield's answers to your questions!
If Highlander had continued, where would you have wanted the story of Methos to go? (CorwinAmber)
There was an idea, a theme, that ran through Methuselah's Gift that I thought was kind of cool... where Methos was doing something and neither Amanda nor Duncan really could figure out what was happening. There was this sense that Methos was planning something bad. I think that might have been cool as a direction if the series had continued, of really feeling the impending approach of the final showdown; that it really felt like the big final battle was close and that Methos had disappeared or you kept getting little snippets, glimpses, of where he was and you just didn't know what he was doing. You didn't know if he was planning destruction, or planning some kind of support of Duncan. I think that might have been a cool line to spread over a several episode arc if the show had continued... 'cause you never knew where you were with Methos, and I kinda like that.
When in the character development did Methos become a Horseman? I mean, when did he go from bookish opportunistic survivor to slaughterer of hundreds or thousands, and how did it change how you played the current day character? (Serenada)
So far as I was concerned, the idea that Methos was one of the Four Horseman came out of nowhere. There was no preamble to it, nobody suggested it was coming, and then suddenly there it was in the script. Presumably the writers had been thinking about that, talking about that for some time. It would have been picked up from things I was doing in episodes, that had an edge, a darkness. Absolutely it infuses every choice that you make after the fact. I mean every episode that followed comes a Horseman in Revelation 6:8 carried with it the weight of the fact that Methos had been that guy. There is no way around that, that's a big deal. I was Death. That's a big deal.
There always seemed to be a theological undercurrent to the series and post-series films, especially with Endgame. Do you see Methos as the agnostic in a crowd of belief-driven Immortals? He always seemed to take Immortality and the "higher purpose" idea with a grain of salt. (Burke)
I always thought Methos was an optimist and that fought inside him with the fact that he was also a pragmatist, a realist. I think in terms of belief in a greater power, a spiritual power, I think he wanted desperately to believe that there was something greater than us here on Earth. I think that his experience suggested to him that there was nothing. And that fight is always there inside him, that struggle. I think the same is true about love, I think that Methos desperately wanted to believe in love. In spite of generations and generations of watching what appeared to be love wither and die. I think still he carries that hope, that joy, that childlike spirit that wants to believe in magic.
The Watchers always claimed that Methos had no memory of his pre-immortal life due to his incredible age; did you or the writers ever try and flesh out a background of how he gained his immortality? Or better yet, how he managed to not become raving mad over the millenia? (Ecothyrus)
Well if by the writers and I, you could superimpose David Brammowitz and I, yeah absolutely we talked about Methos' first death. It's on a little video where David and I sit on a couch, and Peter Davis of Davis Panzer fame at his Malibu beach residence, and we kind of rap onwhat might have Methos first experience of death. It's a cheeky little number, worth a listen.
What did you hope to bring to the two Highlander movies and was working on either of them satisfying? (ChrisPiers)
Do you want the honest answer to that or do you want the political answer? What did I hope to bring? I hope to bring the same as to the TV series, I hope to bring that fabulous character to the big screen. What did I hope the movie would bring to me? An opportunity to do that. Were either of them satisfying? That's very tough, very tough. You've seen the movies, what do you think?
What is a side of Methos you would have liked to been able to portray more? (Kimbo01)
I'd really have liked to explored the darkness in Methos more. That's really interesting territory. That's where the essence of a person is, the struggles they have within themselves. The struggle between selfish desires and altruistic desires. The struggle to be good when it is easier to do evil. That's always where the interesting territory is, so I would have liked to have spent more time there.
Did portraying a character such as Methos give you any new insights into what it means to be good or evil? He seems to be a character who is the oldest immortal but also the most morally flexible. (MattTheManMurray)
I think whenever you play a character and you really commit to it you really explore what that character has been through, it always changes you. It changes the person that you are. Certainly an exploration like that, the darkness that we have inside us, I am not the same person that I was before I went to that place. I felt that was Methos' story, he has been to the dark place, he knows the darkness is still inside him. That makes you makes you understand people better, it makes you more forgiving I think, more accepting.
Do you feel that there were any missed opportunities with regards to Methos? Where do you feel the show could, or should, have allowed the character to progress to in your opinion? (ShaunoMacX)
You know I think the big opportunity that was missed was in extending the series into something quite different but with still the Highlander themes in it. Where it wasn't about a single Highlander. It was about immortality as a broader concept. It was so easy to see how that could have been done with Methos and Joe as the lynchpin holding the show together. That Methos telling stories to Joe, telling shows from his past, or from people that he knew, or from stories that he heard to the Watcher, to the guy that chronicles all this stuff. It seemed like a no brainer to take the show that way.
How awesome was it to steal Duncan's barge? (KashmirKnitter)
TOTALLY AWESOME! *laughs*
Is there anything that you called upon to help you the complex character that is the 5000 year old Methos? Particularly in Methusaleh's gift, when you confront Amanda about the fragility of mortality. As in my opinion that was a scene of great emotional intensity and shows the true character of Methos. (AndrewKerrigan)
I know Sir Ben Kingsley says he never uses his close relationships, his real emotional feelings to dredge for emotions when playing a character. I think most actors do, you go to what you know, you go to yourself. You imagine situations where people close to you are in peril, or you use actual situations where you have known people in peril or been in peril yourself. So yeah, In Methusaleh's Gift, there is some very personal stuff in there. Am I going to tell you what it is? No, I'm not. *laughs*
How did Methos become one of the four horsemen? Was he willing or was he forced? (Mckplk)
I think he was forced in the sense that we are all forced by our circumstance. I think it is not a place he would have gone of his own volition, or have gone had there been a better choice. I think the circumstances he was in, the world the he lived in that period, and the power of personality of Chronos, that is what drove him to that place. Drove him through all those experiences, the dark and the light.
And WIngfield concludes the session with a surprising invitation!