One of the returning characters in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is Peter, the eldest of the Pevensie kids, as played by William Moseley, and in the second installment, we see him mature and start to grow into the king that we briefly saw at the end of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. On our first day at the Usti location where they’re shooting most of the battle scenes, ComingSoon.net and a group of journalists were pulled aside to talk to the young actor, who had been learning a lot of new skills for the sequel.
ComingSoon.net: We heard you did some horse stunts. William Mosely: Yeah, we did some horse stunts. What did I do recently? Well, I did the biggest horse stunt I’ve ever done, which was I had to actually, it sounds pretty crazy, but I basically had to chase a running horse, I had to grab onto the saddle, I had to kick a guy while the horse was running and I had to jump onto the back of the horse, and carry on going…all in a courtyard at four in the morning, it was raining.
CS: Did you do that yourself? Moseley: Yeah, I did that myself. It was easy. (laughs) It’s funny when you do stunts like that, because you know you can do it, and if you’re not quite getting it, then…I don’t know, you want to do it again and again and again, but you don’t really realize how dangerous it is at the time, until you look back and go, “Oh, at take 7, I probably should have taken a break.”
CS: How many takes did you do? Moseley: Seven. That’s all I was allowed. I wanted to do eight, but seven was all I was allowed. Two were perfect, five I was kind of like, holding on for dear life a couple of times.
CS: Were there any wires involved? Moseley: No wires involved, no. It was good, though. It was really fun. They must have a lot of faith in me.
CS: Are you ready for the big fight with King Miraz? Moseley: The fight? You know, last week I was really worried about it, because I hadn’t really have much chance to train for it. Like I said, they had to have quite a lot of faith in me with these stunts, so they think, “Oh, he doesn’t really need the training,” but it’s an over-one-hundred beat fight, so I’m sort of thinking, “I think I might need a bit more training than this,” and they’re like “No, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.” We were meant to shoot it last Wednesday, and it’s Monday today, so I was really lucky that weather hasn’t been so good. Someone must be smiling down from up there to give me a few more days practice.
CS: Do you actually practice with Sergio, the actor that plays Miraz? Moseley: Yep, I fight against him, but mostly, what’s really cool is the stunt coordinator’s going to be doubling Miraz. The stunt coordinator and I have a really good connection and a good understanding, like he’s taught me all of everything I know, so it’s going to be a good one-on-one.
CS: Did he do that on the first movie as well? Moseley: Same from the first one, yep. I’ve been really lucky to fight him.
CS: What is the biggest difference in this movie from the last one then? The horse thing, obviously, but what are some of the biggest things you’ve had to learn for this movie? Moseley: Yeah, I think the sheer size of the thing has been…and I did this last time. The size of it blew me away, but again, it’s gone a level up, I think, in every single department, every level, we’ve had to take it up a notch, and that goes through costumes, through to the stunts. I think my fight last time was about 40 beats with the White Witch, and this is going to be over a hundred, so it’ll probably be three times the length. And acting-wise, it’s been a lot tougher. I’ve had a lot more emotional moments. My character’s had a lot…it’s not much different from myself. He has the arrogance that I have, and he has the kind of anger. It’s good that it’s going to test me, and everyone’s had to sweat blood and tears to get this film made, but it’s only films that are good are the ones where you have to sweat blood and tears to really force them out.
CS: How have you been getting along with Ben Barnes, who plays Prince Caspian? Moseley: Yeah, we get along really well. It’s funny, he’s a good guy. It’s interesting, though. I remember the first time I came to set and I saw Ben and we would go to rehearse and I saw him playing with Georgie, who plays Lucy, the same way I play with Georgie. It was really weird for a second, I was like “What the hell?” It was kind of like deja vu, you know?
CS: Is Ben younger than you? Moseley: He’s older, he’s about 25. He’s pretty old. (laughter)
CS: How is their relationship different in the movie than it is in the book? In the book, it seems like they get along, but in the movie it sounds like they have a rivalry. Moseley: I think it’s interesting that they played on that rivalry, because…I don’t know, I think that’s really the way it would be in real life. Peter’s got his own issues to deal with, and Caspian’s got his own issues to deal with, and when neither is willing to compromise there’s bound to be friction. That’s really what happens. And it’s a lot about humility. I think they both have to learn a certain humility, a certain… and that’s really what a great King needs is to be humble, to listen to his people, to be willing to compromise, and they start off as these sort of angry teenagers, and become kings at the end, and Peter passes on his sword and, I don’t know, Narnian strength on to Caspian. But it is interesting, I agree, I think it’s a really good thing that they’ve done that.
CS: Since Peter isn’t in the next book, this must be your last movie, so do you still have a lot to shoot? Moseley: You know, I really don’t know. Right now, we’re looking at gray skies and we were meant to have blue skies, so pretty much from what I can tell, it doesn’t seem too positive, but we’re doing really well actually. We’re getting through a lot of stuff. On Friday, we got through the entire scene in the day – it went really well, and it did seem pretty good. What I do think has been helping everybody, because like I said, I think the pressure has been on. I think the pressure has been on to make this really amazing vision of Andrew’s [Adamson], so they’re sort of putting music on set, and I think that really helps everybody. I think that really gets everybody going. Skandar [Keynes] and I get to choose what kind of music we have, so he has his iPod and I have mine and we sometimes have a bit of a rivalry.
CS: You’re not talking soundtrack type music, though. Moseley: Yeah, our own music. Like, there was some Bob Dylan playing on Friday, and Skandar was playing some Jimi Hendrix, and I think I was playing some Jackson Brown, and the lighting guy, because the speaker was right there, the lighting guy came and turned it right at Andrew, just turned it when I had Jackson Brown on, and Andrew just turned “Thriller” just to get his own back.
CS: And what are you filming to go along with your musical choices? Moseley: I don’t know. It depends really, like, for instance, the fight with Miraz, we might have “Rocky” playing, something like that. (laughter) It’s that kind of thing, or it’s like, a nice relaxing scene, like Lucy is walking or something, you might have, I don’t know, Mozart. I don’t know what they’d be playing, but it keeps a light atmosphere on set and reminds us that we’re here to have fun. We’re not here just to slave our guts out all the time.
CS: Did you feel more prepared for the second movie than you did for the first one? Moseley: I really did. I think the first one was really a big shock to the system, but now I feel very much in myself and sort of confident and I think everybody’s really taken on their roles. Like I said, we were starting from nowhere last time, and this time we’re starting from already a level from which we can work on from, if that makes sense. That’s been helpful.
CS: How long have you been out here? You started shooting here in February or March? Have you been here the whole time, or do you go back home? Moseley: Every now and again, I do. I mean, it’s nice to go back home. My dad was here on Friday, which was… Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and yesterday he had to go back home, but it’s hard, you know, because you’re really tired by the weekend, you know, you’ve really been giving everything you’ve got, every bit of energy you’ve been putting into the film, and so, by the weekend, you want to just lie in bed and just maybe go to the gym, watch a film or something. But I try to speak to my family a lot.
CS: Can you relate more to the character by going back to real life, and then coming back to the world of Narnia? Moseley: Yep, completely. I mean, I have to go back to school myself after all of this, and I was a year older than everybody else, so I was kind of like that kid that got kicked behind, who was a bit thick, who did an extra year at school. I felt a bit like that, and I had to go back and I had to be with people my age and not be with people on a film set and be chauffeured around, driven everywhere, and so there’s obviously a lot of things I can relate to. Also, I think, being away from home makes a big difference. You know, when you live away…I lived away from home for a while, and I think, you try to do things for yourself, like Peter tries a lot of things for himself. He doesn’t really… he’s not willing to listen to people, but then you realize your mother or your father can have a really, your family can have a really important input on your personal life. All of it relates.
CS: Can you talk about some of the preparation Andrew had you do for this one? Moseley: Actually, Andrew sat down with me before the film started, and said to me, “This film is going to be a lot more of an acting role for you,” and I realized that from reading the script, and I said, “Well, I want to go to New York, and I want to work with a coach out there,” and they were really willing to support that, so they helped me find a great coach out there — Sheila Gray, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of her, she’s really good. I worked with her for three-and-a-half months. And it was kind of like an intensive, it was very, very high intensity. I was working all the time, but by the time I got to New Zealand after working, doing all the time doing read-through and screen test – they were screen testing some other Caspians – I felt really confident and really good. They all saw the difference, and they saw how much it’s changed me and I’m so glad I did it now.
CS: Did any of the other cast members do the same thing? Moseley: Well, they’ve all been in school. That’s the thing. I think Anna’s been keeping up with her coaching, but I’m lucky I don’t have school anymore. I didn’t opt to go to university, so I’m really lucky that I had the opportunity.
CS: How do you like filming here in the Czech Republic? Moseley: You know, I really like it. I think I’m starting to warm to the Czech people a little more, or they’re starting to warm to me, and I really like Prague, like I was saying, and I don’t know, I think it’s the right place to shoot. We’ve been to these amazing locations, these amazing rocks, these amazing formations, the battle turf looks great, and you know, there was a lot of talk about where they were going to shoot, and I think the Czech Republic was a good choice.
CS: Do you have a favorite set or location? Moseley: That’s a good question. I really like the stone table, I don’t know if you’ve seen that yet.
CS: It’s gone already. We saw where it used to be. Moseley: So cool. This huge, huge room, stone carved out. The stone table was my favorite.
CS: If you knew what the writing means around the top of the cavern, would you tell us? Moseley: No. (laughter) It probably means, “Please give us sun. Please, please, please, give us sun.” (laughter)
CS: What’s next for you after you finished the movie? Will you be doing the rounds in L.A. soon? Moseley: Well, L.A. seems a bit scary to be honest, I think it’s really scary. I’d probably only go to L.A. for a month or two, and just work out there for a bit. But I could not emigrate to L.A. right now, I mean, I’d quite like to be in England for a bit, because I spent time in New York, and I’d quite like to be in London, because I don’t actually live in London. I live in the countryside, so London would be cool. But I managed to finish school in between the two films, get on top of my acting, which was an important thing, and now it’s just looking forward to what’s going to come, I don’t know.
CS: Maybe theater? Moseley: Yeah, I would love to do theater. I would really love theater. I would love to do Shakespeare, that would be amazing. You know, it’s whatever really comes my way. I think you really have to look at the acting world in a fatalistic way, because some things are meant to happen, some things aren’t meant to happen, and you can audition a hundred times and not get anything, and then one thing can pop up and that’s the perfect thing, so I’m interested in anything right now.
CS: What was it like reuniting with the other members of the cast? Moseley: It’s really nice, actually. It’s funny, we just slip into our dynamics. We just all have our little place. We all just slot in there, and it’s really nice. I think we’ve all got a bit older now, so we can all have more of an adult relationship. We can talk to each other much more, like Skandar hates me saying this, but I can talk to him about girls and stuff like that, and I can talk to Georgie. Georgie and I can actually talk about clothes (laughter) and music, we talk a lot about music. Anna and I, we have a really good relationship as well. We each talk about our families, and our personal lives. All of them, like I said, it’s like we’ve taken the next step up now. We’re a really tight unit, pretty formidable four.
CS: Do you see them in between shooting? You must live all over England? Moseley: Yeah, I mean, because we did publicity and every time we had a big DVD release or something like that. We all went to Japan together, so we did get to spend some time together. It’s difficult to get all four of us together. It’s easier if I just go to one or the other person’s house, or see them in London or something.
CS: Do you find you are paralleling your character? Do you feel like the leader of the group? Moseley: Yeah, I mean, I think I definitely do. I mean, I said this before, that I’m the oldest in my family, so I’m really the leader as the oldest in my family, then Anna is the oldest in hers, so she’s kind of the leader. Then Skandar is the youngest, so he kind of has that position and Georgie is the youngest as well, and so we all just slot in to our dynamics and it forms at tight unit. But the parallels to our characters, I mean, I really essentially think we’re all just playing ourselves. (laughter) I really do. It’s amazing how similar we are and how much we just draw on our own lives to feel the character. I know I do, and I know Georgie does, and Anna and Skandar are really good, they just sort of, just sort of get in the moment, kind of lost there, but it’s been a good experience so far. I’ll have to tell you at the end of it, we’re only halfway through. (laughter)
You can read our interview with Skandar Keynes, who returns as Peter’s brother Edmund, by clicking here.