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Tom Karol Interview for 25th anniversary documentary

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:10 pm
by JamesA
Tom will be giving an interview for the 25th anniversary documentary this coming Thursday (19th).

If you have any questions that you would like to be asked, please post them here in this thread and I will consider them for Tom to answer. They can be anything regarding the characters he played, namely Olaf, Bumptious and Mrs Grimwold.

Questions are to be posted no later than Wednesday evening.

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:15 pm
by shadow6162
Was it hard to get the right accent for Olaf?

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:08 pm
by Canadanne
You could ask whether he also did the voice of the raven, as some of us believe - would be nice to know for sure, one way or the other!

Obvious question - which was his favourite character to play, and why?

How the heck did he end up playing Mrs Grimwold, anyway?

Any particular scenes he remembers fondly, or funny incidents?

Which actors did he like to hang out with? (I wonder how he felt about the big cast reshuffle between Series 2 and 3.) Did he stay in touch with anyone from the show? Maybe ask him about Guy and John, though I don't recall him having any scenes with them.

Did he see any of Knightmare after he left?

Anything he can tell us about TimeGate, as he was in the pilot trailer thing?

Is he still acting?

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:35 pm
by Pooka
In his opinion, did Mrs. Grimwold survive the apparent attack by Festus at the end of the series?

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:06 pm
by Drassil
Well done again, James. I look forward to this one very much. Questions:

Your costumes had all sorts of accessories: fake nose, fake facial hair, Viking helmet. Were any of these a problem to wear?

Hugo Myatt once named Festus as his favourite character, and "Shuddup, Festus!" must be one of the best-loved Knightmare catchphrases. How was Festus portrayed? Were you told what Festus 'really' looked like, or was it left to your imagination? (We did learn that Festus had two heads - down from three, as one had been been bitten off by Mr. Grimwold - and five tails.)

Although many of us were too young to pick up on all of Knightmare's political satire at the time, it's obvious now that Bumptious the miner owes something to Arthur Scargill. How much input did you have into the satire?

The Grimwolds were still being mentioned on Knightmare three years after Mr. & Mrs. Grimwold were last seen. If you'd been invited to return for a cameo, would you have wanted to?

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:00 pm
by JamesA
Thanks everyone for all the questions, it was an absolute pleasure to interview Tom yesterday. You may be interested to know that his surname is pronounced "Carol" but is in fact the Polish for Charles, seeing as both his parents were Polish.

Anyhow, here are the responses to those that I was able to ask:

Who was your favourite character to play, and why?
I think Mrs Grimwold because that gave me the best opportunities to play with. I remember wearing the nose in the summer where it was so hot, and so it didn’t fit properly. But when I wore the nose, I couldn’t help but talk like Mrs Grimwold!

Any particular scenes or funny incidents you remember fondly?
The one I remember very fondly was where it had come to the end of the day and they needed 30 or 40 extra seconds of footage, so off camera you had Mrs Grimwold saying “Festus, stop that barking!” and she goes off, where you soon heard “Festus, get off!” followed by “Woof! Woof! Woof!” and a few seconds later you’d hear “Cut!” followed by a rapturous applause. It certainly amused me.

Did you voice the raven?
Yes I did, I forgot about that. Now that you’ve reminded me, ravens are keepers of time in Greek mythology, and Tim had bought in this whole element of time where I suggested to him “If you want this raven, it should be speaking” and then suddenly this voice came out. When they wanted to use time, they’d show the raven and the raven spoke or the kids would have to speak to the raven, so that was fun as well. Its great using your own voice, especially when it works!

Your costumes had all sorts of accessories: fake nose, fake facial hair, Viking helmet. Were any of these a problem to wear?
The only one was the nose, really. The helmet was ok but surprisingly heavy, but the nose was always the one where I was wondering if it would come off.

Was it hard to get the right accent for Olaf?
Not really, no. Because as soon as you put the helmet on you immediately think about being a Viking. There was definitely an element of the Swedish chef from The Muppets in there, so that came into it a bit. As long as everyone believed in it that was the most important thing.

Although many of us were too young to pick up on all of Knightmare’s political satire at the time, it’s obvious now that Bumptious the miner owes something to Arthur Scargill. How much input did you have into the satire?
I didn’t you know – I never thought of it as that really. The miner’s strike must still have been fresh in people’s memories. Compared to Scargill’s Yorkshire accent, the voice for Bumptious was very Lancashire as I spent three years there working with a theatre company where one of the shows we did was called “The Jam Butty Show” which was what miners would take down the pit for their lunch. When I was given the part of Bumptious it was more to do with the rules and regulations – as the name suggests, “I’m in charge – you do as you’re told”.

How did you end up playing Mrs Grimwold?
The clue is in the name, because you’re not going to be happy with a name like Grimwold, are you? As soon as the costume and wig came on, that was it, you were away. You had to be old didn’t you, Grimwold – Grim and Old! You got the name and that’s it, it was in the script – Tim wrote very well and that’s the way he wanted it done.

Hugo Myatt once named Festus as his favourite character, and “Shaddup, Festus!” must be one of the best-loved Knightmare catchphrases. How was Festus portrayed? Were you told what Festus ‘really’ looked like, or was it left to your imagination?
It was very much left to mine and the viewers’ imagination. I saw him as a great big wolfhound actually, it was a bit like ‘Er indoors in Minder – we never saw ‘Er indoors did we, so we never saw Festus. I must admit I had never thought of it as the favourite part of the series so that is indeed a compliment. Thank you Hugo!

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:07 pm
by shadow6162
Wow, I never knew the nose would be a problem ;D

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:42 pm
by Canadanne
Another great interview, some interesting info in this one! :)

Re: Tom Karol Interview

Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:45 pm
by SpectralScorpion
Ach, I've been away since Sunday so I didn't know this was happening! Damn, would have loved to have posed a question. Oh well, sod's law. ;D