‘Knightfall’ – Cullen fascinated by the Knights Templar

Just another grueling day on the ‘Knightfall’ set

Tom Cullen of ‘Knightfall’ Monday on History

Q: In history books, it seems there’s a big divergence of opinion about the Knights Templar. Some people think they were a horrible cult and were persecuted; others think they were noble. What is your take?

A: I think they’re all of those things … . I think the Knights Templar would never have described themselves as anything other than trying to do the right thing, and living by a very strict code, which revolves around faith. And so from our point of view, we’re trying to get inside the Templars. We’re inside their heads, and so in our show they are absolutely the heroes, and so I’m kind of leaning on that side of things. They’re a fascinating, very clandestine order so we don’t really know a huge amount about them, but what we do know we’ve put into this show, and I hope what’ll happen is people will watch it and they’ll make up their own minds.

Q: How much physical training was there for you?

A: We have to do a lot of training to get physically prepared for the show, because I work about between 12 and 15 hours a day, and it’s all physical. I think in total in the entire show, I think I did four days interior. Everything else was exterior. So you’re exposed to all elements — rain, cold — and in Prague, the Czech Republic, it goes from boiling heat to freezing cold … .

We have a phrase, which is, “Just another day on ‘Knightfall,’ ” which is like we’ll be fighting and jumping over fire or falling off a horse or leaping off a castle or just getting punched continually in the face. … And then there’s also the side of things that you have to look like you’ve been training for six hours a day for the whole of your life, which is what the Templars used to do. So, there’s a lot of chicken and a lot of broccoli. We have a gym on set, and everyone tries to look as good as possible. Some people succeed more than others but, yeah, it’s grueling, and we finished the show in December and I’m only just starting to feel normal again after the exhaustion of the show

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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