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Arjun Gupta (William 'Penny' Adiyodi) and Rick Worthy (Dean Henry Fogg)

          
 

[As the actors are being seated, they casually chat with reporters. Rick converses in Spanish with an Argentinian reporter. I comment that we could all use Google Translate to understand what they are saying, which leads to Arjun telling a story…]

Arjun: Quick story – So I was stuck in Vietnam – I got into a motorcycle accident and I was stuck in a police station in Vietnam. I was in a village in Tamuin and I was in a police station. No one could speak English and I don’t speak Vietnamese so we were literally {assigned} under a WiFi and I was passing my phone back and forth with these guys Google Translating, and that’s how we… 

Rick: That works, pretty effective!

Arjun: … anyway, The Magicians!

Q: What were some of your favorite magical effects?

Arjun: There are two that I’m going to speak to. One is - and they are both about fire because obviously I have a bit of a pyro-technic aspect to myself - in the 6th episode, we had to set this oil on fire and it was so cool. The special effects team came in and they devised a way with chemistry (because science is cool, people, science is cool)…

Rick: …young people.

Arjun: …that we could have colored flames and it was all real, it wasn’t CGI or nothing. It was so beautiful. It was remarkable. So that was one, and then I get to send a magical missile in like the 8th missile. [Motioning with hands] that’s not even how we do it; I forget [how]. We set actual things on fire. That was cool.

Rick: I love when Alice and Quentin are trying to break up the party and then she takes just a beam of light and focuses it and then burns a hole through the door. He comes in and says, “{------}, bitches!” It was cool and it was fun and cute and it was telling us just how powerful Alice is. You’ll see it; it’s coming up.

 Magicians S2 Penny Magicians S2 Dean Fogg

Q: So both of your characters have been through the wringer this last season…

Rick: Yeah, oh yeah, and we’re still alive!

Q: …and now you are out for revenge.

Arjun: That’s interesting. Is it revenge for you [talking to Rick]? Do you think revenge is at play? That’s an interesting point. I never thought about that, because for me it’s always been about survival. At least, that’s for Penny and the kids – we’re being attacked. For me, it’s not about revenge. Is it for you?

Reporter to Rick: The Beast comes in and goes “Ok, all students – Frozen! Oh, by the say, your eyes? I take them out.”

Rick: I think he’s definitely getting pissed off about this beast, Martin Chatwin guy, of course. He wants the problem to go away as quickly as possible. As the episode “39 Times” said [the episode name was actually “39 Graves”], we’ve been through this 39 times. Jane’s –the time loop - it’s the last loop, Jane’s dead, can’t be reset, all of that and he’s really frustrated. There’s has to be a solution to this at some point.  There’s a great scene when the Dean is in the hospital and Jane Chatwin comes in. She’s really kind and says, “Oh Henry…”, and he says, “This is YOUR problem! This is your problem, not mine! You created it, you fix it… You f-ing fix it!” and if I could say “f-ing”, I would have, because that’s… if you know me, that’s…

Arjun: They reserve their F-words for Penny.

Rick: Yeah! They give them all to him.

[Editor's Note: You can stop the video here. Rick has a side-conversation with a reporter for several minutes]

 

Sera Gamble and John McNamara (Executive Producers)

Lev Grossman (Book Author)

 

Sera: Hi! Look, it’s my old friend The Winchester Family Business!

Nightsky: We had to come and support you! Absolutely had to come! [Chitchat with reporters] Can you tease anything about season 2?

Sera: Of course! Fillory; there’s a lot of Fillory in season 2. You will see all of our beautiful cast again, obviously. They’ve been Instagramming from set every single day. But we can’t promise they’ll be in the same form they were in in season 1 because things went very bad for them in the finale. What else? The Beast is still a threat, Reynard is still a threat and if they make it to Castle Whitespire, they have an entire planet to run, which sounds awesome but it’s a difficult job. What else?

John: Centaurs.

Sera: Yes! Talking animals.   

John: …who are also doctors and they’re kind of jerks. They’re kind of stuck on themselves, right?  The Beast is obviously still out there. Reynard is still a threat. We dig deeper into both of those backgrounds and their motivations.

Sera: Ask us something specific. We’ll tell you.

Q: Lev, How are you feeling generally about the interpretations of the book? My understanding is that it is very different in terms of how it is pacing out. They’ve been borrowing things from books 2 and 3 first and then 1. In terms of the trajectory of the plot, how are you feeling about that?

Lev: It’s really fascinating to watch these guys {rif} like crazy into the stuff from the books. A lot of the plot points from the books do make their way onto the screen but often sort of turned around, or with a different meaning. It’s amazing to me both how much of the spirit of the books gets up there on screen and also the crazy stuff these guys think of to do with it. They take it places that I never would have thought to take it.

Q: Do you have a specific scene in mind that when you saw it, was it very close to what you pictured or just a scene that you didn’t think of that you wish you had put into your books?

Lev: That’s a good question. I’m trying to think of something specific. What’s something specific?

Sera: Something you loved?

John: or was just different? Can I just ask you, and you don’t [have to if you don’t want to] answer - when Quentin chased the paper into {the bush} of Brakebills, which was in the book, did that feel like what was in your head?

Lev:   A lot of it was in my head. That sequence…

John: ...and Julia simultaneously (even though that was a little later), simultaneously comes to Brakebills?

Lev: that was an interesting thing. I didn’t really think about Julia’s plotline until the second book. They took it right out of the second book and ran it in parallel with Quentin’s story from the first book, which is a great thing to see. I would have done that in the books if I had thought of it. It took me a whole book to figure out what Julia had to do.   To see those storylines run against each other, actually balance each other and play off each other in really different ways - that was something I didn’t get to do in the books.

John: You did, and you also used the {convolution? revolution?} technique of looping back in time between - and sometimes that can’t work as well in television. It gets confusing, so we - just for clarity’s sake - but that was such a wonderful scene to adapt because it’s written so cinematically. He wants this so badly. He’s chasing the paper and it’s just… maddening, and the way that Mike Cahill shot it, if you remember is - to really have what I think Lev wrote - it’s one shot. When you cross into that alley - It’s a continuous, it’s not - technically what he did was to build part of the alley at the university so that you go gray alley, gray alley, gray alley, leaf, leaf, leaf, flower, flower, flower, holy shit, crap, holy shit – one shot! It took the whole day, and then a bunch of CGI later. I just thought that was one of the scenes I felt was {fun to adapt}. That felt to me like what it was like when I read it, and that doesn’t happen often.  A lot of scenes you’re looking like, ehhhh, for the money we had, it’s good? Rain, or the set fell down or whatever happens, you try to scramble to get it… You know, it’s like there’s no crying in baseball. There’s no stopping in TV.

Lev: I cried I lot. It didn’t stop, but I cried.

Sera: Usually when I’m watching something I’m a part of, I’m seeing everything that’s wrong, but whenever I see the pilot and I see the moment that he goes to Brakebills…,

John: I love that…

Sera: ….my heart lifts because that’s been a fantasy that I’ve loved since I was a kid and it’s one of the things that attracted me to the book, and it was so fun to bring it to life. Then Mike did such a brilliant job at it. Every now and then I sit back down and rewatch the pilot so I can remember where we started and that’s still my favorite one of the whole thing.

John: Yeah, me too.

cast banner Magicians S2 syfy site

Q: South Park did that episode “The Simpsons Already Did It” and I wonder do pre-existing works block things off? Do you have moments where you go, “That’s too Dungeons and Dragons. That’s too Harry Potter. That’s too …” Are there things that are cut off because of other universes, other frameworks?

John: Actually, I think we reuse.

Lev: We think, “That’s not Harry Potter enough!”

Sera and John: Yes!

Lev: I’ve said that before.

John: You did, and you’re right. I think that because the show, because what Lev constructed was a fan of fantasy who doesn’t know he is going to be in a fantasy, you’re in such a meta hall of mirrors that  -  we give each other notes – there was some note on episode 2 in the library, doing the – SPOILER - there’s a scene called “The Anagram” and someone referenced a Harry Potter movie where they did that (whispers, “I hadn’t seen that) so I put the line in having no f-ing idea what this meant. It’s a meta line saying, “Oh, this is just like a scene from the Harry Potter movie, da-de-da”. Figure out that guy’s name.” That’s the stuff that makes the books fun, that make the series a fan experience. I hope we don’t undercut real psychology, real tragedy, real emotion. We can have both. How many shows can do that?

Q: If the show keeps renewing and goes beyond the books, what would you like to include?

John (to Lev): I’d like a 4th book, please!

Sera: Yeah, Lev, what do we do if we run out of books?

Lev: There’s going to be graduate school, post-graduate work.

Sera: Yes!

Lev: They’re already in graduate school.

Sera: They’ll have to do Ph.Ds, Medical Degrees, the Law School.

Lev: They’ll have to do the Doctorates.

John: …the White House

Lev: Elves. There are no elves in the books. You’re going to have to add Elves. I left that for you in case they get in trouble. Elves.

 


Did you watch season 1 of The Magicians? How would you describe it? Are you excited about season 2? What attracted you to the show? What are your favorite aspects of the show? Would you recommend it to other Supernatural fans? 

Episode details confirmed at http://www.syfy.com/themagicians/about

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magicians_(U.S._TV_series),

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4254242/