5 Questions With … Elliot Knight of “Once Upon A Time”

Elliot Knight Kellie Freeze
Isaac Sterling Photography
Elliot Knight
Isaac Sterling Photography

Once Upon a Time‘s Elliot Knight has wowed fans for his strong portrayal as the sorcerer Merlin, and in the first part of my interview with the British actor, he shared insight into the challenging role. In part 2, he showed off his charming light-hearted side when he answered our “5 Questions.”

1. If your TV had only three shows or networks, what would you watch?
It’d have to be ABC. Every job I’ve done since I’ve been in the U.S. has been for ABC — it’s crazy — and they have a lot of really great shows too.

I’m into a big array of TV shows. I also just started watching Homeland. I will be watching Homeland during the day and then I will go to bed and watch All Hail King Julian on Netflix. There are literally no boundaries, I’ll go anywhere and watch anything.

But also, since the point when I went to university and left home, I’ve never had cable TV, I’ve only had a TV to watch DVDs. so I fell out of the practice of watching shows when they are on. I’m a really big Netflix/Amazon Prime kind of guy, because I like to binge watch things and stick to one show at a time.

2. What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
I’m vegan — which a lot of people don’t know — so I always try to have loads of vegetables. Let me open up my fridge right now. Let’s see, I have tempeh, which if you’re vegan, is good for protein. Tempeh and seitan, I have that. I’ve got some Indian take-out — yellow lentils and chickpeas and spinach. And I have chocolate ice cream and coconut ice cream.

3. Tell us about a time when you were starstruck.
I did this show called Sinbad and we had really great guest stars in each episode. And there was an actress, Sophie Okonedo, who came in for the second episode. And I was goofing around and I heard that she was on set, but I didn’t know where. And I walked up to the makeup bus and there she was, and I couldn’t believe it, there was Sophia Okonedo! And she was so lovely and gracious and I was like, “Hi, I’m Elliot,” and she was like, “Hello, I’m Sophie.” And any normal person would have said hi and shaken her hand, but I don’t know why, but I proceeded to grab her hand, shake it and then get down on one hand and kiss her hand — awkwardly. And then I awkwardly walked away. It wasn’t the best moment for me. She laughed anyway, so I hope it was endearing.

Elliot Knight
Isaac Sterling Photography

4. What’s a movie you can watch over and over again?
When I was a kid, my favorite movie was Matilda. Oh! I watched that movie so many times! Matilda’s power is tied to her emptions — which is something that I really like for Merlin — the idea of emotion being very closely mixed with the powers that we have.

In Matilda, whenever she’d get upset or angry, suddenly her powers would start to awaken. There is this scene where her brother is just storming down the hall, bullying her. And she gets to angry that she’s able to slam the door with her eyes.

So of course whenever I would get into trouble (I was such a sensitive kid, the smallest thing and I’d just start welling up with tears), I’d go up to my room and I’d sit down and I’d stare at inanimate objects and try to make them move. I’d think, “I’m so angry right now; I must have magical powers!”

5. Since you’re play a sorcerer on Once Upon A Time, what magical power would you like to have for yourself?
Oooh, good question! This might take me a while. I think I would like to have the power to always be fearless. It doesn’t sound very interesting, but I think as people, and as actors, you’re always battling with your own fear and inhibitions. And much of the world is getting to explore and experience, but a lot of times we can hold ourselves back from really wonderful experiences. If I had a magical power — which I hope to have someday — it would to be fearless in everything I attempt to do, so I can make the most of it all. That, and being able to move things with my mind.

Once Upon a Time > ABC > Sundays at 8pm ET/PT

images credit and © Isaac Sterling Photography

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