Alexander Vlahos webchat: “Merlin has changed my life”

Alexander Vlahos answers YOUR questions about the end of Merlin, loving Sherlock and playing the next Doctor Who

When we told you Merlin star Alexander Vlahos was joining for a webchat you sent us your questions in your hundreds, and even more of you joined us for the hour long live Q&A. But, sadly, we didn’t have time to ask him everything…  


Alexander did get through plenty of your questions though – from his favourite Mordred moments to what his kitten, Dr Watson, is getting for Christmas – and here are his answers: Hi Alexander. We’ve got lots of Merlin fans ready and waiting to ask you their questions… Are you ready?

Alexander Vlahos: I am! Let’s do this.

Mariah:How was it like being the “new kid” in Merlin?

Alexander Vlahos: Daunting, but very exciting. They were all lovely people and greeted me in. I felt like part of the family straight away.

Jessica Ginting: What were your first impressions of Bradley and Colin on your first day on set?

Alexander Vlahos: Bradley was very encouraging, nice and always looking to support me if he could see I was getting overwhelmed by the whole thing. Colin was great, always chatting to me and talking about people we knew mutually. Both were a delight!

Jessamy Semmens: How did it feel knowing that you’d be such an integral part of the final storyline?

Alexander Vlahos: I knew from the start, when I was auditioning that Mordred was going to be a pivotal part in the series. Johnny & Julian told me so, but I didn’t quite realise how big a part I would play until the final 4 scripts came in.

Carole: If you could have played any other character on Merlin, who would it be and why?

Alexander Vlahos: I think I’ve said this before in other interviews, but to play Mordred has been great – if there was any one else, it’d have to be Gaius. He has some of the best lines in the show!

ElvishWarl0ck: were you a fan of Merlin before you were cast as Mordred? (who you play brilliantly!!!)

Alexander Vlahos: I was a fan. I watched series 1, series 4 all the way through – while also catching the odd episode. When I got Mordred though, I made it my job to do as much research as possible into the plot. Just so I was clued up on Camelot!

Ayzhia: Have you met with Asa at all to discuss the role of Mordred?

Alexander Vlahos: No, unfortunately not. I wish I could have. I had to make a lot of my own decisions on grown up Mordred. I hope Asa would be happy with my portrayal.

Aimee, Katie, and Ellie.: Since you took your role as Mordred on Merlin, how has your life changed?

Alexander Vlahos: Well, I certainly wouldn’t be doing this live Q&A for Radio Times! No, in all seriousness – it’s changed my life as an actor, raised my profile – as far as my personal life, not a lot has changed – that has always been good 🙂

Claudia: Are you, as a Merlin fan, happy with the ending of the series? Were you surprised with the ending? Or did you expect it to be like this?

Alexander Vlahos: I am happy with the ending. The scripts are very powerful, heartfelt and brutally honest. It ties the 5 years together, it honours the fans and the legend. I was a little surprised with some aspects of the ending, but I think that was because I feel the writers have been brave in what they want to achieve with it.

Hayley: Will you keep in touch with your merlin cast mates now that its over?

Alexander Vlahos: Yes, I am! Some of them have become my friends for life.

Laura Ryan: Were there any specific skills you had to learn for acting in Merlin? eg: horseriding

Alexander Vlahos: Horseriding was one of them. I knew sword fighting from drama school, so that wasn’t so difficult… I guess all the CGI stuff, green screen elements was a new way of thinking/acting.

Lauren: What was your favrourite scene/scenes you did on Merlin? 🙂

Alexander Vlahos: There are a whole heap of brilliant scenes yet to come, especially episode 11. I guess from previous eps, all my scenes with Katie I particularly enjoyed.

Ella: What is your/the casts favourite thing to do when not filming?

Alexander Vlahos: I can’t speak for my fellow cast members, but myself, I like to spend as little time as possible thinking of Merlin and enjoying the company of my girlfriend, going for long walks.

Laura Ryan: Did you keep a piece of memorabilia from the set of Merlin?

Alexander Vlahos: I did. I got to keep my Knightly Camelot cloak! It takes pride of place in my wardrobe.

Bridie: How was your normal day on the set of Merlin?

Alexander Vlahos: Getting picked up from the hotel at 6am, taken to set/ or studio. Handed some breakfast and ordered to get into costume asap – then, waiting a long time before being called to set and rehearsing the scenes of the day. It usually lasts until 7pm – then we go back to the hotel and do it all again the next day. It’s a bit repetitive!

Lalla23: What was the most difficult scene to shoot, for you?

Alexander Vlahos: Episode 9, my scene with Katie alone. You might not see it on the screen, but the weather was horrible that day. It was such an important moment, but the wind was biting cold and the rain was lashing down. The elements were against me, and the pressure of that scene didn’t help. It was a tough day!

Marella: You tweeted that you couldn’t keep a straight face during the Dolma, so I was wondering how long it took to shoot that scene?

Alexander Vlahos: LONG! Too long! Alice (the director) had to tell me off quite a few times for laughing / smirking. I think it took 9 takes, roughly.

Rebecca: What did you imagine had happened to Mordred since we last saw him in series 2?

Alexander Vlahos: Wow. That’s a big question! I think, that he probably started practising magic with the druids – and realised very quickly that if he wanted to stay alive, he needed to stop using magic and escape the druid life style

Ellen: Apart from Merlin, what is you favourite TV Show?

Alexander Vlahos: Sherlock! I think what Steven Moffat has done with such a great story is brilliant.

icee: Also a fan of Dr. Watson 😀 Have you ever take him to filming?

Alexander Vlahos: No, he’s too young to travel. I can’t imagine he’d enjoy it that much

Kitsune Shadow: Would you ever play a role in Sherlock in the future?

Alexander Vlahos: Yes. I’d love to. It would be an honour.

Heather: Sounds like you had some long days on the set! Are you working on any new projects at the moment?

Alexander Vlahos: Things are in the works, nothing concrete yet that I can tell you, unfortunately. But, hopefully I’ll be able to spill the beans soon.

Lucie: In the history of theatre/film/tv, what would be your dream part to play?

Alexander Vlahos: Hamlet – on stage. TV – Doctor Who (when Matt decides he’s had enough!) Film – anything with Quentin Tarantino directing.

Chloé: Did you watch Doctor Who ? We already saw a lot of Merlin cast in the series, would you want to?

Alexander Vlahos: YES. I know Hopper has been in it, and Colin had a great part. I would love to – even if I was hiding under a dalek.

Chiara: Will you be tuning in to the last ever episode of Merlin on Chritmas Eve?

Alexander Vlahos: No, sadly not. I will be away in Stockholm with my girlfriend.

Zoe Mitchell: What do you think Mordred would want for Christmas?

Alexander Vlahos: For Merlin to give him a hug? Ha! And some lighter chainmail.

Serena: have you something in common with Mordred??

Alexander Vlahos: Apart from the fact that I look very similar to him… Umm, he’s very driven and thoughtul. I’d like to think I am too.

Heather pendragon: Was there tears on set filming last scenes?

Alexander Vlahos: No, not really. Not from me anyway. I think the last month was emotional for all involved, but I didn’t see any tears!

Sneha:If you could actually use Mordred’s magic in your day-to-day life, what would you use it for?

Alexander Vlahos: To talk to my kitten. I’m sure he’s actually more intelligent than he let’s on.

Maxie: Did you know when you started filming what the last episode would be like? Whether Mordred would turn out to be good or the villain?

Alexander Vlahos: We get the scripts through about a week before we start filming. In my eyes, Mordred is always good – no matter what other people might think.

Tabby: What advice would you give to people who aspire to be actors?

Alexander Vlahos: To have self belief – let that not be confused with cockyness / arrogance – because that’s off putting. Self belief in your talents and who you are as a person. Be truthful in everything you do. You have to believe what you’re saying.

Caroline: Who is your role model when it comes to acting?

Alexander Vlahos: Andrew Scott – I worked with him on stage at The National Theatre last summer. He inspired me in how he makes choices as an actor. How he prepares for a role. How he conducts himself outside of the acting world. A true role model.

Caitlin: You’ve definitely become the new fan favourite on Merlin – do you get recognised/approached much out and about now?

Alexander Vlahos: Thank you! I didn’t know I was a fan favourite. Umm, I’m starting to get recognised. I find the whole thing a little odd and humbling, if I’m honest.

alexi_lupin: If you weren’t an actor, what would you be doing?

Alexander Vlahos: Directing/ Writing – I can’t imagine myself not in this industry – so I guess I’d be doing something involved with creating art.

Jennifer:Do you prefer working on TV series or on movies ?

Alexander Vlahos: I’ve only ever done one film – and that was an ‘okay’ experience, the time aspects on films are much slower than working on television – I prefer the fast paced attitude in tv.

NickyH: Hopefully a bit of a different question to the usual….Arthurian Legend/Merlin is set in the medieval era. If you could travel back in time to any period or specific event in history where would you go & why?

Alexander Vlahos: I would go to the 1960’s – at the height of Mod culture. Drive a little vespa, listen to The Who and just revel in the swinging sixties!

Vicky: So far as an actor what has been your favorite role to play? Why?

Alexander Vlahos: Private Keenan in soon to be on tv (January / BBC) ‘Privates’ – I play a yorkshire pacifist. The most challenging role I’ve ever done.

Tabby: Do you have any other talents?

Alexander Vlahos: I used to play ice-hockey for Cardiff and Wales – I guess you could say I’m a good ice skater!

Emilie: I know for Privates you had to shave your hair off, what was that like? I can’t imagine you without your curly hair!

Alexander Vlahos: I nearly cried! It was needed for the part, we all had to have it shaved on camera – so if you tune in you can catch it on the first ep.

Ramona: When you were a newbie on set, did the guys (looking at eoin here) play any pranks to initiate you?

Alexander Vlahos: No, no pranks as such. I think the hardest thing to for me was the level of banter between them all – I missed out on so many ‘in jokes’… Eoin was actually the most welcoming!

sophie: in your opinion whats the best part of being an actor?

Alexander Vlahos: The challenge of it all. To try and make an audience believe that you are someone entirely different – and succeed! Or fail!

Angel: Have you ever felt truly frustrated with a scene?

Alexander Vlahos: It’s not my job to get frustrated! It’s my job to act. I think I have been frustrated at times with the way things were written, or the way it turned out on the tele… But you try to not to think of that too much.

Laura: was there a particular line of Mordred’s that you liked especially and enjoyed delivering?

Alexander Vlahos: I have three! 1) You fear me Emrys, don’t you? 2) The love that binds us is more important than the power we weild 3) I hope one day you will find the love and compassion that used to fill your heart

pushmyway: Soon it’s Christmas and New year, what are your wishes for 2013? (And in advance Nadolig Llawen & Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda)

Alexander Vlahos: My wishes are that I hope 2013 brings a good year for me career wise, that the health of my family and loved ones are good and that my kitten doesn’t grow too big, I like him small and cute.

Emilie: What will Dr Watson be getting for Christmas? X

Alexander Vlahos: He’s already had his presents – spoilt rotten! He got a drinking water fountain and a new house.

Rebecca: Who was the grumpiest person on set in the mornings?

Alexander Vlahos: Eoin. He’s going to hate me for saying that.

Emma Welsby: Funniest person on set?

Alexander Vlahos: Rupert. Not a day went by where Rupert didn’t have something funny to say.

Jenny: Did you like filming at Pierrefonds in France? and did you get to learn some French words while you were there?

Alexander Vlahos: I did enjoy filming in the castle, I think it’s a beautiful place – felt incredibly lucky to have been there. Not so many french words – “beurre” was one I picked up!

Rebecca: What are your impressions of the fans?

Alexander Vlahos: All lovely and passionate. You are what make the show great and what will make the show live on, way past the end of Series 5.

Guest: What was your funniest/weirdest/scariest moment with a fan?

Alexander Vlahos: I don’t think I’ve had one. YET. Uh oh, I’ve jinxed it now.

Daph: What will you miss most when Merlin officially ends?

Alexander Vlahos: Well, for me it’s already over – as we’ve finished filming. I guess the people, the crew. I hope to keep in contact with the cast as much as I can, but I guess I’ll be sad if we will inevitably drift apart over the years.

Laura: Did you receive any injuries on set?

Alexander Vlahos: Yes. While fighting Bradley in episode 5 on the training ground, I hurt my thumb pretty bad – I took a bit of a whacking from him – Bradders is a great swordsman.

Dani: when did you realise you wanted to be an actor?

Alexander Vlahos: When I was 16, I got my first paid job and thought, “hey, this isn’t too bad!”

Eleonora: What is your relationship with Katie??

Alexander Vlahos: She’s become a true friend – almost like a sister!

imyourlionheart_: What pushed you to audition for the part of Mordred? X

Alexander Vlahos: I was already filming a lead part in ‘Privates’ for the BBC, my agent called me up and said they were casting an older Mordred. It felt right. It felt like I could get it. And thank god I did! Unfortunately our time is up! Thanks so much for all your questions. And thank you Alexander for your time. It’s been great to talk to you!

Alexander Vlahos: Thank you ALL for your questions. It’s a been an honour! Xx Toodle-pip!


Merlin continues this Saturday at 8:15pm on BBC1