Hgeocities.com/Hollywood/Theater/5331/tvgen.htmlgeocities.com/Hollywood/Theater/5331/tvgen.htmldelayedx2JOKtext/htmljb.HMon, 24 May 1999 20:20:39 GMTMozilla/4.5 (compatible; HTTrack 3.0x; Windows 98)en, *2J TvGen Interview
Paul Johansson -
Nick Wolfe on Highlander: The Raven

By John Walsh
January, 1999

For a guy who never planned on a career in show business, Paul Johansson is doing pretty well. The star athlete was headed for a pro basketball career before landing his first acting job accidentally, he insists on the soap Santa Barbara. Then came a series of recurring roles on everything from Lonesome Dove to Beverly Hills, 90210, and a brace of features. His directorial debut, Day of Judgment, is currently playing festivals, and Johansson is spending his Highlander hiatus working on a feature screenplay. But fortune is fickle: "I still might serve you a pizza one day," he jokes. "Just remember to tip well, OK?"~John Walsh

You're an action hero now. Who's your inspiration?

Harrison Ford is my favorite hero because he doesn't win every time. He's putting something on the line when he fights. He can get hurt. If you have nothing to lose, what's the point of even getting in the game?

Is that what you like about Highlander? The fact that Elizabeth Gracen's character is the Immortal and not you?

Exactly. I love that! The producers once said that they might make my character an Immortal one day. And I said, "That's the day I'm out of here." The magic of this show is the fact that I'm supposed to be the one who wants to protect her, to be strong. But there's nothing I can do sometimes. My character's a bumbling hero. What's heroic is that he gets up when he's down, and he stays in the fight.
pj Paul Johansson
"My character's a bumbling hero."

Speaking of fights, you've been in a lot of them lately. Do you like that aspect of the job?

It's pretty exhausting, but I enjoy it. I push to do a lot of the stunt work myself. I like to do as much as I can possibly get away with, but they're pretty protective of me. For instance, I tried to dive off a bridge in Paris onto a boat that was passing underneath. They brought in my double, and I was very upset "I can do this! I can do this!" And they said, "We believe you Paul, but we can't let you." I understand why, but it's tough because I love to be hands-on.

What's the best thing about the show?

My favorite part isn't so much the action as it is relating to Elizabeth Gracen. Creating moments that might not even necessarily make it to the show, but that are real. Luckily for us both, we started with an episode where our characters meet for the first time. We were discovering each other, our boundaries, as our characters were doing the same thing. We have a good understanding of each other by now, and share this mutual respect. And it's nice to come to work under those circumstances.

pj Did you always want to be an actor?

I think it was an accident. I dreamed of being a writer. It's like having a wife and a lover. Your wife is something that's very steady fruitful and rewarding. And that's where I am with my acting right now. But I can't wait to sneak off and be with my lover, which is my writing. OK, every woman in the world now hates me for drawing that analogy, but it fits.

What kind of feedback do you get from fans?

A former police officer chastised me very strongly for holding my gun sideways in a scene. And you know what? He was right. I wrote back to him and said, "Look, you'll never see that again. Tell all your cop buddies that I've learned from my mistake." I mean, when a guy's right, he's right. Why should I argue? From now on I'm a dead-aim, straight shooter.

Reprinted with permission and thanks (!!) to...
Mr. John Walsh
Senior Editor
TV Guide Entertainment Network
Click here to link directly to the archived article.


This page .
All materials (graphics and writings) at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright © 1999 Dominique/PJNSO. All rights reserved. The images and writing on these pages are not to be copied, uploaded or transferred to another website for any purpose whatsoever without permission.