One of the most buzzed about shows (pun intended) premiered on Easter Sunday on NBC. One of its stars stopped by the Buzzcast to chat about his character. Emmett J. Scanlan stars as Saul/Paul on “A.D.: The Bible Continues.” The series, which is executive produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, follows where the former miniseries, “The Bible,” left off. Prior to joining the series, Scanlan was known to many soaps fans in the UK (as well as US fans) for his role as Brendan Brady on “Hollyoaks.”
Scanlan spoke with us about how he prepared for taking on such a pivotal role in the series:
“There’s a plethora of information on the Internet. There are so many varying degrees of who this man is, what he did, and how he spread Christianity around the world. I guess the story never really ends. What I found out when I started studying Saul/Paul is that as a character, he is not evaded by faith, had an extreme faith in God, the temple, and the Torah. He was fanatical and zealous. It was very harsh and visceral times. He was pharisee, a Roman citizen, a Jew, strictest of the strict. He persecuted ANYONE who dared to go against or against HIM, even if that meant killing. He did kill for what he believed in. That is what this type of man was. He starts his journey trying to put down and belittle the followers of Lazarus. If that didn’t work, he’d hunt them down with violence and force. He follows them to Demascus where he is converted. He journeys back to Jerusalem with a New Zeal that is not under the knife, but risen with words. I can go on and talk about what I learned of this job. However, nothing prepares you for when you step on set and you play. You sit opposite of someone like Richard Coyle, and you just have this scene, do your homework and play! There is nothing better than that, and it’s terrifying. You dance with your partner, and you find new things. I thought I did my homework, but what I found out after getting on set and dancing with my co-stars is that there was a deep, underlying vulnerability when it came to Saul. I love finding that in characters, which you know by watching ‘Hollyoaks.’ You find the truth and beauty there, and that’s very important for me.”
Scanlan continued as he spoke about what he was able to take away and learn from playing Saul/Paul in the series:
“I’ve taken away a huge reward from something like this. We live in a world of storytellers, and I get to tell one of the greatest stories ever told, whether you believe it or not. This has helped shape the world we live in today. To be a part of that is huge and humbling. I still carry it with me, to be honest. I’m still reading up on it as well as studying it, while having a fearless faith that we go into a second season. You just have to hope, you know.”
Find out more on what we had to say with Emmett about his time at the Hollyoaks Village, plus what was it like filming the scenes to Demascus. It’s pretty intense, and you can find out about it during the full podcast!
“A.D.: The Bible Continues” airs Sundays at 9 PM on NBC.
Follow Emmett J. Scanlan on Twitter at: @EmmettScanlan.
Download the full podcast with the actor above.