The won­der­ful wizard of Oz

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

Dar­ren Cartwright

VET­ERAN Aussie ac­tor John Noble (pic­tured) thanks the Lord of the Rings tril­ogy for open­ing the door to a string of ‘‘fan­tasy’’ roles.

Noble, who is well into his 60s, played Denethor in two of the Lord of the Rings films, which he says led to work in two TV se­ries in the US.

One of his Hol­ly­wood stints was a five-sea­son part on the sci-fi drama Fringe, and now he pops up Net­work Ten’s im­ported US su­per­nat­u­ral se­ries Sleepy Hol­low.

‘‘I think I am just this old wiz­ardly fel­low that does fan­tasy and sci­ence fic­tion, that’s my lot in life now,’’ Noble jokes.

‘‘I did just get to play an arch­bishop in a mini-se­ries, so I guess that’s fan­tasy as well. Se­ri­ously, though, you go with the flow as you can’t pre­dict what is go­ing to hap­pen and, es­pe­cially since Lord of the Rings, the flow has been very kind to me.’’

In Sleepy Hol­low, Noble plays Henry Par­rish, a kind and reclu­sive man who pos­sesses su­per­nat­u­ral pow­ers that have the po­ten­tial to help the se­ries’ pro­tag­o­nist, Ich­a­bod Crane (Tom Mi­son).

Syd­ney-based Noble will sur­face this week in episode six and will ap­pear a cou­ple of more times this year be­fore his char­ac­ter is de­vel­oped in 2014.

No­bel says he was in­vited to play Par­rish by Sleepy Hol­low’s co-cre­ator Alex Kurtz­man, who was the cocreator and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of Fringe.

‘‘Alex Kurtz­man called and said it was writ­ten with me in mind. It’s a tai­lor-made role and it sounded re­ally in­ter­est­ing. It’s a re­cur­ring role with some episodes this sea­son and more next sea­son.’’

Noble says Kurtz­man’s in­quiry could not have come at a more op­por­tune time, as he’d just re­turned to live in Syd­ney and then Fringe ended late last year.

It’s been a busy year for Noble, who has voiced three an­i­mated pro­duc­tions and ap­peared in sev­eral lo­cal TV se­ries as well as the Aussie movie The Mule.

And, de­spite ap­pear­ing in Sleepy Hol­low and be­ing of­fered episodic roles in the US, Noble says he and his wife Penny will not be pack­ing up to move there per­ma­nently.

‘‘What we want to do is spend half our time at home and go back when the work is on. We’ve been back here since Christ­mas now and I’m only home for a week and then I go back to New York to Sleepy Hol­low for the rest of the year.’’

Sleepy Hol­low screens Wed­nes­days at 10pm on Ten and Ten SC.

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