Interview with Noah about his return to ER and his role on The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice.
13 November 2008
Noah Wyle Back in the 'ER'
Noah Wyle returns to TNT as Flynn Carsen in The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, the third installment of TNT's hugely successful Librarian franchise.
The third time around, it's obvious that Wyle is having more fun than ever, but he's also looking forward to reprising his role as the hugely popular Dr. Carter on ER.
You seem to love playing Flynn Carsen.
Noah: 'He pretty much encapsulates all the reasons I wanted to be an actor. I grew up watching Harrison Ford take on the bad guys. But I also loved old movies starring Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks swinging their blades. So it was a childhood fantasy of mine to be a swashbuckling action hero.'
But he's not superhuman.
Noah: 'That part of him takes me back to watching Don Knotts on Andy Griffith. He's a reluctant hero, a fish out of water — a guy with misplaced confidence that still gets to ride horses through the deserts of Africa and swing through the jungles of Mexico and pole skiff boats through the swamps of New Orleans and kiss the girl and tell the joke. You get to do it all.'
And this time around, that includes a sword fight.
Noah: 'That was a scene that was supposed to have been me getting thrown out of a window, jumping into a Mini Cooper and leading the bad guys on a high speed chase. Then we looked at our budget and went, 'Right, we can't afford that.' And so I suggested, 'Why don't we do a sword fight? Why don't we pull some swords off the wall and just Errol Flynn it up and down the banister?' I had brought about five or six Errol Flynn movies down there with me on location. And I lifted the sword fight straight out of one of them.'
You spent some time on location in New Orleans. Is the city making a post-Katrina comeback?
Noah: 'You can live very comfortably in the French Quarter without really seeing any damage whatsoever. You have to kind of actively want to see it which means leaving the center of the city. And once you do, that's all you see. The scope of the devastation is immense. There are still neighborhoods that have absolutely no infrastructure, no churches, no schools, no electricity, no restaurants, no supermarkets, nothing. And it's going to take a long time. I had this notion that it's going to take 100 years, I don't know. But you get the sense from the people that are still there that they're not leaving and that they're going to have an active hand in the way their city gets rebuilt.'
You're going to be joining some of your former ER cast members in reappearances on the series. What can we expect from Dr. Carter?
Noah: 'I know very little and when I tried to speak about it and speculate on things — like whether George Clooney would be back for an appearance — I was severely chastised by the producers. So I'm only allowed to talk about my own excitement about returning. I can say that the reappearances will be staggered throughout the season in a very plausible and natural way. My fear was that they'd let a character die and all us old vets would come back for the funeral.'
George Clooney is legendary for his practical jokes. Were you ever the target?
Noah: 'All I'm going to say is you don't want to mess with the master. Something I learned early on is you don't want to be the first one to leave George's table. You want to make sure that you're in on the joke and not the butt of the joke. And for the people who've planned one on him, they better watch their back because he doesn't forget. He's like an elephant. Twenty years from now, you'll open your front door and a bucket of confetti will fall on your head and it will be for something you did like two decades ago.'
How much TV do you watch?
Noah: 'I was a classic latch-key kid. I grew up letting myself in the front door after school and turning on the television. So there was a particular era of time where I was an avid TV viewer. Now having two small kids and only so many hours of the day that are my own, I'm a bit more selective. I watch a lot less, mainly movies, sports and the occasional episode of a TV series.'