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A&E's Interview w/ Paul McGann

Who is Bush?

Bush is a career sailor. He is very solid, stolid even. He's really dependable. He's a man of few words and does nothing for effect. I guess he's there sometimes as an antidote really to the excess zeal of some of the others. He pretends that he's quite slow-witted. He gets there in the end, but he's definitely a plodder. When Hornblower initially comes across Bush, he doesn't know what to make of him.

He kind of a suspicious character, at least at first.

Well, he's honorable and professional, and it's assumed that Bush will side with Sawyer, so to speak. But in his fashion, Bush quickly or slowly comes around to realize that what happens happens. Bush plods and gets there in the end.

How and when does Bush come around to Horatio?

Everything happens almost in slo-mo with him. The suspicion cuts both ways, and Bush doesn't know what to make of this boy either. He likes him and rather admires him, which is convenient because they're going to become friends it looks like.

What do you find most the most satisfying, the most exciting about the shoot so far?

Those moments when you know you got it, you know it's happened. The good thing about having good crew and professional people is that you know you're going to get something. It's going to be workable and the scripts are great, so it's all going to work. Some days, the atmosphere is so good you give that a little bit extra.

Have you done this kind of traditional swashbuckling role before?

I've done some action things. I kind of like them. It's its own pleasure, you know. It's refreshing to get bow and arrow in your hand or command an army or ride or horse or whatever. It sure beats leaning on a mantelpiece, having a mild tiff in some drawing room. If you have a battlefield or you have a ship with a gun deck, it's very difficult obviously to shoot a wide or a master, so it tends to be very localized. So, those battle sequences become very focusedThey look chaotic, obviously, but that's because they're cut and edited.

Let's talk about your relationship with Hornblower. There's a curiosity or mistrust when you first meet him.

Bush walks in at one point to Hornblower and Kennedy and admits that he was wrong. This is the turning point. He says, look, I was wrong about your plan. And it follows that he's going to join them. Also, it's expedient because they'll all hang him if he doesn't. So, Bush is slow but he ain't stupid.

Bush is a professional sailor, a military man bound to that structural plan. So what is it that has him thinking he should join these guys?

If it is about Sawyer, then I think what's clear is that it's nothing personal. Sawyer is the captain and the absolute authority. When we talk about Sawyer, we have to talk about the crown and the navy. Sawyer, he admires. Sawyer's famous and bemedaled, you know. But Bush is able to make the distinction.

Bush being the consummate military man, does he approve of Sawyer's actions?

I don't think he thinks about it at all. If he's a soldier, he's a sailor. Them's the rules. That's war

What are some of the elements that make the relationships between these men what are they?

Men have this idea of romance and idealism. And rash stupidity that enables them to chuck it all in for the other guy and make that frontal assault together.

The flip side of that is there's no real female interest in the story.

Tell me about it.

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