Robin Dunne says Sherwood Forest has monsters but no tights

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Robin Dunne, who will star as the title character in SCI FI Channel's upcoming original movie Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood, told SCI FI Wire that the film adds a supernatural element to the venerable legend. (Possible spoilers ahead!)

"There's a monster that is being used as a weapon by the sheriff in order to control things," Dunne said in an exclusive interview last week. "Robin is left to try and stop this monster. It's not a classic creature in the sense it's pure evil; it's actually a girl that has been transformed, so Robin has to preserve this life that has been morphed. It was an interesting film to do. Robin Hood is a character I've always wanted to play, and such an iconic archetype."

Following is an edited excerpts of our exclusive interview with Dunne (SCI FI's Sanctuary). Robin Hood: Beyond Sherwood isn't on SCI FI's schedule yet.

How adept were you at handling Robin's trademark weapon?

Dunne: Well, when they said to me, "Can you fire a bow and arrow?" I said, "Yeah, I've done it before." I'm no archer, and I won't be trying out for the Olympics, but how difficult could it be? Then I learned how difficult it could be, particularly when it's on fire and there's an entire crew of 75 people standing around waiting for you to get it right. Secondly, if you are firing multiple arrows in a row, which Robin Hood does, it was definitely a very steep learning curve.

Is Maid Marian still the damsel in distress Robin is pining for?

Dunne: I don't know if "damsel in distress" is completely accurate. Robin is definitely pining after her. She has a strength to her in this movie, and she's more of one of the gang. She's a fighter, but there's a romance. And Erica Durance [Smallville] was amazing to work with. She's so much fun, and we hit it off from the get-go.

Did you have to slip into those classic green tights for the role?

Dunne: No, actually. That was a big topic of discussion. One of the first things that director Peter DeLuise (Stargate SG-1) said was, "No tights! You're not wearing tights!" He went more with a baggy pants and boots. One of the trying things of that movie was getting into gear. There are three or four people tying me into these big strap-up boots and vests.

You get to set, you get all this stuff on, and then the props people descend on you to put the bow and arrow on. There's the arrows, the sword and the belt. So as the morning progresses, you get weighed down. There's a lot of running in the movie, so I would sound like some bizarre Christmas ornament jangling through the forest. It was pretty funny.