The Quest is a reality competition show set in the fantasy world setting of Everealm. Twelve Paladins must endure training to find the one true hero and defeat the enemy, Verlox. Early on in the season the Paladins literally stumble upon one a man that has a hand in their survival and hopefully, their victory over Verlox. Who I am speaking of is Crio! Crio The Dreamer! Without him the Grand Vizier would have thrown out the Paladins without another glance. Check out my interview with the man behind Crio, Jan Hutter!
The Quest airs on ABC Thursday at 8pm – 10pm ET. Thursday, September 11, is the finale with back-to-back episodes.
A thank you to @ for the pictures!
Tina Degenhart: How did you learn about The Quest and go about getting your role as Crio the Dreamer?
Jan Hutter: To be completely honest, I didn’t expect much. I knew they were searching for the principles for an American TV production. I have heard that they were casting in Munich, Berlin, London and Los Angeles. I remember telling to myself that it would be a good audition practice and great opportunity to show the casting director Fritz Fleischhacker (who cast ‘Schindler’s List’ among many others) my English skills. It took me several rounds in the audition process, before I figured out that I had a fair shot at this…
TD: The Quest has social media blowing up and the creation of some serious fans. How are you reacting to all of the attention?
JH: Try to imagine doing your job and all of a sudden people from the other side of the planet you have never even met, tell you how much they enjoy your work and how it inspires them. This experience humbled me beyond words. Though I’m not interacting with the fans as much as I would like to… I’m currently rehearsing a play for the MESS Theater Festival in Bosnia and it’s hard to get a decent Internet connection down here…. you think Marwood is a dark place…
TD: The paladins received some training before and during The Quest, did you receive any training with archery, swords, horseback riding, etc?
JH: During the four years of my acting education at the Conservatory in Vienna I was trained in stage fencing which would have been helpful, if Crio was ever to wave his (non existing) sword… I think by now everyone has figured out that Crio, although he has a good heart, is not much of a fighter. At least not in the common sense. Crio’s strongest suit might be that he sees light were others only sees darkness.
TD: Did you have any say in how Crio is portrayed?
JH: It’s funny because from what I remember from the casting, they were looking for a guy between 35 and I think 40… I think the audition sheet even said ‘chubby’ and ‘not much to look at’ which I tried not to take to personally. *laughs* Later I heard that the producers were looking for a kind of ‘Sam’-guy (from LOTR). Apparently I was the first actor who came in to read for Crio, who didn’t match that and… you know… sometimes you get lucky and a production is willing to distant themselves from their original idea. So in a way I think me having the chance to play Crio also changed Crio.
TD: When Andrew called the Queen ‘my lady’ you looked like you swallowed your tongue! How much of the show was improv for you?
JH: Poor Andrew… *laughs* during that shot I had to go in the tent several times because I was cracking up so much about the stuff especially Marchello (the Grand Vizier) came up with. Maybe the producers will show some of that stuff to the fans one day… There was A LOT of improv which made this job terrifying and incredibly wonderful at the same. As an actor you know where the story is heading but the paladins have naturally no idea what’s up next. There are so many things to think about while shooting for The Quest, like, positioning the paladins the way it works best for the camera while acting but without actually letting them feel that you are positioning them so they don’t get in the way of an ogre breaking out of the woods any second. Or answer their many questions you might know but don’t expect without giving away to much of things yet to be revealed to them and maybe most importantly: NEVER BREAK CHARACTER. You only had one shot and a million ways to blow it. In some scenes I even had an in-ear so the producers and the director could give me instructions on the fly…
TD: Peter mentioned a running joke about the size of everyone’s swords. Care to add?
JH: One word: Overcompensating *laughs*
TD: How did you feel when Peter/Sir Ansgar called Crio out as not being brave? Was that improv? (PS: I totally think you’re brave!)
JH: It was improv and a pretty good one I must admit even though it most certainly wasn’t Crio’s most favorite moment in his career as a guide. Bonnie wrote a song for Crio that night. Unfortunately it didn’t make it into the show…. a beautiful ballad called ‘Crio the Brave’ naturally my favorite of all her many enchanting songs. I never in my life had anyone write a song for me… As far as Peter… we became really good friends during the production and laughed so hard about that particular moment at the end of that day.
TD: Which was your favorite moment in the show?
JH: I remember the first night when we finally find our way out of the Marwood woods the sun came up and we could see the castle for the first time. Then the dark soldiers chased us across that field. When we finally managed to shake them off, one of the girls (I think it was Leticia) turned to one of her fellow paladins saying close to tears: “I’m hungry, I’m dirty, I’m incredibly tired , but I’m sooo happy!” That felt pretty awesome. I really made me realize what a wonderful job I have, bringing those people’s dreams to life.