There are a lot of questions here, so let me take them one at a time:
Do you know any other actors that Colin might be close to other than Merlin cast?
Honestly, no. Keep in mind that he worked with many members of the Merlin crew for five years; that’s a long time and you can really get to know someone well in that amount of time, as opposed to other projects. I mean, I think he certainly enjoys getting to know his other co-stars and occasionally hangs out with some of them while he’s working on a project (for example, he used to have dinner with his Mojo co-stars at times, and let’s not forget the ‘infamous’ finger picture while hanging out with Emily Browning during the filming of Legend), but there hasn’t been any evidence to say that he’s really made any close friendships with any of them. (Nor has there been any evidence that he hasn’t!) However, that leads us to Question #2:
He is really a private person, don’t you think?
Yes, I think that Colin is an intensely private person. Seven years of interviews have shown us that getting personal information from Colin is like getting blood from a stone most of the time. If it doesn’t have something directly to do with a role he has worked/is working on or about his acting process or the acting profession in general, you’re more than likely not going to hear it from him.
What little we have heard about his private life certainly helps me understand why he might not talk about it much.
Colin grew up as a Catholic in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles”. (Not the safest thing to be at that time.)
Here are a couple of very eye-opening passages from a fantastic interview with Colin in 2012 by Alison Jane Reid from the Ethical Hedonist website:
Then he calmly proceeds to describe the not uncommon scenario of being woken up in the middle of the night, and having to evacuate the family home immediately, because there was pipe bomb in the house next door. The next day he would go into school with a note for his teacher to explain why he hadn’t done his homework. This he says was just an everyday taste of a childhood growing up in the long shadow of deep, ingrained hatred and sectarian violence.
And also, this:
There was another reason why [traveling an hour and twenty minutes away to Belfast for school each day] was a dangerous proposition. Morgan is Catholic, and the college he wanted to attend was in a troubled, predominantly Protestant area of East Belfast. In the summer before he enrolled at the college, masked paramilitaries stormed the building, looking for Catholic students by asking them to pronounce the letter H. (the reason for this being that Catholics and Protestants generally pronounce the letter differently). The students were told that any Catholics would be shot.
In the end no one was hurt, and Colin plays down this episode, and says that he didn’t experience any trouble when he was at the college.
Okay, seriously? Imagine having to evacuate your home due to terrorism and that scenario is "not uncommon"!? Having to bring in a note to school saying, ‘My son could not complete his homework last night due to a bomb threat in our neighborhood…”
Or choosing to attend a school where just months before terrorists threatened to kill students (16-18 year olds) like you simply because you are the “wrong” religion? But it was the closest school that offered his coveted Drama degree, so Colin went there anyway.
That is some really scary crap, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. I can see why he might want to put that kind of past behind him and not discuss it much, don’t you? Especially now that Northern Ireland has come so far since “The Troubles” came to an end.
Sometimes I really don’t get it why he has to be so private. He is not like other actors.
You’re right in that he is not like a lot of other actors. While Colin has no problem going for it with his performances when he’s acting, in real life, Colin is really shy and uncomfortable with the attention he sometimes gets.
He admits it himself in an interview with dvdrama.com (a French-speaking website):
Bradley told us that you’re a shy person? Is that true?
Yes, usually it’s a bit difficult for me to speak when I have to speak with many people. This intimidates me a little.
Several fans have also noted in their comments about him that he was shy:
One person who met him at SDCC12 said this:
I met Colin one on one at SDCC 2012. Everything the others have said about Colin is true. He is a shy and humble individual. He’s a terrific actor as I told him back then. A true professional.
Diana, the woman who took the photo that my Tumblr icon is from said this about meeting him and taking photos with/of him last year during his Tempest run:
The conversation about photos was due to someone saying on Twitter that Colin isn’t allowed to do photos. So I asked him “Why aren’t you allowed to take photos with fans?” He replied with that he doesn’t always feel comfortable with photos. So I asked him, “Are you shy?” and he gave me a shy look and said “Yeah,” I told him he doesn’t need to be and he said thank you. Then I thanked him for the photos and he thanked us for coming to see him and said it was nice to meet you and to have a lovely day. He is very sweet and polite. And makes times for his fans and even though he’s not comfortable with photos, he still doesn’t say no. And not to mention he is amazing with kids and was very friendly with my daughter and got down on one knee to talk to her.
The shyness is apparently not a new phenomenon. Sarah, a fellow performer in a talent show called “Fanta Fever” that took place in Belfast in 2002, (during the time he would have been at Belfast Metropolitan) said that he was:
@Starla_Tiny so do you remember what he was like in those days?
He was so quiet and shy… and a good dancer!
So, he’s been shy a very long time; it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon!
I mean he is a public figure. He has to promote himself, right?
Colin is an actor. While his work is done on a public scale, that doesn’t necessarily make him a public figure.
And while many actors do choose to promote themselves, Colin is one of those that does not. He lets his body of work speak for itself and also lets his agent, whom he pays to promote him, do all that kind of stuff. So far, that has worked out pretty well for him!
I think his [being] private will cause fans to be more eager to want to know about him.
This is most likely true. Because he’s so private, he’s a mystery; and people love to solve mysteries. Lord knows, I eat up every scrap of information I can find about the man, just like a lot of his fans do.
However, our wanting to know does not mean he has any obligation to tell us anything! It is not our right or due as his fans. He is allowed to be as private as he wants, and while it’s hard, we should try to accept that Colin’s privacy is obviously important to him and respect that.
I don’t even want to be some stupid fan towards him.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it probably bears repeating: I don’t think anyone goes into the situation thinking, “Gee, I want to be an obnoxious and annoying fan.”
Sometimes though, it’s easy to forget that we aren’t actually owed anything other than the work those actors have produced for us to watch. Or sometimes, that an actor is a who and not a what. Or perhaps one’s brain just falls right out of one’s arse when confronted with the meeting of one’s idol. Hey, we’re only human.
But the point is: so are they. Actors are still just people like you and me with the same faults and insecurities as anybody else. Would you like people asking you all kinds of personal questions expecting an answer? Would you like being surrounded by strangers on all sides and penned into a corner? Would you like people constantly debating about whom you might be sleeping with or what your sexual orientation is?
Just something to ponder.
- A Colin Morgan Appreciation Post (2/?)
Colin doesn’t have to constantly communicate what he’s feeling and thinking through dialogue. He communicates those things so well with just his face that we’re able to push the emotional content of stories a lot more. - Johnny Capps
He is one of the best around, and I think will be seen as such when he gets the chance to spread his wings. - Nathaniel Parker x
He gives an extraordinary performance in this film - a heartbreaking performance. I knew when we were doing it that he was special.Then when I saw the finished film, Colin blew me away. He is a terrific young actor. Even on a technical level, he is playing out of his own accent. He is from Armagh. Obviously he does ‘ Merlin ’ then, which needs a British accent and then he comes in and does this Dublin young fella and it is perfect. Stunning performance. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves. - Colm Meaney x
He was an absolute sweetheart, really super friendly and funny and a little bit shy! - Bertie Brandes x
When I met Colin, I was struck by how different he looked from his geeky, rather Hobbit-like persona in Merlin. His blue eyes glitter with intelligence and compassion, and a rare, lovely charisma; and better still he is so unexpectedly gorgeous! He’s a star, but he isn’t the least bit arrogant. He is warm-hearted and friendly to everyone. - Alison Jane Reid x
I was a big fan of the first series of Merlin. I watched it with my son, Jude. He has met everyone from Johnny Depp to Al Pacino to Steven Spielberg – but he has never been more starstruck than when he met Colin. - Mackenzie Crook x
THE BOY IS A GENIUS - David Tennant x
Colin Morgan Week
↳Day 4 (4th Sept) - Favourite Quote ▶ “Anything that is close to your heart is worthy of your time and commitment.”
"Telling stories and portraying characters is my passion and my drive and I’m so lucky to have the variety of working both on screen and on stage to bring these worlds to life. They are two very different mediums that require different skills for their execution but the process and the approach to both, for me, are exactly the same. It’s about creating the connection with your character as deeply and as truthfully as possible and working closely with inspiring directors and the whole creative team and not letting the ball drop, anything that is close to your heart is worthy of your time and commitment.”
Colin in Pierrefonds (Merlin season 5)