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'Black Sails': Mark Ryan and Zach McGowan praise the "8-hour movie" season 1

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"Black Sails" premieres this weekend on Starz, and on Tuesday, Jan. 21, we uploaded a video interview with Mark Ryan and Zach McGowan previewing their new series.

Ryan described "Black Sails" as "an eight-hour movie" (and it will be even longer if you factor in the second season) and even if you've only seen the previews out, you have to agree. "It just gets better each episode," McGowan chimed in, and Ryan added, "A lot of shows, when you start to watch a show, it starts big, and you get sucked in…and then it kind of trails off. This starts big and gets humungous."

"There's historical characters, there's the characters from "Treasure Island," and then there's also just characters that have been developed by the writers and everyone as well," McGowan explained. "I play one of the character who was a real man who existed back in the 1700s. It starts in 1750, the Golden Age of Piracy, so to speak. …Charles Vane, there's a lot about him written...but there's not much about the man himself, who he was, how he felt about this, why he did this… It's kind of a cool character to play one of these where you're mixing what you know happened with what you're coming up with."

As for Ryan, he plays Gates, the Walrus' Quartermaster. "Flint and Gates, they're old friends, and Gates respects Flint's seamanship," the actor said, describing his character as "the audience's eye."

Check out the video interview with Mark Ryan and Zach McGowan above (or here) for more about the series and their characters.

"Black Sails" airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.

© Meredith Jacobs 2014

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