Issue 131 – London Calling


Alright. You’ve had your big breaks: you were the back-end of the orange caterpillar in the latest Meteor ad and second punter from the left in the pub on Fair City. Nonetheless, it looks like the emerald isle will all too easily contain your talents. But what about our real rising stars? Does a talented actor have to leave Ireland in order to make it? Niamh Creely investigates…

Interview with Aidan Turner

When did you realise you wanted to be an actor?

When I got my first pay cheque, I think. I remember slowly coming to the realisation that people were going to pay me for what I was doing, which at the time seemed ridiculous.

Of TV, film and theatre, which do you work in most and which is the most reliable?

Over the past couple of years most of my work has been in TV. When I left drama school in 2004 I started working in theatre but there was never any master plan. I just wanted to get as much experience as I could, as quickly as I could.

What are the advantages of being in London?

I don’t think there are any ‘advantages’ to working in London as apposed to Dublin. There are more opportunities to audition for projects in the uk because there’s more happening there but then there are also more actors going for the same roles so that kind of evens things out. It depends on which country you want to work in. I wanted to live and work in the uk for a while so that made my decision an easy one.

Were you reluctant to leave Ireland?

I wasn’t reluctant to leave Ireland because it never felt like a permanent move. I was going where the jobs were taking me. But even aside from that I love London. I like spending time there.

How easy is it for Irish actors to find work in London?

I can’t answer that one. Every actor who makes the move has a completely different experience to the next one. Some find it easier than others and find work quickly. Others have to wait a while. Such is the nature of the game.

Have you felt the impact of the recession?

In the sense that a lot of projects have been put on hold or scrapped because of funding issues due to the recession. I’ve been quite lucky, though. The last two years have been busy for me.

Would you ever consider moving to the US or back to Ireland?

The next job for me could be in either one of those places. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a flight.

The full article (including interviews with Andrew Scott, Eva Birthistle, Katie McGrath, Kerry Condon, Peter McDonald and Ruth Negga) is printed in Film Ireland 131.