He may have got a lift in a helicopter piloted by Tom Cruise and is about to take his first lead role in a major budget movie but it’s obvious that Robert Sheehan is happiest when he gets to visit his hometown of Portlaoise.
He met with LaoisToday.ie in the Dunamaise Theatre last week and was clearly enjoying his down-time in his native town.
Mid-way through the interview he sees a former school pal, and renowned musical society performer, Eoghan Fingleton – a former schoolmate from Ballyfin college. “Jaysus, you haven’t changed a day,” Sheehan exclaims before an enthusiastic catch-up takes place. Jokes about the nicknames they have saved each other’s names under on their phones ensue.
He is enthuiastic about his few days home which saw him indulge in some local karaoke and meet up with friends including Emma Fogarty from Debra Ireland. “It’s lovely. And mother dear over there always slips a hot water bottle into the bed for me,” he said of his mother who was in close company.
“The last time I was home was in August. I was waiting to hear whether I had got a part and was emotionally invested and got way too hung up on it. Then I decided to head home and visit my parents and distract myself a bit” he said.
He subsequently didn’t get the part, but there were bigger things just around the corner for him. Shortly after that he got word that he is to star in the lead role in Mortal Engines, which is being adapted to screen from the acclaimed book series by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson in his native New Zealand.
Sheehan heads to New Zealand very soon and shooting will begin in March. He expects to be there for six months, with another three instalments possibly in the pipeline.
He isn’t daunted by the role, having starred in blockbusters before this, however, this time he takes the main part. “There is some pressure being the lead, I suppose. But I have always had the delusional sense that whatever it is, I can tackle it,” he said. This attitude hasn’t let him down yet – “It has benefited me throughout my life. There is pressure but I think things will be okay”.
Robert has just joined the cast as the lead in Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines! Filming will take place from March to June in Wellington, New Zealand.
“Fortitude” actor Robbie Sheehan and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s” Ronan Raftery have been cast in Universal and MRC’s adaptation of Philip Reeve’s “Mortal Engines,” which will be written and produced by Peter Jackson.
Sheehan will have a lead role, while Raftery plays a supporting one. Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will co-write the film with Christian Rivers directing. MRC and Universal are co-financing the movie, with Universal also serving as worldwide distributor.
Jackson and Walsh have been involved with the project for several years, having optioned the rights from Scholastic in 2001. Ken Kamins — Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens’ longtime manager — brought the project to MRC.
Zane Weiner (“The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies), Amanda Walker (“The Hobbit”), and Deborah Forte (“The Golden Compass”) are serving as producers, along with Walsh and Jackson. Kamins (“The Hobbit” trilogy, “District 9”) will executive produce, while Boyens co-produces.
The book is set thousands of years in the future. Earth’s cities now roam the globe on huge wheels, devouring each other in a struggle over diminishing resources. On one of these massive Traction Cities, Tom Natsworthy has an unexpected encounter with a mysterious young woman from the Outlands, who will change the course of his life forever.
Production is slated to begin in New Zealand this spring, and the film is set to bow on Dec. 14, 2018.
The sci-fi/fantasy movie is the first in a planned series of films based on Reeve’s novels. The series is comprised of four books: “Mortal Engines,” “Predator’s Gold,” “Infernal Devices,” and “A Darkling Plain.”
The “Mortal Engines” novels have won several awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Smarties Gold Award, and Blue Peter Book of the Year.
In addition to “Fortitude,” Sheehan can be seen next in Warner Bros.’ “Geostorm.” He is represented by Gersh.