I hope everyone has their DVR’s ready! While we wait for tonight’s exciting premiere of Fortitude Season 2, read up on the new interview Robert did for The Version!
What attracted you to the world of Fortitude?
“It was mainly the prospect of seeing Richard Dormer, topless, in the snow. You should see his chest hair, it’s pretty magnificent. It looks like an old wolf has laid down and died on his midriff. But when the part came around, I binge-watched the whole show over, like, a two-day period, and, you know, that’s a good sign – I was addicted to it. The scripts zing along at a great pace, and the most compelling thing, I thought, was the character of Vladek. As a show-off, naturally you’re always looking for the thing you think is going to be the most interesting in the project, so to be that thing is always very intriguing.”
Who is Vladek?
“He’s an electrical engineer, but he comes to town seemingly with a mission.”
He has an interesting look…
“He looks like an old Inuit lady – wearing moon boots. Why not try moon boots? His look is very much derived from the earth, everything he wears is of a practical nature. ”
Is season two just as graphic as season one?
“There’s quite a graphic naked shower scene involving my character – that was fun to shoot. There is all of the gore and the horror which was in the first season – it’s back in spades, man.”
Is there a sense of achievement around the series?
“Among us, definitely, yes. What’s interesting about doing this show is that due to deadlines, or whatever, you’re getting scripts and scripts are changing and you are hurtling towards the climactic end. So at times when we’re creating this series we have no idea what is coming ahead, which is frustrating, but also quite exciting, because I suppose it’s quite like life. But I think we’ve done some interesting, really out-there, challenging things and I think people’s heads are going to be blown off when they see some of the Robert Sheehan Vladek Klimov I think people’s heads are going to be blown off when they see some of the mad, mad stuff we’ve put together in this season ABOUT VLADEK An electrical engineer and a new arrival in Fortitude. mad, mad stuff we’ve put together in this season. The thing about being in this show is you can’t go into it half-assed. You have to take the material, which is incredibly risky dramatically, and elevate it, which takes balls. So that’s been the challenge and it’s been really nice because the vast amount of Vladek’s journey has been with the one director [Kieron Hawkes] and very personal, and that’s been a joy because I’ve been completely uninhibited in pushing the boundaries of the scenes. If you go into something like Fortitude half-cooked and not willing to show up then you’re at nothing really.”
Fortitude Season 2 starts tonight, 9pm on Sky Atlantic
Robert Sheehan chats with Digital Spy about Fortitude which will be airing in just TWO days on Sky Atlantic. We also get a new quality promotional still of Robert!
It was the TV show that brought us a woman’s gut being torn open with a fork… and now Fortitude is back for more “graphic madness”.
The first series of Sky Atlantic’s chiller – which aired in 2015 – told a dark and twisted tale about parasitic wasps which invaded the human body, provoking violent behaviour in their hosts.
The story for series two is strictly under wraps, but actor Robert Sheehan – who joins the show as the enigmatic Vladek Klimov – has promised that it would be pulling back on the bloodshed.
“I can’t say [what happens] but loads of people get murdered,” Sheehan told press including Digital Spy.
“The show doesn’t pull any punches, which is really interesting. There’s a sort of an etiquette to TV anywhere in the world – there are parts emotionally and graphically where the show has to lean away from its own intensity…
“But I think this show very much stayed with, and challenged the audience to stay with, the graphic madness of the show. It’s a lot to take when you start watching it.”
The ex-Misfits star described his character Vladek as “a young man on a mission” – hell-bent on confronting the evil force that has descended upon Fortitude.
“From the hangover of the first series, he feels there’s a deep fundamental illness in the place that he has to deal with. He’s a man who has inherited this responsibility. He talks about it historically, it’s not the first time – it’s a fight that has happened before.
“It’s not immediately obvious at first, but he is good and has good intentions, however twisted his actions might seem.”
Fortitude returns to Sky Atlantic on Thursday (January 26) at 9pm. The entire 10-part series will also be available to watch on Sky Box Sets, immediately after episode one airs.
By Stephen Milton | thetimes.co.uk
It was earlier this year, in mid-July to be precise, when Robert Sheehan’s career took a turn for the unexpected. Alongside the 1980s fallen idol Samantha Fox and the rapper Lil’ Kim, gossip sites revealed the Irish actor’s imminent entry into the Celebrity Big Brother house.
Sheehan was initially amused by the tawdry chatter. “But then it got bigger and bigger,” he recalls. “It kept pinging up on my phone via Google Alert. My girlfriend texted me a list of names with mine on it, saying, ‘Is there something you should be telling me?’”
He eventually silenced the rumours with a curt tweet. “I had to. People were texting, saying, ‘Congratulations. I know you’re going to be amazing.’ Going in with that f****** carnival of lunatics? It was tragic.”
It’s morning in Berlin, and Sheehan is sitting in a clanging hotel lobby, sipping a cup of coffee. The kaleidoscopic art work looming behind his head, combined with the light, creates a psychedelic halo effect. He rubs his tired hazel eyes, the fallout from another late-night shoot on Mute, a dystopian sci-fi movie co-starring Alexander Skarsgard, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux. Director Duncan Jones is at the helm. “You know, who did Moon and Source Code? This has been described as the spiritual sequel of Moon.”
He’s keeping good company. In a couple of weeks, the chatty actor will travel to Portland to begin work on Bad Samaritan with the Independence Day producer Dean Devlin and co-star David Tennant before jetting down to New Orleans for reshoots on Gerard Butler’s climate catastrophe Geostorm.
Next month, he’ll debut as a shadowy shaman — a role he seems genetically and psychologically programmed for — in the second season of Sky Atlantic’s Arctic thriller Fortitude, alongside fellow newcomer Dennis Quaid. The Celebrity Big Brother slag heap will have to keep a little longer.
That’s not to say the Portlaoise native has conquered the entertainment industry — or come close. Since quitting the security of RTE’s criminal juggernaut Love/Hate, then Channel 4’s Misfits, Sheehan has endured the usual peaks and pits of a working actor.
A lead opposite Hailee Steinfeld in Dustin Lance Black’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight inexplicably evaporated. A starring role in the spin-off of The Walking Dead was torpedoed by an agent’s misstep. He blinks slowly and sighs. “It can be hard, man. You can’t help but get excited. You develop an expectation and you start spending the money. And it hurts like f*** when you don’t get the job.”
After an eager relocation to Los Angeles last year, he had his wings clipped by the City of Angels and has since moved back to London. “I was sick of LA, in all truth. There’s this undercurrent of desperation, and just by being there it feels like you’re taking part. And if you’re not doing something, in the way of filming, in the eyes of everybody you’re not doing anything. A lot of people are just firing shit at the wall, and I hated that. And I hated there was an expectation on me to do that.”
Wiggling those dark brows and periodically pursing a finely sculpted pout, Sheehan boasts an open candour, something his contemporaries fear to express. The cocksureness of his early twenties, best represented by eye-rolling, mournful claims of being swarmed by fans during his breakthrough stint as the Love/Hate felon Darren Treacy, has been replaced with a smooth maturity.
He’ll turn 29 in January and the imminence of his thirties prompted a desire to refurbish body and soul, with gym training and Bret Easton Ellis podcasts about movie culture, respectively. The latter, he says, “develops your appetite and curiosity for quality”. The former is having a visible effect, as he gesticulates with muscular toned arms on a not-so-gangly 6ft frame.
His latest project is Jet Trash, a feature financed on a shoestring. Based on Simon Lewis’s cult novel Go, the lurid tale of dope-toking backpackers [Sheehan and newcomer Osy Ikhile] hiding out on Goa’s hedonistic sands, after a dicey entanglement with a London underworld shark, was his first attempt at producing. It demonstrates his determination to create work, rather than wait for the phone to ring. “I didn’t structure any of the financial deals, I have no experience in that, but I did help raise the money, which was a keen learning experience,” he says. “It wasn’t too difficult because of the low budget [€250,000]. I came up with a few financier names, Andy Brunskill [producer on Lilting] came up with a few names. We took them out for Indian dinners in the UK and charmed them away from their cash. Somehow, it worked.
“And we were lucky because several producer friends warned against shooting in Goa, telling us, ‘India will f*** you. The bribing will be relentless.’ Fortunately, we were poor, so it wasn’t a problem.”
The dreamy shoot wasn’t without its headaches for Sheehan and director Charles Henri Belleville. While recreating a flicker of Danny Boyle’s The Beach, they were plagued with problems, from quarrelling crew members, persistent financial doom and the near-fatal overdosing with sedative of a cow that was being used in a pivotal scene.
Meanwhile, love was in the air for the actor and French co-star Sofia Boutella, often a kiss of death for a production. “But it was completely advantageous in this situation,” he muses. “The quickness with which we got together and were telling each other, ‘I think I’ve fallen in love with you,’ was about two-and-a-half weeks. And it’s also tough emotionally because you have to consider, maybe it’s the India bubble? We were staying in these little huts on the beach and watching the sun rise every morning. It’s a daydream setting. That endears you to love.”
Together for more than two years, their relationship survived after returning to London. “We had to learn how to get on. Reality came back and we had to learn on a practical level who the other person was. Falling in love was easy but the tough part was getting to know each other.”
Boutella’s career is currently soaring. She landed a significant lead in this summer’s Star Trek Beyond, and has just wrapped on Universal’s Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe.
In the past, Sheehan has said love cannot withstand the nomadic existence of working actors, and blamed this for the breakdown of a previous relationship. “Last year, I was doing a play in London, so I had nine weeks of rehearsals and six weeks on stage. And she was going off to do Star Trek in Vancouver for five months pretty much at the same time, and we thought, ‘This is going to rupture us, this is going to kill us.’ But you get breaks, you adapt, you travel. Once you’ve done a few stretches apart, you get better at it.”
Sheehan yawns and stretches. His enthusiastic speech pattern is losing its energy. He rubs his eyes again. His hotel bed is calling. Plans for Christmas have been made — work commitments will permit a couple of days off in LA and Mexico with Boutella. I comment on his workaholic ways. He chuckles and tells me his professional priorities have changed.
“When I was in my early twenties, there was a real appetite to work constantly and a drive to get yourself on a low rung of the ladder. But as I mature, you have to take care of your career like it’s a delicate flower. I’m not taking on projects arbitrarily any more. I’m becoming more snobbish. Whose sandbox do you get to play in? The more you raise the bar for your résumé, the more people look and see how hireable you are. I’ve realised actors can destroy their own careers.
“But I’ve also learnt recently, if you have a good thing in your life, hold on to it.”
Jet Trash is screening exclusively at Vue cinemas from Dec 9
Jet Trash is in this month’s issue of Total Film Magazine! You can read (high res) the full article that includes a Q&A with Robert Sheehan available right here in the photo gallery!