Rob’s first theatre performance tonight for The War of Roses! Who was lucky enough to score a seat? We will be sure to keep you posted on anything new that follows! The show will be going through to October 31, so get your tickets if you haven’t already! Click here!
– I do apologize for the absence, I was busy covering the Toronto International Film Festival through the weekend.
— Robert Sheehan (@RobMSheehan) September 15, 2015
Robert Sheehan recently spoke to Irish Sun about his upcoming blockbuster Geostorm and how he’d love to be on the same scale as Colin Farrell or Micheal Fassbender. We absolutely think he will, of course! Have a read of the interview below:
FORMER Love/Hate star Robert Sheehan is hoping his new role as an astronaut in a €100million Hollywood blockbuster will put him in the same league as Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender.
The Portlaoise native, 27, stars alongside Gerard Butler as a budding spaceman battling to save the planet from apocalyptic weather in Geostorm.
Produced by the makers of Independence Day, the natural disaster epic is set to push the young actor onto Tinseltown’s A-list when it hits big screens next year.And after appearing in a string of low budget independent films since quitting the RTE crime saga two years ago, it’s the big break Sheehan’s been waiting for.
He said: “Geostorm is sort of a near future type sci-fi movie where global warming has essentially exacerbated the weather on Earth which has become humanity’s greatest threat. There’s floods happening and droughts and that sort of s***.
“And we spent six months down in Louisiana, shooting the whole thing at an ex-NASA facility outside New Orleans where they used to build shuttles in the ’70s and ’80s. You think, ‘this is unbelievable’.
“And while getting the big blockbuster was not intentional — because I’ve never measured success on that scale — sometimes actors need the film to reach enough people for it to feel relevant.
“So I’m certainly not complaining if it does well. Ultimately, I’d love to have the choice of guys like Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell.”
Quickly making his mark on the industry since moving to LA last year to live with girlfriend, Kingsman star Sofia Boutella, Robert has also landed the lead in forthcoming romance, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, opposite Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld.
But the actor claims the film is nothing like the typical Hollywood love story.
He explained: “Hailee and I play two people who are wary of love.
“And then they share this long conversation on a flight from New York back to London, and as they’re agreeing about how unlikely it is for real love to prevail in any two people, they start to feel what could be love.
“But it’s going to be like an antidote to these giant, sensational romantic films that have come out in the past five years, like Twilight with lots of beautiful men walking around with no shirts on. Nothing like that.”
Starting young in the industry, the garda’s son was just 15 when he won a small role opposite Aidan Quinn in Song for a Raggy Boy.
He followed that up with bit parts in The Tudors and The Clinic before scooping the lead as a male prostitute in Channel 4’s Red Riding and moving on to supernatural teen drama, Misfits.
Finding fame as trigger-happy Darren Treacy in Love/Hate, Sheehan became an instant household name on these shores.
But the actor bowed out with a bullet to the brain at the end of season three as the ensuing fame from the series was starting to prove a headache.
He said: “I loved that show so much, worked with great people, great crew.
“But I got restless and fame is a toxic side-effect of being a good actor. So that’s been the struggle. These roles become so defining in your career, I wanted to see what else I could do, what else was out there.”
Previously dating Ripper Street actress Charlene McKenna, Robert moved to London and worked on low budget films including Italian World War II drama Anita B and Moonwalkers with Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint.
But the pull of LA’s sun and success proved impossible to resist, not to mention his love for Boutella, and he packed his bags.
He said: “I thought, ‘I could endure another cold winter in London, or box up the four, five boxes of s*** I own in Camden and go to LA and wake up every day with the sun blazing through my window’. Who doesn’t want that? Plus I could explore the work opportunities out there, and yeah, there was a little bit of love involved too.
“But don’t get me wrong, I love to come home. It’s so important to come back and see my family. Just right now, I couldn’t see myself living there.”
Thankfully, the star hasn’t completely turned his back on this side of the pond as fans can catch him next month in his latest big screen British release, The Messenger. Alongside Joely Richardson, Sheehan stars as a troubled soul, tormented by spirits of the dead who force him to contact loved ones, playing havoc with his sanity and state of mind.
And while stretching his acting capabilities, he admits to being a firm disbeliever when it comes to the supernatural.
He said: “Everybody has a friend who has a friend but you never meet the person who it actually happened to. I’m yet to be converted to a full ghost believer. And I didn’t consult with any mediums or supernaturalists because I think they’re all bulls*** artists. They make it up so I wouldn’t believe a word any of those people tell me.”
Even after pal Nicolas Cage — who worked with Robert on 2011 flop Season of the Witch — revealed his own ghostly experience on holiday in Ireland, he still remains a sceptic.
He said: “Nic told me he once did a tour of all the most haunted places in Ireland.
“And I said to him, ‘Did you see any ghosts,’ fully expecting him to say no, and he says, ‘I don’t want to get into it but I had some incredibly supernatural experiences. So scary in fact, I don’t want to go into detail.’ And his face was proper white.
“But I don’t know. Even from the man himself, I still don’t believe.”
George Sully | theskinny.co.uk
“I’ve taken to not wearing shoes as much as I possibly can. Which is difficult, because, you know, the sock absorbs the foot sweat. If you’re wearing no shoes, and you’re driving a car or whatever, and your foot starts to slide off the accelerator – that’s bad! That’s too much sweat. Need to wear Maxi Pads on the soles of my feet. Maybe we should talk about that? I have a new invention…”
Robert Sheehan is full of ideas, for better or worse. But we’re not here to plan out a new Dragon’s Den pitch; the tall Irishman, barefoot and sporting a fresh tan in an opulent hotel conference room, sits down with The Skinny to discuss his latest film, The Messenger, before its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. If anyone’s seen the hit Channel 4 superpower series Misfits, his excitable, charming scamp Nathan isn’t a far cry from the real deal. We try and get the man back on track.
“The Messenger is about a young man who is being plagued by the recently dead,” he explains. “People who have died violently are coming to him and plaguing him to pass on messages to their recently bereaved. He’s the only one that can see these people, or interact with them in any way, so the effect of this is him showing up to funerals – he’s a dirty-type character, a bit homeless-lookin’ – trying to tell the bereaved about their dead, about this message, and obviously you couldn’t think of anything more obnoxious if you’re on the other side of that. So he ends up just being beaten up and cast further and further out.”
There is a thriller plot in the film, too: a high-profile journalist dies under suspicious circumstances, and Sheehan’s grubby Jack becomes reluctantly embroiled in the case thanks to his otherworldly gift. But this narrative plays second fiddle to Sheehan, whose compelling, dynamic performance is the movie’s chief draw.
“The whole thing about the character is that he’s entirely within this reality,” he explains. “So he’s a normal guy and the way he accepts these dead people coming to him is in a very humdrum, normal way: ‘Ah for fuck’s sake. I’ve seen this all before. It’s just gonna end in tears. Why don’t you just fuck off to heaven and leave me alone?’ It’s a really normalised approach to this supernatural thing that’s happening to him. I think he’s very human in that way.”
This isn’t Sheehan’s first time working with Scottish director David Blair, whose prior work includes BAFTA-winning BBC series The Street.
“Lord Blair – Master Blair – Overlord Blair, as I call him. I had worked with him about four years ago on a TV thing for the BBC, a thing called Accused, and then he got his hands on [The Messenger] script. He became attached and he said, ‘You know who’d be good for this fella? Weirdo, showin’ up at funerals, smells – get Sheehan.’”
What’s Blair like to work with? “Ah, he’s dynamite. He’s like a dynamo on set. There were long, long conversations, off set and then on set, about how not to make [Jack] mad to the audience. As soon as the audience thinks he’s insane then it just becomes way less interesting. So the idea was to keep the audience liking him; I mean, it’s difficult, certainly on the page, to like the guy. He’s doing unlikeable stuff in a very unlikeable way, constantly. There were endless debates about how to pull those two things off, and David was funny, ‘cause he’d go, ‘You can’t look at him,’ about the guy who’s dead. ‘As soon as you look in his eyes, you’re mad.’ I’m like, ‘That’s not true!’ and then a huge, endless debate would happen.”
As well as keeping viewers on side, despite his intrusive, self-destructive behaviour, the actor also pulls off a convincing northern accent. Has he had dialect coaching?
“No. I’d worked in the accent, or the general northern English accent before, so I had a bit of a head start. And if any accent thing comes up I just sort of go into the accent as early as possible, and then stay in it until the film’s over. People go, ‘It’s so hard to do an accent.’ It’s not really, as long as you just accept that you can’t have your own voice for the whole time – which is a tough thing to accept.”
Casting Sheehan, an Irishman, despite the film’s location, is testament to his versatility. “David’s lovely in the sense that he puts those sorts of choices in the hands of the actors. I suppose there’s an element of trust, so he said, ‘Where are you gonna be from?’ And I said, ‘I’m gonna be from northern England.’
— “One thing that becomes important as an actor is relevance – that affects your choices” – Robert Sheehan —
“Actually, the year previous, we were gonna shoot the film, and it was gonna be in Edinburgh.” Could he do a Scottish accent for us? “…Nuh.”
But he is a fan of the Scottish capital. “I feel like Edinburgh is the Galway of Scotland. Because it’s the same thing: in Ireland they call Galway ‘the graveyard of ambition,’ but that just means that people go there and never leave, because they forgot all about what they wanted to do in the first place, because they were so seduced by the loveliness of Galway. It’s a good thing; it does sound pejorative, but it’s a nice graveyard full of ambitious people who can’t remember what they were ambitious about, drinking cans down by the docks.
“I used to live there for two years,” he adds.
Conversation inevitably turns to Misfits, and its impact on his career. “One thing that becomes important as an actor is relevance – that affects your choices. Like, you know when someone says, ‘Ah yeah, I really love that actor, but what are they doing now? They’ve not done anything for years!’ And usually that’s not true. You’d think as an actor you’d go, ‘God, I’d hate people to think that about me.’ But I think that’s a really corrupting thought.
“That’s the thing about doing a show that had relevance; popularity equalling relevance, equals fame to some extent, and so really what you mean is you want to stay in the minds of people, in a fame way. And that’s toxic, to try and follow a career in that way. So I try to remove that entirely from the equation. But at the same time, Misfits, for me, was stumbling into a show that was really popular… it has done great things for my career.”
We highlight the supernatural similarities between Misfits’ Nathan (who is immortal) and The Messenger’s Jack. “No, that was coincidence. Both of them are just idiots in their own way. The whole supernatural thing I think is a smokescreen for the fact it’s just two fuckin’ arseholes doing their thing.”
They’re also both talkers, a trait common to many of his roles. Though we already have plenty of evidence, we ask if he’s as chatty in reality. “Yeah, I think so. I find it important to be able to get your point across.”
Has this ever gotten him in hot water? There’s a sharp intake of breath: “Yeah, absolutely. Oh God, I just remembered one thing… I can’t… I just remembered a story that could have been quite befitting subscribers to The Skinny, but I can’t tell it, because it’s too bad!” Oh? “No, I just upset someone once, for saying the wrong thing. But no, I do think it’s important to be able to get your point across. I think [with] most of the conflicts in this world… the base cause is because the person isn’t getting their point across properly, and there’s miscommunication. All of a sudden someone’s been bottled, your wife is screaming, she’s just stabbed a fella with her stiletto, and you’ve been barred from that pub for life…”
Something we can all relate to. “That was the story, basically,” Sheehan adds, unnecessarily.
The lovely Sheehan has shared the brand new blog by Owen Oakeshott for their upcoming theatrical spectacular; The War of Roses starting in September. The blog will take you behind the scenes of whats going on in rehearsals and some history behind the name. Be sure to buy your tickets to secure your spot to see Robert Sheehan live on stage!
— Robert Sheehan (@RobMSheehan) August 28, 2015
(Aug 11) Wars of the Roses Day 17:
I’ll fill you in on the previous weeks’ rehearsals as we go, but for now, know that I am the Earl of Somerset (stroppy, sneering, bit of a git) & I bat for the House of Lancaster (Rose: red). Today, after legging it from one rehearsal room to another, I end up with broadsword in hand, standing opposite Robbie Sheehan with pretend limp & genuine bobble hat, and Malcolm Ranson, our fight director, eyeing his swords with what can only be described as paternal concern. Robbie plays Richard III (bad back, bad man, bad carpark), and he bats for the House of York (Rose: white). And today, he kills me. Whilst doing his best not to actually kill me. Or me him.
– Owen Oakeshott