The eighties are back in vogue and it’s none other than the country’s favourite criminal ‘Nidge’ that’s dictating the trend.
Large spectacles, a Holmes-esque trench coat and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor leaned against a Mercedes as he filmed the latest scenes for the upcoming RTÉ three-part series on the life of Charlie Haughey.
A light pinstripe suit, a comb-over and an Irish Independent broadsheet completed Vaughan-Lawlor’s look for his character PJ Mara, the press secretary and adviser to former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey.
But PJ Mara (72) could be waiting a while to see how he’s portrayed on the small screen.
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, probably taking a few tips from his ‘Love/Hate’ character Nidge on how to keep a secret, kept his head down on the ‘Citizen Charlie’ set as he worked alongside actor Laurence Kinlan (Tony Gregory) and Aidan Gillen (Charlie Haughey) as the trio met at Tony Gregory’s office.
“I want to be flattered and remembered well. I have no idea how they will depict me, will have to wait and see how they do a job,” the real PJ Mara said recently.
“Of course I will watch it. I am vain enough and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has a big a reputation now as big as Charlie Haughey’s,” he told Miriam O’Callaghan.
“I have every confidence in him and am sure RTÉ will be balanced in its treatment.”
He also said he hopes the series will be balanced and show all sides of Charlie Haughey, who is to be played by Aidan Gillen.
“It is in the hands of the script writers, actors and producers,” he said. “I hope the series does him justice as he was multi faceted and that his strength be brought out equally with the fault finding.”
“It amazes me that it is 22 years since Charlie Haughey was Taoiseach and I was press secretary, and it is extraordinary that the interest and fascination has lasted a quarter of a century,” he said.
“It was different times then. There are politicians that capture the public imagination, all kinds of myths and stories grow up around them. All the way to the end there was huge popular opinion around him. The fascination has sustained itself, not unlike in Britain with Thatcher, and that is haunting the British conservative party to today."