Gillen says knives out for 'Charlie'
Actor Aidan Gillen was compelled to take on the lead role of Charles Haughey in RTE's upcoming drama 'Charlie' as he found the former Fianna Fail leader an enigma.
"There is something unknowable about Haughey," Gillen told the Irish independent.
"If we knew what drove him he wouldn't have been so fascinating or divisive."
Growing up in 1980s Ireland, Gillen was aware of Haughey's prominent role in political life.
"I remember the posters of his face and it tweaked my interest that one man could inspire utter devotion in so many people and total antipathy in others."
The 'Game of Thrones' star believes his portrayal of Haughey will be one of his most controversial roles to date.
"I know the knives will be out," he said. "It would have been an easy gig not to take but I would have been crazy not to do it. He's too intriguing and fascinating not to take on."
Written by Colin Teevan, the drama will trace the period from Haughey's bid for power in 1979 to his departure from politics in 1992.
Despite its setting, Mr Teevan is adamant the show will not have an overtly political message.
"Drama is not about messages," Mr Teevan said.
"It's about journeys. To quote Frank Capra: 'If you want to send a message try the Western Union'."
'Charlie will air on RTE One on January 4.