Friday 17 November 2017

Love/Hate writer worried about Gardai reaction to their onscreen portrayal

Tim Vaughan-Lawlor’s role as Nidge in ‘Love/Hate’
Tim Vaughan-Lawlor’s role as Nidge in ‘Love/Hate’

KEN SWEENEY ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

LOVE/HATE writer Stuart Carolan is worried how gardai will react to their portrayal at the centre of the highly anticipated fourth series of the show.

The boys in blue will take centre stage in the new season of the hit drama as they attempt to smash apart Nidge's crime gang in Dublin city centre.

But the award-winning writer said they had some concerns about how gardai will react to the portrayal.

"We haven't shown it to any serving gardai because it's still being edited and we probably won't," Stuart Carolan told the Herald.

"I just hope they like it when it goes out."

Irish actor Brian F O'Byrne -- who has already picked up a prestigious Tony award -- has been drafted in to play Detective Inspector Mick Moynihan.

He heads up the investigative team attempting to smash the gang led by kingpin Nidge.

The new addition to the cast is a key player in the new series, Carolan said.

"Think of it like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty, Detective Moynihan really is Nidge's arch nemesis," he revealed.

"Series four begins with Nidge and the gang trying to survive in the endless recession that dogs the rotten Republic.

"Nidge has his hooks into a client who has fallen behind on his tab at the brothel and sees an opportunity to extort him into helping to import a large consignment of drugs.

"But unknown to the gang, his activities have attracted the attention of gardai in the form of a semi-autonomous squad of secret undercover operatives, headed by Detective Inspector Mick Moynihan.

"Cool, steely and manipulative, he is determined to bring Nidge down, and his unit employs an army of complex surveillance, mind games and dirty tricks against his target," he added.

"As an increasingly paranoid Nidge works to put together the deal of a lifetime, he's unaware Detective Moynihan and his team are watching his every move."

Love/Hate's casting director Maureen Hughes was the driving force behind hiring Brian.

"Brian has been in LA for 15 years and won Tony awards for Martin McDonagh plays and big million-dollar films," Stuart said.

"We found him to be a great actor and people are going to see him become very important in Love/Hate."

Up until now, gardai have only been chasing the action, but Byrne's character steps up the heat on the crime gang.

"Having done 16 episodes of Love/Hate, it was time to be more inclusive," he said.

"Now we are going to tell the story from the guards' point of view with a number of garda characters," he added.

However, at the heart of the latest season once again will be the same key actors, including Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, who plays Nidge, which the Navan man credits with his show's success.

"People ask, 'is it hard coming up with the plots?' Not really, because I'm blessed to be working with such a great team," he said.

"It doesn't seem like work at all, I love doing it."

But despite a record-breaking audience of 953,000 tuning into its season finale last year, RTE's Head of TV Glen Killane admitted recently the station had not been able to recover the €3.6m it cost to produce.

However, Carolan, the creator of the hit series, believes RTE as a public service broadcaster shouldn't be concerned losing money on the acclaimed drama.

"RTE is not a commercial station. It's a public service broadcaster funded by a licence fee," he said.

"All the programmes on RTE are funded that way.

"That's what RTE is . . . a broadcaster funded by a licence fee doing public service.

"I guess RTE can make money on selling the adverts."

RTE has yet to reveal a transmission date for Love/Hate season four.

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