Monday 19 February 2018

Stephen Rea: I can't wait to play the bad guy!

Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

He's waited years to play the villain and now that Irish actor Stephen Rea has "come of age", he's making the most of turning evil on the silver screen.

The Academy Award nominee jetted off to Colombia this week to begin a month-long shoot on Red Water, a hard-hitting thriller about the exploitation of children.

The Michael Collins star will play the sinister father of American actress Julia Stiles – known and loved for her part in hit The Bourne Identity franchise.

A shy and unassuming Stephen (66) sat down with The Diary and said that when it comes to more challenging roles, it can always be found in the devilish rogue.

"I played a lot of good guys earlier on because, for some reason, producers always want the good guy to be younger – so the audience can identify with them," he said.

"At a certain stage in your career you get to play villains and at this stage, it's where there's more meat in a role.

"I don't like to be a melodramatic desperado, the trick is to make the villain plausible, but I really enjoy that – making him think he's a nice guy when he's not.

"My character in Red Water is not a very nice man – in fact he's responsible for all the bad stuff in the movie. I'm looking forward to it."

Stephen's a veteran on both screen and stage, but as his career has progressed, he confesses to harbouring a preference to film.

"Stage is so demanding because you've got to be ready every day at a certain point and go on six or seven days in a row. I've done a lot of stage throughout my career and I do love to do it because you can develop a lot as an actor that way, but I really like the intimacy of shooting a movie.

"It's still as intense, but the process is more shared; everyone's in the moment. When you're on stage, you're kind of thrown out on your own," he said.

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