Monday 18 June 2018

WATCH: 'Sometimes you want to cry when people ask questions about Avengers: Infinity War' - Tom Vaughan Lawlor

Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Barry Ward talk new Irish film MAZE, intense characters, struggling as actors, fame and Avengers

Chris Wasser

Irish star Tom Vaughan Lawlor has revealed that he wants to "cry" when people ask questions about his role in Marvel's upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.

A photo of the Dublin actor was leaked from the set earlier this year prompting speculation that he is playing villain Ebony Maw. 

"Luckily I didn't let slip a secret," he told  "It was a photograph taken from the so I'm faultless, I'm guiltless."

Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) film Avengers: Infinity War in Atlanta. Picture: Backgrid

He has been keeping schtum on which character he will play, confirming only that he will appear in the film.

"I'm really good at keeping secrets.  I've gotta keep working at it.  Sometimes when someone asks you a question about a job sometimes what you don't say can be as decoded as what you do say so sometimes you just want to cry when people ask you questions and you think, 'You're going to get me fired!'"

Vaughan Lawlor, who lives in London, was back in Dublin to promote his latest movie, MAZE, in which he stars opposite fellow Irish actor Barry Ward.

The Love/Hate star plays the republican prisoner who planned the biggest jail break in British and Irish history in 1983 when 38 inmates managed to escape the high security prison.

He develops a relationship with a warder who is played by fellow Irish actor Barry Ward and they reveal that while the film is a jail break thriller it's also a drama about the dynamic between the two men.

Barry Ward and Tom Vaughan Lawlor in MAZE

This is why they feel that allegations of 'glorification' and 'romanticism' levelled at the movie from some quarters are unfair.

"It's kind of inevitable," says Ward of the criticism.  "You'd like to think many different people will have many different opinions on it.  I think that's healthy."

Vaughan Lawlor adds that while it appears to solely a violent thriller in the trailer, it's "more than that".

"It's clever in that it's sold as a thriller in one sense in the trailer but it's much more nuanced and subtle than that.  There's a lot more going on because it's got this double narrative.  It's also this drama about the relationship between two men from opposing sides and their attempt to have a dialogue."

The shoot took place over 25 days but the actors said they never felt rushed although they admit it was intense, especially since they were in Blarney and travelling from set to hotel and back again without much else to do.

"Both of us were away from our families, but we were in Blarney and in this kind of resort," says Tom.  "We'd shoot all day in the prison and come home and be quite isolated in terms of where we were in Blarney.


"Not to overplay it but it was like the prison the hotel the prison the hotel and because we weren't in the city there was no kind of breathing space so you just kind of lived it, in a really great way.

"Some actors go to great extremes in terms of their preparation off screen and in terms of their life off set and I can find that really helpful but also sometimes I can find that a hindrance."

While their profiles are on the rise, they both admit they still have days where they worry where the next pay cheque is coming from.

"There have been moments where I thought should I keep doing this?" reveals Tom.  "Work and can come and go and sometimes you're looking at your child and going, 'I'm going to have to sell you to pay the mortgage.'  You ask well what else could I do?  Well, nothing.  Cleaning?  I'm not good at anything.  This is all I can do unfortunately!"

However, he reveals he could have been a librarian in another life since books are so integral to his life.

Of the worry where the next pay cheque is coming from, he continues, "On Alec Baldwin's podcast he was telling a story that Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman were having a drink one night and they both got a bit drunk and Hackman said to Hoffman, 'Do you ever still fear we might never work again?' And he went, 'Well, yeah'.

"Not to overplay it but the kind of stress of being made unemployed every few months and being out of work and trying to get other jobs and trying to keep your head above water, especially in a city like London, where we live, especially if you're not in a relationship and you're a younger actor knocking around and trying to pay your rent.  It can be intense.  I think it sews itself into your soul as an actor.  It's a good motivator I think."

Windmill Lane Pictures produced Love/Hate

Although he is a household name thanks to his role as Nidge in Love/Hate, Vaughan Lawlor says he can deal with the attention as it came to him later in life.

"We're a bit older now and that success, that exposure came a bit later but for young actors, and you can see it with rock stars, who are famous very young when you're forming your identity I can't imagine what that must be like.  We both have families and have kids so you don't just solely identify yourself as an actor.  You identify yourself as a father, a husband a partner, whatever."

See the full interview in the video at top of page.

MAZE opens on September 22.

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