TV3's 'Red Rock' ready to roll as cast is unveiled
Move over Bella Doyle and Fizz Stape, TV3 has unveiled the cast of its highly anticipated soap 'Red Rock'.
Filming on the coastal drama kicked off yesterday with several familiar faces taking on leading roles.
Former 'Love/Hate' actress Denise McCormack, who played the part of Fran's tragic wife Linda in RTE's gangland drama, will play one of the central characters.
She will be joined on screen by theatrical heavyweight Cathy Belton, who took on the role of Sister Claire in Oscar-nominated feature film 'Philomena' and recently appeared in Alison Deegan's movie 'A Little Chaos', alongside Kate Winslet and Stanley Tucci.
Richard Flood will take on the role of brooding Superintendent James McKay.
Flood studied Drama at Oxford University and starred alongside Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin in National Geographic's 'Killing Kennedy'.
Having worked in LA and London, Flood returned to Ireland earlier this year with his partner Gabriella Pession.
"It's the first time I have done anything like this before," he told the Irish Independent.
"It's great getting into the thick of it and seeing the set and the costumes and meeting the rest of the cast. I have a new three-month- old son, Julio, so there's been plenty of change in my life in the past couple of months."
'Braveheart' actor Liam Carney; 'Game of Thrones' star Jane McGrath; Sean McMahon, who briefly appeared in 'Mr & Mrs Smith'; and Andrea Irvine, best known for her roles in 'The Clinic' and 'Line of Duty' also feature in the series.
'Red Rock' is being shot in and around Dun Laoghaire and Howth, with additional filming taking place in Dublin's Players Square.
The soap focuses on two feuding families: the Hennesseys and the Kielys.
The Hennesseys are described as a "local dynasty" who own the majority of businesses in the seaside town.
The Kielys, on the other hand, are a family of former trawler men who left cod fishing behind to become petty criminals and thieves.
The local police station acts as the fulcrum for the drama, with a different crime being investigated each week.
'Red Rock's' writing team is being led by Peter McKenna, who has previously worked on established series 'EastEnders' and 'Holby City'.
He is joined by award-winning playwrights Amy Conroy and Ursula Rani Sarma.
TV3 lost the broadcast rights for 'Coronation Street' and 'Emmerdale' in 2013.
The long-standing soaps will be broadcast on new station UTV Ireland when it launches in January.
Managing Director of UTV Ireland Michael Wilson previously said TV3 "dropped the ball" by letting its ITV contract slide.
But TV3 boss Jeff Forde is confident the new Irish soap will captivate audiences around the country.
"It is an extremely exciting and ambitious project," he said.
"We have a great team and a strong cast.
"But the viewing figures will follow a 'J Curve'. They will fall after the first few episodes before gradually starting to climb again."
The €7m drama will air in January 2015 and will employ 130 full-time staff.