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I get 'coola boola' shouted at me - Peter

HIs Love/Hate character 
became synonymous with his "coola boola" catchphrase and fans constantly shout it at actor Peter Coonan on the street.

The Dubliner, who enjoyed his breakthrough role in Stuart Carolan's award-winning RTE gangland drama, said he's come to accept that viewers of the programme like to approach him and recite lines from the show.

"It's just the way it is," Peter said. "It would be a lot worse if they were shouting obscenities at me.

"People really associate me with Fran and it's up to me as an actor to show I can take on other roles."

The 30-year-old admitted it can be hard to break away from his famous part, but that he's grateful viewers have reacted so positively to the role of Fran.

"Sometimes that can be a bit frustrating, but it's such a brilliant role to be associated with, that at the end of the day, it's not too bad at all," he said.

daunting

Peter is currently in rehearsals for Brendan Behan's Borstal Boy.

On the 50th anniversary of the playwright's death, the Frank McMahon play will be staged at the Gaiety Theatre from September 11 for a limited run.

"It's daunting taking on such a classic piece but it's also very exciting," he said.

"I never saw those productions with Niall Toibin, but it's up to us now to put a memory in the mind of a new generation about the play and how it is performed."

While he's taken on a number of film and TV projects, Peter is enjoying theatre at the moment. It can be a tough discipline to master, but he embraces having weeks to prepare before stepping into a character.

"In theatre, you're given a month to rehearse so you're more prepared, but it's demanding in a different way, because it's seven shows a week for six weeks."

hnews@herald.ie


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