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Aidan Gillen: Charlie is not a hatchet job


Aiden Gillen as Charlie Haughey

Aiden Gillen as Charlie Haughey

Aiden Gillen as Charlie Haughey

Actor Aiden Gillen believes that controversial politician Charlie Haughey probably expected to be written about at some point.

The former Love/Hate star will portray the divisive former Taoiseach from North Dublin in a three-part RTE drama beginning on Sunday.

"I'm sure Haughey himself, as somebody with a keen interest in the arts, would have expected to be written about at some point," he said.

"He would probably be wondering what took you so long."

Haughey's family have expressed fear that the programme will be a "hatchet job". RTE have not offered them a preview of the show.

But Gillen insists that the drama will not be a scandalous portrayal of the former leader of Fianna Fail.

"It's not a hack job, it's not a tabloid hack job. Colin (Teevan) is a proper playwright and screenwriter," he told Newstalk's Pat Kenny.

It would have been an easy role to turn down, Gillen revealed, pointing out that "no matter how well we do it or how it goes down I know the knives will be out".

Fears that the trilogy will focus on Haughey's relationship with journalist Terry Keane are unfounded, according to Gillen.

"It's certainly not a scandalous story about a love affair.

"The more levelly you tell the story, cool-headed and clear-headed, you can get your point across better people will sense that you are not trying to shove an agenda," he continued.