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'I always take props home from my sets', reveals Aidan Gillen


Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen

As Charlie Haughey

As Charlie Haughey


Aidan Gillen

He's had roles on The Wire and Love/Hate and Aidan Gillen has admitted that he has taken souvenirs from film sets.

While playing former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey in the RTE drama, it was cheques that he decided to keep as memorabilia.

"I do tend to keep things from jobs. I have a load of Guinness Mahon cheques for half-a-million each - props," he said.

"Des Traynor [played by Frankie McCafferty] was handing me these cheques and I'm putting them in my pocket thinking I'm going to put them all together and frame them."

Gillen (46) is happy to keep the cheques but the oil paintings of him in character will have to go.

For his stint in the role of the Fianna Fail leader, he sat for two oil paintings - one of them on the staircase of Haughey's famous Abbeville home.

He admitted that he tried to fob them off on a UPC worker who called to his house recently.

"I have a few oil paintings from different jobs and you just put them there and think nothing of it, and then people are strolling through and see them and wonder 'who does this guy think he is?'" he joked.

Gillen has often said he was never going to please everyone with his portrayal of the divisive politician but he did get a stamp of approval from his neighbour, who was a supporter of Haughey.

His career has seen him nab some iconic roles both here and in the US - he was the star name attached to Love/Hate when it first aired and appeared in US political drama The Wire.

This time around the 46-year-old will hit our screens in a comedy role- thanks to his mum.

"She likes to see me lighten up a bit...I like to see me lighten up a bit too," he told The Sunday Times.

You're Ugly Too, in which he plays a man who is released from prison to take care of his niece, may not be laugh-out -loud but "it's as comedy as I'll get", he said.

"I dug the dynamic of a guy who is pretty hopeless and can't really help himself, trying to look after someone who is well able to look after herself.

"I know it's not comedy but there is something of a lightness to it," he said.


Aidan said it could be his dad's influence that has lead him to play much grittier characters.

"I have a tendency to stand on the edge of a group and watch," he said.

"My father could be quite shy but didn't shy away off-centre folks. There was a fella that lived in the trees in the Bishop's Palace in Drumcondra that he'd give food too," he recalled.