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Liam Cunningham: 'I can't afford to be a theatre actor'


Liam Cunningham

Liam Cunningham

Liam Cunningham

Top Irish actor Liam Cunningham wishes he could take on more theatre roles, but he can't afford it.

Even though he stars in global TV sensation Game Of Thrones, he admits that there's no money to be made from theatre.

"I would love to do more theatre. Listen, you are not an actor if you don't do theatre. I honestly believe that," he told the Herald.

"It's been a lifetime since I did a show at The Gate but I was a year-and-a-half in the Royal Shakespeare Company and all that. If I have enough quid in the bank and the right thing comes along then I will do it.

"I don't rule it out and I am embarrassed I'm not doing more of it at the moment. I don't do it because it doesn't pay," he admitted.

Liam wrapped filming on the fifth season of Game of Thrones at the start of December and revealed that filming the fantasy drama series is a complicated process.

"I was still doing Game of Thrones until the first week of December. Then they go into edit and music. It's a very complicated process.

"The longer you leave it the better it becomes, they have two weeks of visual effects stuff, we have giants and mammoths and all that sort of stuff," he added.


The 53-year-old actor also revealed that he doesn't read George RR Martin's books, on which the award-winning series is based, as he prefers to base his character on the script.

"I wait until I get each script to see how my character gets on - well, to see if my character even lives or dies," he laughed.

Liam also revealed he prefers filming in the studios in Belfast as it means he's closer to his family.

"It's great, I don't have to leave my family for too long. An hour-and-a-half on a train or driving up north and I'm there. You have to count your blessings," he said.

Fans will next see Liam in a film called Pursuit, in which he stars with Ruth Bradley and Brendan Gleeson.

"I've done a film with Paul Mercier, who gave me my first break," he said.

"It's called Pursuit and I shot it with Brendan Gleeson and the lovely Ruth Bradley, and it is a modern take on Diarmuid and Grainne.

"I play Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Brendan plays Shadabhan, a big mythical monster. Barry Ward is playing Diarmuid and Ruth is playing Grainne," he revealed.

"But it is an interesting piece and it almost has that Love/Hate feel to it. It's about gangs and drugs."