TV se­ries has luck of the Ir­ish

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY TV -

US-BASED Ir­ish ac­tor Stu­art Townsend is grate­ful for the small mercy of be­ing able to slip into his na­tive ac­cent on the hit ac­tion TV show XIII.

Townsend, who plays the lead role of XIII in the self­ti­tled TV se­ries based on a Bel­gian comic strip, says the lux­ury of be­ing able to sound like him­self was pure luck. His char­ac­ter XIII, a finely-tuned CIA op­er­a­tive who can­not re­mem­ber his past, has an Ir­ish back­ground.

‘‘We talked about the ac­cent for XIII and we de­cided that a lit­tle bit of Ir­ish could be al­lowed to creep into my voice, so they let me do Amer­i­can with about 15 per cent Ir­ish thrown in,’’ Townsend says. ‘‘It’s nice to be able to do that.’’

Townsend’s CV in­cludes movie roles along­side Sean Con­nery in The League of Ex­tra­or­di­nary Gentleman and Trapped , where he met his for­mer long-time part­ner Char­l­ize Theron and TV se­ries in­clud­ing the re­make of the clas­sic Night Stalker.

How­ever, for all the glam­our, money and the pub­lic­ity sug­arhit a ma­jor film pro­vides an ac­tor, Townsend, 39, likes the day-to-day slog of a TV se­ries. He says XIII pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity to play the whole gamut of emo­tions while tak­ing on an ac­tion hero over a pe­riod of time.

‘‘It’s more about what char­ac­ter you’re play­ing and XIII is one of the most favourite roles I have ever played,’’ Townsend says.

‘‘With movies you get the chance to find the sub­tleties but with TV you don’t even know what you are do­ing to­mor­row. You are just given a script and I find that in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing.

‘‘You also get to spend six months with a char­ac­ter as op­posed to six weeks or a cou­ple of months.’’

XIII fea­tures el­e­ments of The Bourne Iden­tity and 24. Though it pre­mieres in Australia on Sun­day, Townsend is in the mid­dle of shoot­ing the sec­ond se­ries in Toronto, Canada.

Townsend ad­mits there are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween his no­madic life­style and that of XIII who trav­els across con­ti­nents look­ing for an­swers.

‘‘That’s what I love about the role – he’s some­what alone in the world,’’ he says.

‘‘At the same time be­ing an ac­tor is a strange life in that way, you’re all over the place and you go where the work is and you are a kind of a drifter.’’

Sun­days, 8.30pm, FX

Stu­art Townsend

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