War of words:
Cultures clash in British war drama.
The past has been kind to American actor Aaron Staton (above). He was only a few years out of drama school when he won a part in the 60s drama Mad Men as the likeable and literary-minded Ken Cosgrove, who wrote stories in secret and lost an eye during a hunting accident.
In his latest role, in the British drama My Mother And Other
Strangers, he goes back another couple of decades to play an American army officer stationed in Ireland during World War II.
“By the time I retire maybe I’ll be in the 1500s or something,” laughs the 37-year-old West Virginia native.
“As an actor it’s such a shortcut into a character and a world. You just walk on set, put the clothes on and you just instantly feel different, everything looks different. With My Mother And Other Strangers, it was even easier as I am an
American playing someone taken with this world that is so different.”
Set in a Northern Ireland village in 1943, My Mother And Other
Strangers follows the lives of the Coyne family and their neighbours as they struggle to maintain a normal life after an American army airfield, with 4000 servicemen and women, is set up in the middle of their rural parish.
As well as providing a glimpse at wartime life in rural Ireland, the series follows the love affair that develops between the parish school teacher Rose Coyne (Hattie Morahan, Sense & Sensibility) and the charming American liaison officer, Captain Ronald Dreyfus (Staton).
Caught in the middle are Rose’s husband, the village publican Michael (Owen McDonnell), and the Coynes’ three children.
Just like Mad Men’s Ken, Dreyfus is a literary man caught up