My Liam £5k pay to star in Sands movie

Ac­tor nearly turned down role

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - [email protected]­mir­ BY JIM GAL­LAGHER

GAME Of Thrones star Liam Cunningham said he was paid only £5,000 for film­ing multi-award win­ning Hunger about Bobby Sands.

And the 58-year-old said he al­most turned it down as he had just made The Wind That Shakes The Bar­ley with Cil­lian Murphy about the Ir­ish Civil War.

Liam, who was speak­ing at an IFTA event in Dublin, said: “Hunger paid me £5,000, it was his [di­rec­tor Steve McQueen] first fea­ture.

“Usu­ally the bet­ter the script is the lower the wages.

“My agent rang and said they are do­ing a low-bud­get thing about the hunger strik­ers and I said, ‘You can f**k off ’.

“I had just done an IRA movie, where’s this go­ing to go? She then told me the di­rec­tor Steve McQueen had never made a movie be­fore, never worked with ac­tors and was a video in­stal­la­tion artist. I said, ‘You are not do­ing a good job sell­ing it’.

“But they sent the script and Enda Walsh wrote it and he’s bril­liant.

“I read it and there’s one scene in the movie and it’s 28 pages of di­a­logue with Michael Fass­ben­der who’s play­ing Bobby Sands.

“It looks tricky, so I went over to Lon­don to have lunch with McQueen.

“As I walked out of the restau­rant I lit­er­ally rang my agent and said, ‘What­ever he wants’.”

Liam won an IFTA for Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor for his role as Fr Do­minic Mo­ran who vis­its Sands in prison and tries to per­suade him to give up the strike.

The 2008 film is fa­mous for their un­bro­ken scene of more than 17 min­utes with the cam­era not mov­ing. The Dubliner said: “I didn’t know it was go­ing to be a con­tin­u­ous shot un­til I had al­ready said yes.

“When he told me two weeks be­fore shoot­ing he was think­ing of do­ing it in one take my artis­tic re­sponse was, ‘Are you out of your f***ing mind?’ This is why he is an artist.

“Me and Fass­ben­der moved in to­gether for two weeks and just ran it like mad men try­ing to get it off.

“We did four takes on it and what you see is the fourth take.”

The scene was made even more dif­fi­cult be­cause it was filmed on a lo­ca­tion close to the noisy Belfast Cen­tral Sta­tion.

The ac­tor re­called: “Re­gards the tim­ing we were s **** ing our­selves. A locked-off cam­era means there is no hid­ing place.

“They had to check the timetable for the trains go­ing through be­cause it would have ru­ined the sound.

“Also there is no timetable for cargo trains and he had to ring the sta­tion mas­ter.

“So the bloke who ac­tu­ally de­cided when we were shoot­ing was the sta­tion mas­ter in Belfast Cen­tral Sta­tion.”

McQueen claimed the Cam­era d’Or at Cannes for the movie as a first­time di­rec­tor and the film won prizes ev­ery­where, in­clud­ing six IFTAs and a BAFTA.

MARATHON SCENE Liam and Michael Fass­ben­der In Hunger MONEY TALKS Liam Cunningham HEAT IS ON Fass­ben­der played Sands MURPHY’S LAW With Cil­lian in civil war movie

LEG­END In Game of Thrones

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