The Irish star is boxing clever...

The Irish star is boxing clever...

"Maybe people see me as a gun for hire," suggests Ciarán Hinds. If so, the 64-year-old Belfast native has proven a highly potent weapon for a long list of top directors, including the like of Steven Spielberg (2005's Munich), Martin Scorsese (2016's Silence) and P.T. Anderson (2007's There Will Be Blood). Now scorching up the screen in pugilist drama Bleed for This, Hinds has also just wrapped his first comic book villain in Justice League...

In Bleed for This, you play real-life boxer Vinny Paz's father. What was their relationship?

Angelo, the father, was on top of the boy all the time. He loved him obsessively. He loved the reflected glory of his son being the toughest guy in town. And Vinny had a deep, deep love for his father. It was a huge experience (meeting Vinny). He's an extraordinary man. When he was introduced to me and was told, "He's going to play your father," he didn't say; "Who? That guy! The Irish guy!" He just started opening up about his father.

I'm often surprised where I end up.

You've worked with some remarkable directors across your career. Are you amazed?

I'm often surprised where I end up. Genuinely surprised. I must have a great agent! I sneak in here, I sneak in there, and I get to work with these extraordinary people.

Your mother was an amateur actress. Did you see much of her work?

I only saw her once on stage, she did one thing when we were kids. She did a lot before that. There was a big tradition of amateur theatre in the north of Ireland. My father was a GP and they were anxious about me becoming an actor - it's a very precarious, risky profession. That's why I was guided towards university to get some sort of professional qualification. But law didn't sit well on my shoulders!

What do you remember about P.T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood?

It was fantastic. Two extraordinary creative people - Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis - just going to work like demons every day. Wrestling with this piece... they wouldn't leave it alone. Never once did they say, "Yeah, we've nailed that." It was constantly digging at it, nibbling at it and chopping it around.

More recently you got to work with Scorsese on Silence. Was there a feeling that everyone was helping him realise this incredibly long-gestating project?

There was. Obviously, it meant a lot to him and as you know, if you've seen it, it's not a film that reaches out to people in any way. It's a very religious, philosophical critique on faith. Also the way he works, the manner in which he requests silence while people are working (is impressive). There wasn't screaming on set!

...wearing this very unglamorous suit - very tight and embarrassing!

You're playing Steppenwolf in Justice League. How was that?

All the stuff I'm doing is on motion capture, wearing this very unglamorous suit - very tight and embarrassing! Basically they're going to construct something, digitally, and then they will use my eyes and mouth. I think that's how it's going to work.

What did director Zack Snyder tell you about the role?

When I met Zack way back, about a year-and-a-half ago, before they started shooting, he said, "We probably won't get to this until we've finished the main shooting." He told me the story about the character: they were controlling lots of other planets and taking these worlds, but also he was old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to the top guy, Darkseid. But, in fact, he was hoping he could get enough worlds for the boss to say, "Can I go home now?"

You're also in espionage movie Red Sparrow. Do you have any scenes with Jennifer Lawrence?

I don't. I'm in an office - because I get to pin a medal on her. Why would I do that? I don't know. Why do I think that? Maybe I hoped that! Maybe I dreamt that! My scenes are with the wonderful actors Matthias Schoenaerts and Jeremy Irons.

Source: Total Magazine
Author: JM
Date: June 2017

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