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Robert Sheehan – Little White Lies Interview

The Cherrybomb star talks about finding his feet alongside some of cinema’s most distinguished faces.


Robert Sheehan is best known for his character Nathan in the E4 teen drama Misfits. He has, however, been appearing in feature films for seven years after his breakthrough performance in critically acclaimed Irish film, Song For a Raggy Boy. His new film, Cherrybomb, will shortly be followed by Seasons of the Witch, which sees him sharing the screen with Stephen Lee, Ron Pearlman, Stephen Graham and Nicolas Cage.

LWLies: So you’re and up and coming actor, what’s next for you; LA?

Sheehan: No, not to live there. I’d gladly work there. I find you go where the work takes you, you let yourself go and see where you end up, and I’ve been lucky to end up in a few very nice places over the course of it. But yeah, I was over their last May for two weeks. I went on my own so it was mostly business and a bit of holiday. I was doing meetings 10 to 5 every day, general meetings which are fucking futile and pointless in my opinion. But they lead to nice things I suppose. One was really cool because I sat down for an hour with Christopher Nolan and just chatted about stuff.

You can’t get a lot better than Christopher Nolan. You’ve got a film with Nicholas Cage coming out right? Was that through that sort of meeting?

No, that was was general auditioning in London, and yeah we shot for four months in Austria and Hungary and I don’t know when it’s going to come out, it’s got postponed. I think it’s just them being cautious because there’s a lot of Nic Cage in the cinema right now.

You’ve been doing this for a while now though, we can remember seeing you in A Song For A Raggy Boy back in the day. Have you ever had, or do you have, concerns about getting into this industry?

I think you can’t control what kind of person you become. You have no choice there, you just do what you do, do what you like. Speaking on a personal point of view, or a philosophical level or whatever, I think it’s a fantastic way to spend your life. I’m very happy to be doing it, and want to keep doing it, and want to do more and more and more, because you get rusty very quickly, and you can get complacent very quickly. It’s a constant fight against that.

So you’ve experienced that in your career already?

Yeah because you can do a character and you can do it for several months, and then you stop and you have to think ‘Well what am I going to do now,’ and you’ve got to really learn how to do something else.

How difficult to you find that, to find new roles and climb into new skins, is that a struggle?

Yeah, it’s a struggle in the sense that you can go from ‘I’m never going to find this character’ to all of a sudden going, ‘Yeah that’ll work for me.’ It can happen very quickly. But there’s been so many brilliant characters in the past, so there’s been a lot of inspiration there, and it’s not just guessing in your own head, you can go away and look at stuff. I find that watching good actors provides inspiration.

Take Cherrybomb, who did you have in your head for that?

I kind of had a bit of a Jim Morrison thing in my head for that character. I remember seeing The Doors and seeing real footage of Jim Morrison, and he had this great sway to him. Those little things, as soon as you confirm those in your head then you can make a character, which I suppose to the outside eye is just me doing my thing, but in my head you’re creating a character.

Is there much of your personality in Luke? Did you find it difficult to find him?

No, it was quite easy to find him, the ideas came quite easily. It was fun because it was easy.

What made it so easy?

Just because I had quite a clear mind of what I was doing, which you don’t always have with characters, and everybody was very at ease on set all the time. It was very very laid back, relaxed, chilled out.

Cherrybomb is a very hermetic narrative and you spend a lot of time developing the inter-relationships. Were they something that came quite naturally between you and Kimberly [Nixon] and Rupert [Grint]? Did you spark off immediately as soon as you met?

I think there was a reasonably immediate spark off as soon as we met, I mean the banter started up pretty quickly. People strike a dynamic, and it was similar because it was me being mouthy, Rupert being lovely and sweet and himself, and Kim in the middle telling me how much of a tosser I am. So it was great. What I’m trying to say is that we got very comfortable with each other and that needed to happen, which doesn’t always happen.

There’s been a bit of controversy in the right wing press about the film’s themes like drug use. Were you conscious about sensationalising it?

No, I don’t think it needed that. The film is quite a stylised version of reality. I like that, I like how cool it looks and how visual it is, but I don’t think it’s completely true to reality in the way the drugs are shown. It doesn’t matter, it’s not trying to tell you any message or anything. That’s the thing, it’s not trying to impose a ‘this is what it’s like’ thing on anyone. There’s no morality to it. I like films that just happen and don’t really try and explain to the audience.


Original article found here: Little White Lies | April 23rd, 2010

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