He might not headline a movie, but Liam Cunningham is a legendary character actor in his own right. The 53-year-old has been working professionally for just over 20-years after giving up his job as an electrician and has carved an interesting career of critically-acclaimed roles in films such The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Hunger, Centurion and The Guard. He’s currently experiencing his first taste of fame as Ser Davos Seaworth in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. Looking back on his filmography, it’s no surprise the film that has influenced his work the most is Apocalypse Now. With its moral ambiguity and meaty performances, Cunningham talks about why it’s his Five Star Film.
“It’s a no brainer. My audition for acting school was Marlon Brando’s speech. You know what it is? It’s the moral ambiguity in the movie. It’s that weird thing where the hero goes off and he’s not really the hero, and neither is Marlon Brando but you understand that they sent him off because Brando’s supposedly a deserter. But he’s… listen, I’m a pacifist but in that particular story he’s gone off because he thinks the suits and generals are fucking it up. He’s gone off because he’s a proper soldier and he wants to win the war like he was employed to do. Yet at the same time Martin Sheen will kill him. I just liked that. It messed with my head that it wasn’t a guy in black hat and a guy in white hat, with the guy in the white who is gonna win. I’ve kinda run with that right through and it’s the same with Game Of Thrones: you have no idea who are the good guys and who are the fucking bad guys. They’re all in this nest of vipers and they’re all trying to manoeuvre. That’s the theme and it was the same with Hunger. Life ain’t black and white and I try to do that with the work I do as much as I can.”
Maria Lewis – follow Maria on Twitter here: @moviemazz or on top-rating film podcast Pod Save Our Screen, available now on iTunes.