Paudge Behan, 19th July 2003
Paudge Behan, who plays Brian Mehan in Veronica Guerin, was kind enough to talk to me about his experience with the movie, as well as his early acting experiences and future prospects.
How did you become involved in acting as a career?
“My family were always involved in the theatre. I left Ireland and was living in Berlin, working in nightclubs and bars to put myself through art school. I couldn’t really concentrate on the art. I was doing too much work during the night and too much drinking as well, so unless I wanted to start a new art style where it would’ve been very ‘shakey’ to look at, basically I decided I had to do something else. I decided to back to London and study acting and do it properly this time. I had done some plays in Dublin before but they were all very over the top, very amateurish, full of people turning up drunk or not turning up at all so I packed it in and left for Germany. When I got back to London, I applied to three drama schools and I got into one which was the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. When I got out from there I thought this is a good business, when it’s working, but when it’s not; it’s awful.”
What recent film work, besides Veronica Guerin, have you done?
“I just did another movie before Veronica Guerin, called Conspiracy of Silence directed by a great guy, John Deery. It was released at the Galway Film Festival. The movie deals with aids within the priesthood. I play the brother of a guy who is about to join the priesthood, thinking about it seriously, weighing up all the pro’s and cons. It’s a modern, in-depth analysis of what’s happening in the priesthood at the moment and especially in the Catholic church in Ireland. It’s a good movie about peoples’ attitude and changing times.”
How did you become involved in the film Veronica Guerin?
“I got a phone call to say that someone was making a movie about Veronica Guerin and it turned out to be Joel Schumacher. I was asked to do an audition so I went along and met him and got along really well with him and got a few pages to read. The audition culminated in the scene that was used in the film where he’s taken to the police station.”
How were Joel Schumacher and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to work for?
“Joel Schumacher is very good, ultra professional, knows the ropes inside out and has his own ideas bout how he wants something. I met Jerry when I got the film, we went out to Lillie’s one night. He’s a really nice guy, somebody who is completely in control of the business. He knows what he’s doing, another ultra professional.”
What did you think of the finished film?
“Very good. I thought he got a great sort of cross section of emotion and different worlds because the main thing with the Veronica Guerin movie was, as far as I was concerned anyway, the two worlds colliding. Veronica Guerin is a reporter on her side, with her values and her world which most people inhabit, and then on the other side, there are other people with their world and their values, and the two of them collide. Only one of these worlds is going to take over at the end of it all, and unfortunately for her, I think she was involved in a situation where she didn’t realise the level that some people would go to, to achieve their ends.”
What’s next for you?
“I‘ve got a few auditions that I’ll go over to London for in August, when the movie is released over there, and I will probably go to the States in October when it is released over there.”