Death in Paradise star tells us about his one night in Cape Town

2018-01-16 08:26
Death in Paradise cast

Cape Town – Father Ted star Ardal O'Hanlon called Channel24 all the way from London to talk about his most recent TV role on the hit murder/mystery show, Death in Paradise

Ardal takes over from Kris Marshall who played lead character DI Humphrey Goodman on the hour-long series for 30 episodes from 2014 to 2017.

The talented actor told us what some of his biggest challenges were stepping into a new role, as Jack Mooney, what it’s like to film on location and why he flew into Cape Town for one night. 

Here’s why he signed up for the show: 

I think it’s a dream job, really. The character I play is Jack Mooney and he’s such an interesting guy, the kind of character that actor’s love to play. So, purely from an acting perspective, it’s a dream. From a personal perspective getting to be on an island for five or six months at a time is very different. You know in Ireland, you don’t get as much opportunity to leave the house, because of the rain and that. So just the excitement of a tropical climate was a big attraction. 

More about his new leading character and why he’s on the island:

My character is Detective Inspector Jack Mooney, he’s Irish originally but has spent a large part of his life in London, working. He had a big change in his life when his wife died, it kind-of threw him for a loop. And he’s had this opportunity to go and work in the Caribbean and he took it. He’s in a new place, with a new job so it really gives him the chance to throw himself into his work. He’s also depending heavily on his new colleagues and getting to know them. It’s a big transformation in his life. He’s a very warm and genial guy. His stock and trade is disarming people with his friendly approach and apparent innocence. He has his steely side, which comes out more as the episodes go on.  I think he’s driven by a sort of moral indigence. 


Ardal on the biggest challenges shooting Death in Paradise:

It’s quite a challenging role from the point of view that you’re all-consumed for those couple of months of shooting, because he (Jack) pretty much features in every scene. It’s physically draining. It’s also shot in quite extreme conditions with a tropical storm or worse to contend with. It’s a challenge that we love as actors, to try and strike the right balance. That’s what I love, working as an actor (thinking) about the best way to approach a scene. 

Ardal O'Hanlon, Joséphine Jobert

(Photo: BBC)

Here’s what it’s like shooting on a tropical island after living in rain soaked Ireland: 

It was a bit of a shock, you know, the heat, it became quite excessive. But like anything else, you get used (to it). You find techniques to adapt to it. You do what you have to do to get through it. But the benefits totally outweigh the drawbacks, because it’s a beautiful island, the people are really beautiful, and the pace of life is totally different. It’s radically different and I think that’s a good thing, it’s healthy. It’s a privilege to be able to experience a different life for half of the year.

That one time he flew to a different continent for one night:

I have been to South Africa, but only for one day, bizarrely. I flew into Cape Town and flew out.  I worked with comic relief, which is a big charity drive every year. And they flew me out to the township for a charity football match and that was it. I flew in, played in the match, had a few drinks and then flew out the next morning. I’d love to come back and actually visit.

Season seven of Death in Paradise - which stars Ardal - airs on Monday nights on BBC Brit (120) at 19:59. 

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