Irish actor Robert Sheehan brings an air of tragedy to every part that he plays. Now he’s touching new grounds and has taken on the role of auteur as well as actor in his upcoming production ‘Jet Trash.’ Prior to that, you’ve seen him deliver compelling and dynamic performance in ‘The Road Within,’ where he plays a young man with Tourette’s syndrome, proving his versatility once more. His latest release,
‘The Messenger,’ sees Sheehan as a wayward character, a bit homeless looking, who shows up at people’s funerals and talks to dead people. There wasn’t too much debate on who else would’ve been a more suitable fit. After going back into theatre for ‘The Wars Of The Roses,’ we caught up with the Irish actor and it’s safe to say that his excitable, charming, yet compelling, and substantial characters aren’t a far cry from the real deal.
Now you’ve taken on the role of auteur as well as actor in ‘Jet Trash.’ This was your first time producing and building something from the ground up. How was the whole process for you?
All in all, it’s been about a two and a half year experience. Andy Brunskill, who’s the main producer, came to my agent with
a treatment of about 15 pages and said ‘Would Rob like to come on as an actor but also as a producer?’ And for over six to 12 months we commissioned a writer to do the script, who was actually the writer of the book that ‘Jet Trash’ is based on. Initially, we weren’t too happy with it and had to transform it into a more complex body of work. That was a brilliant experience because it was the director, Charlie, and myself sitting in my kitchen until five or six in the morning, managing sections of the script. Afterwards, we all went out to film
in India for five weeks and had this sort of chaotic experience. It was something that we’ve been developing and growing for a year and a half and all of a sudden, we had all these people helping us make it. It wasn’t without it’s chaos but it was a really joyous experience.
Since you were so heavily involved in it, did you manage to keep any sort of objectivity?
I don’t think so, no. The only way you can improve it, particularly in post-production is to keep watching different manifestations of it, take notes, see what bits stuck with you most and then fight for those bits. I was in LA, so I was watching cuts of the film digitally, taking notes and then comparing the notes to the last thing. I was trying my best to have objectivity, but, by definition, you can’t because you’re so close to it. You feel loyal to bits that might not entirely work. But you get better at it; you learn to kill your smaller babies in order
to save the bigger babies.
Of all the roles that you’ve played, which one do you reckon was the one that you could relate to most?
I think in my early 20s, I was more like the character Lee in ‘Jet Trash.’ Not as selfish as him, but I was always trying to be the life and soul of the party and absolutely craved human company. But I was a decent kind of person who was doing stuff kind of hair-brained. I’ve mellowed out to some extent in my old age.
What’s your FAULT?
My biggest fault is the ability to forget everything that’s not in front of my face. If someone’s not getting me to focus, it just goes clean out of my head.
Find the whole interview and photoshoot exclusively inside FAULT 22
Words: Adina Ilie
Photography: Joseph Sinclair
Styling: Krishan Parmar
Grooming:Stefano Mazzoleni @ EMMA DAVIS