Penny Dreadful cast tell entertainment.ie what they thought of Ireland when filming here...
There has been a great deal of hype around Sam Mendez and John Logan's new TV show Penny Dreadful these last few months, most notably on our shores as the series was filmed in its entirety here. Hollywood star Josh Hartnett was regularly spotted hanging around Temple Bar, hitting the cinema, and even having the odd pint here and there. He isn't the only famous face on the cast either, with former James Bond man Timothy Dalton, Billie Piper and the stunning Eva Green all taking up residence in Dublin for the filming.
The show itself is a dark psychological thriller set in Victorian England and features some of literature's most iconic characters from Frankenstein to Dorian Gray. It turns out that Dublin looks a whole lot more like Victorian London than London itself does nowadays, with filming taking place in locations such as Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, the Guinness Brewery, Marlay Park as well as Killruddery House and Gardens, and Powerscourt House and Gardens in Wicklow.
We got the opportunity to talk to the cast at the UK premiere of Penny Dreadful this week, and of course we wanted to know what they thought of our fair land while here. Well, they are mad about the place, obviously, sure who isn't? Hartnett even had the lingo down; "We had some good times, it was good craic!' he told entertainment.ie. "Being there for six months you have to venture out past Temple Bar, I lived in Ballsbridge, and a lot of the cast lived in Dalkey so we would meet up in all different places."
So what did they get up to in their down time? Well, with busy work schedules it was hard to fit a whole lot in, Billie Piper, who plays Irish immigrant Brona Croft, joked; "I really wanted to do more coastal stuff there, but I never managed to do anymore than go to work and go the pub." Yeah, we know how it is Billie...
Josh also said similar; "We did go to a couple of gigs, I love to see music as much as possible. Problem is, this show was taking up pretty much all of the time. John is not the lenient boss that you would want in a place like Dublin."
He is of course talking about stage and film writer John Logan, who teamed up with Academy Award winning director Sam Mendez for this project. These are the same pair who brought us Skyfall no less and this is their first TV collaboration.
Impressive amount of talent working on the show but the actors also didn't fail to notice our own rising standard of television here, with Josh proving to be a big fan of Love/Hate, well more likely that he will be; "I have the DVD's and I have to watch it." Going on to say, "It was just everywhere when we arrived, the viewership is insane."
Would he like a role in the drama if it came along?; 'Of course!' he said. Eh, we may just hold you to that Hartnett. Nidge and the gang would welcome you with open arms no doubt.
Besides filming and keeping up to date with what us Irish lot were watching and what not, there was also time for the odd pint or two. Timothy Dalton told us how he was living in Dalkey while filming, and would often go to Finnegan's for a pint. Finnegans as we know is Bono's favourite pub, and Dalton said he even met him there once. "He came over and said hello. Not only was I honoured but he was so friendly. He said welcome, and enjoy your time in Ireland, it was fantastic, really nice."
Finnegan's wasn't the only joint the stars hung out in though, The Green Hen in Dublin was also a hot spot for the stars, with both Billie Piper and co-star Harry Treadaway (who plays Dr Frankenstein) saying they often went there with the cast and it was 'their favourite place'. While the stunning Eva Green, who also lived in Dalkey during filming added that she thinks of Ireland as her second home, as it's the third project she has done here.
Don't go running off to Dalkey or The Green Hen yet though, the stars are long gone for now, BUT by the sounds of it this show is set to be the next big hit for Sky so they could well be back next year, although Hartnett did acknowledge; "We tried to keep a low profile but it wasn't easy and I think it's going to be harder next year if we go back".
Ahem, yeeeahh, maybe we shouldn't have gone telling everyone where they like to hang out so? Feck it, meet you in Finnegans?
The 8 part series will air on Sky Atlantic next Tuesday 20th May at 9pm.
Penny Dreadful was a major co-production for Sky Atlantic and SHOWTIME by Neal Street Productions, Desert Wolf Productions and was co-produced in Ireland by Octagon Films.