Interview with Andrew Scott for THE STAG

We caught up with the SHERLOCK star to find out more about his upcoming Irish comedy film…

It is almost impossible to interview Andrew Scott without mentioning his iconic portrayal of Moriarty in BBC’s SHERLOCK, the actor was responsible for the latest cliff-hanger in the show that will have viewers guessing for months. Andrew’s latest movie THE STAG closed the recent Jameson Dublin International Film Festival with a massive gala screening, we caught up him to talk about the new comedy and to pry some SHERLOCK spoilers out of him.

You play one of the all time classic villains in SHERLOCK, how was it switching to such a nice guy in THE STAG?
Andrew Scott: To play Davin was great; he’s a really gentle character, he’s sort of the heart of it, it was nice to read a script where I know those kind of Dublin guys. It was a world that I recognised. After SHERLOCK, I have made it very deliberate to play as many different types of character as possible. This year, I have just done a Ken Loach film, I’m doing FRANKENSTEIN at the moment and this movie called PRIDE, in which I play a Welsh guy, so I have done lots of different tonal things. It hasn’t been too bad, because there are lots of roles within the role of Moriarty, also because I have been around for a long time and I’ve done a load of stuff before there was so much scrutiny.

Do you feel it is important to show Irish men in a gentler light than we have seen on the big screen recently?
AS: I think it’s really important for confident Irish films, you show people that you actually recognise. That’s the thing about THE STAG, the premise is that the groom feels that the idea of going on a stag is uncomfortable, which a lot of guys do. Organised fun can sometimes be painful [laughs] you’ve got to tie someone to a lamppost and go crazy, even if that’s not your normal way of being. It’s also about male friendship, friendship is just as important to guys as it is to girls but we just have a different way of expressing it, and I think that’s what the idea of a stag is, to reconnect with the people who have formed your life before you get married. There is the idea, when going on a stag, of ‘What, you’re not going to see your friends any more?!’ [laughs] ‘…Because your wife or husband isn’t going to allow you!!!?!’ I think they should have more where everyone is invited, because everyone has male and female friends now.

Did you feel apprehensive about singing in the film?
AS: It’s a very beautiful Irish song. I kept thinking about Luke Kelly and Sinead O’Connor who do beautiful versions of it. It was every important that I tell the story, rather than being pitch perfect, because the characters are only sitting around a campfire [laughs]. That was actually one of the chief reasons that I was really excited about doing THE STAG; because you don’t really get to sing on film, it’s very unusual.

Do you feel that SHERLOCK has changed your career?
AS: After the first episode, there was genuine affection for the show, which is so unusual. You can get big ratings, but it’s rare that people go ‘Oh my god, I love that show!’. I think it was maybe because people knew about Sherlock Holmes before; people have a real genuine affection for him. It was sort of an audacious choice to have someone like me play that part because they could have got someone very different physically. I wanted to do something different, if you’re going to go down that road, you may as well go the whole hog.

SHERLOCK has such a massive fandom, did that take some getting used to?
AS: It does take some getting used to, for the most part, people are really nice and respectful. I always try to stop and take photographs with people, but sometimes people are rude. I get a lot of fan mail from all around the world – SHERLOCK was sold in 220 countries – and that’s really nice. Sometimes it’s overwhelming because you just don’t have time [laughs]. Actually what’s been really amazing, after SHERLOCK, is having young people coming to the theatre to watch obscure films that I have made. I love the fact that a ‘Sherlock’ fan will come and watch the Ken Loach movie. That’s really cool and it makes me feel a little bit responsible for the choices that I make.

Can you tell us anything about ‘Sherlock’ season 4?
AS: No! Nothing! [laughs] That’s the fun of it, you know! I often think that if I was to turn around and say ‘OK, this is what’s going to happen’, you’d be like ‘I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!'[laughs] I don’t even want to know myself! I am so used to keeping the secret.

THE STAG is at Irish cinemas from March 7th

Words: Brogen Hayes