THE LAST RIGHT – Interview with actor Michiel Huisman

‘The Last Right’ is an Irish comedy-that tells the story of Daniel Murphy (played by Dutch actor Michiel Huisman) who’s left in charge of the corpse of someone he never knew. He’s persuaded to take on the challenge of bringing the body from his home in West Cork to Rathlin Island, the northernmost point of Northern Ireland.

Some of the humour in the film is quite dark and very Irish. Is that something you had to get used to as a Dutch person playing an Irish character?
It is. There are times when it’s really dark and quite twisted. It is quite different from the sense of humour I am used to, but I am a sucker for it. I love it! It’s very different from anything I’ve done. Last year I thought I was making a comedy when I was doing a film called Irreplaceable You. It had funny moments, but it was mostly a tearjerker, really not a comedy at all. This is my chance to actually make a comedy and I am really enjoying it. It is lovely to work on something that brings joy, which I think this will.

Your character has an American accent, although he was born in Cork. So, you were saved from trying to learn a Cork accent?Ha, yes, I was but I did have to learn how to pronounce all sorts of Irish place names. That was hard. So many names sound anything like they look. Even Aoife, our director’s name, I hadn’t a clue how to say that before I heard it said out loud. Or one of my co-stars, Niamh, it is impossible to say from just looking at it! It’s a challenge.

What first drew you to the script?
When I started reading the script, I had this vision of these characters in a beat-up car going on this great adventure. When I can see it just from reading the script that’s a great sign. And I laughed out loud a lot the first time that I read it and that never happens when I read scripts. When I read it again I laughed out loud again. It just got better. I really wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to go on the journey with Daniel, both the actual journey and the journey the character goes on.

From what we have seen, a lot of the film is set in the car, what’s that like to film?
It’s been fun, because we all get on well. Usually a van follows behind with the director in it and communication is done by radio, but the connection wasn’t great so Aoife decided to work in the car. In most of the scenes she is in the back of the car under a blanket. It’s a different way of working, it’s a small space for us all to fit in, but luckily, it’s going well!

Colm Meaney also stars in the film. Were you aware that he is a national icon before you started working on the movie?Absolutely, yes. I think everyone in the industry is aware of Colm Meaney. We interact a lot in this movie but it is mostly over the phone. Later today we will be shooting our first scene together, I’m really looking forward to that. We have a great connection. We’ve bonded over coffee. I love good coffee and so does he. I bring my AeroPress to set every day. I have three different types of freshly roasted beans which are ground to perfection.

I make Colm a different type of fresh coffee each day. It’s a great way to make friends with the cast!

You have worked in Ireland before, on ‘Game of Thrones’, how are you finding shooting this film?
I am having such a good time on this film. I really enjoy the freedom that comes from working on a smaller, independent film. I love working with Aoife [Crehan] our director. When you decide to work with a first-time director, which Aoife is, you are taking a big gamble. There is no big studio behind it, you aren’t really sure how it is all going to go, but I loved the script which is also written by Aoife. It is such a witty, funny, heartfelt story that it tells you something about the writer’s mind so I knew I wanted to work on the film. From reading it I got a sense of Aoife so I was happy to take the risk.

Your TV show ‘The Haunting of House Hill’ has gained a massive following. Are you surprised at how big its become?
It has become so popular; way more so than I was anticipating. If you had asked me when I was filming it, I wouldn’t have thought it would go so big. It’s been really amazing. I’ve experienced it before with the success of ‘Game of Thrones’, which was obviously a huge show, but to get to experience it again is wonderful and a nice surprise.

Interview By :
Cara O’Doherty

THE LAST RIGHT is at Irish cinemas from December 6th