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HomeBollywood“The Man Is An A—Hole” – Series Mania 

“The Man Is An A—Hole” – Series Mania 

Scottish actor Peter Mullan, whose credits include The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Westworld, Harry Potter, and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, passed through Series Mania in Lille this week, where he participated in what turned out to be one of the festival’s most raucous masterclass sessions. 

Mullan appeared alongside French journalist Charlotte Blum, who chaired the session and quizzed the Scotsman on his decades-long career and his philosophy of acting.  

“The thing with acting like any form of play is that it’s fun when you are playing,” Mullan said. “A footballer can relive the moment of scoring the goal, but it’s not as much fun as scoring the goal. And it’s the same with acting. You can relive it if you want. You can sit and watch yourself all day long if you want.”

Pulling from his experience working with actors with differing approaches to the craft, he said: “Kevin Spacey would watch himself all day long. He never fucking stops. The man is an asshole.”

Spacey and Mullan worked together on the 2000 crime caper Ordinary Decent Criminal, also starring Colin Farrell and Christoph Waltz. 

Mullan continued on Spacey: “You would no sooner finish a scene with him, and he’d run to the monitor to watch playback. I used to wonder, why are you doing that? They’d barely shout cut, and he’d run. It took me a while to realize that he was checking if the cheat had worked because he was so fake. Everything about him was fake. So he can play fake because he is fake.”

Mullan added that he learned a lot about acting by watching what he described as Spacey’s fraudulent practice. But he highlighted several times that he “didn’t like him at all.” 

“A horrible human being. But fascinating to watch because he was so mannered it was like working with Bete Davis,” Mullan said of Spacey. “Everybody at the time, myself included, thought he was a great actor. But when you’re acting with him, it was ham, absolute ham. But there’s a place for ham.”

Concluding on Spacey, Mullan said: “Some actors have gone through such a process of becoming a star they can’t act human.” 

The session continued to pass through some of Mullan’s screen performances, including his latest outing in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Following a short projection of a clip from the show in the room, Mullan sounded off: “Those shows have all the money in the world, and then it comes down to: ‘Daddy, love me.’ ‘I will try, son.’ It all comes down to very simple things that people take ridiculously seriously.”

“It’s not Chekhov or Shakespeare,” Mullan added. 

“They are a weird bunch, the ‘Ring’ mob.”

Mullan was equally expressive about his time working on the Harry Potter film series. 

“I did it so my kids could be on set. I didn’t give a shit about Harry Potter,” Mullan said. 

The Scotsman said he was particularly confused on the Harry Potter set about how to hold his magical wand and was surprised that he wasn’t given any wand lessons. 

“They just give you the wand. This piece of shit,” he said. “I was holding it as if I was in the gang and holding a knife.” 

Mullan had been in town at Series Mania with the six-part thriller After The Party. The show follows Penny Wilding played by Robyn Malcolm (Outrageous Fortune, Black Bird, Top of the Lake), a science teacher, basketball coach, environmental activist, mother, and grandmother. Penny tells it like it is, whether she’s waging graffiti attacks on fishing boats, lecturing teenage boys on how porn will destroy their sex lives, or laying her middle-aged body bare for life-drawing artists. Her attitude wins her few friends in her close-knit coastal town of Wellington, and Penny’s fine with that. But five years ago, Penny’s world imploded when she accused her husband Phil, played by Mullan, of a sex crime and nobody believed her. When Penny’s now ex-husband returns to town, her daughter pressures her to let go of her accusations and move on. Channel 4 has nabbed rights to the show. 

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