A question of taste: Ciarán Bermingham

Ciarán Bermingham is from Glanmire, Co Cork, and his acting roles have included Mord the jailer in Game of Thrones. He stars as Widow Twankey in the Aladdin pantomime at the Everyman in Cork from Saturday until January 10.
A question of taste: Ciarán Bermingham

Best recent book: Charles Laughton’s Autobiography. He’s was the strange looking English actor who started in ‘The Hunchback of Notre dame’ and ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’. He was a bit of a tortured but brilliant man.

Best recent film: An old film I saw again recently. Steve Martin in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982). It’s Steve Martin at his best; anyone who hasn’t seen it, they should, the editing alone is genius.

Best recent show or gig you’ve seen: Karen Underwood in The Nina in Me, Jack O’Rourke in the Mitchelstown Caves and Talos playing Live at St Lukes.

What formats do you access music? I like to walking around record shops and if I come across something I’ll grab it. I’ll use iTunes if it’s something I need to learn a song for a show, but I got a turntable last year as a Christmas present so it’s been a reintroduction to vinyl.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately: I went back to the folk’s house and reclaimed all my old albums from the attic. Some of it’s, dare I say, cool. Most of it’s embarrassing. I’m really enjoying listening to Yazoo’s Upstairs at Eric’s and Johnny Cash’s Live at San Quentin. There is also Charthits ’81 and the first Now That’s What I Call Music. It’s bad but great for parties and memories.

First ever piece of music or art or film or gig that really moved you:

The War of the Worlds album in 1978. The dad was into his music and bought the album and when I heard Richard Burton’s voice and then the opening overture, that was me lost. Still when I play it I’m back in the front room at home with a multitude of images flooding my brain.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen: Back in the 1980s a gang of us drove to Dublin in a Hiace van to see Depeche Mode at the SFX Hall. It was a gig and a half and a mental night. Enough said.

TV viewing: Vincent Browne is just brilliant. My TV viewing is somewhat like my music choices some good some really really terrible. Currently The Leftovers is top of my watching list — it’s barking mad but brilliant. The Strain is there; it’s also terrible but I’m hooked.

Radio listening: 96FM – PJ Coogan. I like local topics and the fact that PJ gets stuck in and I love the Cork humour when the listeners ring in. Today FM Matt Cooper: I enjoy how he challenges people. He’s not afraid to ask questions.

Name three of your acting heroes:

Charles Laughton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brendan Gleeson.

Best celebrity encounter: For the first reading on Game of Thrones, we drove out to the studio and I got to share a car with Leana Heady (Cersei), and I was a huge fan of the Sarah Conner Chronicles. So there I am sitting in a Jag chatting away, well more like babbling to her. And then we arrive at the studio and the first person she introduces me to is Sean Bean and all I can think to say is, “My mam loves you.” He just smiled and nodded his head. When we enter the studio I start to get a bit nervous as I can see stars and ridiculously good-looking people all around. Mr Bean notices my nerves and he comes over and says, “You’ve got the gig — relax” ... and I did.

Most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever bought: A Martinique Cap. It was 16 pounds. I bought it in Dublin when I was at the Depeche Mode gig, so in the 80s that was a lot.

Tech habits: Laptop, emailing and Facebook. I have an unhealthy relationship with my iPhone.

Unsung heroes: Teachers. OK, they get ridiculously long holidays, but they are the ones helping to shape the future. I still remember the ones who made an impression on me.

You are king for a day. What’s your first decree? For one day all religions and gods to just disappear, for all people to look at each other as just plain Joe Soap rather than part of a sect or creed. The world’s a scary place and people using their god and religion (be it in the present or the past) to cause harm to others makes it scarier.

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