Aiden Gillen felt pressure to find balance between glamour and grim reality of crime life in Kin

'There's always a responsibility not to glorify it but you can't not show the attractive side of it'
Aiden Gillen felt pressure to find balance between glamour and grim reality of crime life in Kin

Aiden Gillen in Kin. The actor says audiences have always wanted 'bloodsoaked' drama

Actor Aiden Gillen says there’s a fine line between glorifying violence and showing its gritty reality and he feels new crime drama Kin balances it perfectly.

Kin follows the lives of a fictional Dublin family embroiled in a gangland war and was filmed in Dublin. Gillen is joined in the cast by a range of Irish actors, including Clare Dunne, Ciarán Hinds, Sam Keeley, Emmett Scanlan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and newcomer Yasmin Seky.

Gillen, who starred in Love/Hate and Game of Thrones, says he has “always” been conscious of showing the reality of crime.

“There's always a responsibility not to glorify it but you can't not show the attractive side of it, what it is that draws a 15-year-old or a 12-year-old to that life, because that's when it starts,” he says.

“I think there’s a responsibility to show it and then to show how it ends, and generally it doesn't end well. It ends in prison or in the grave. I'd be quite conscious of that, it's something that I've thought about in the past quite a lot actually.” 

However, he notes violence has always been popular among audiences dating back millennia.

“Crime drama since ancient Greek theatre through Shakespeare through Tarantino to bang up to now, it's bloodsoaked. It’s always about crime and murder. It’s something that people want to see dramatised, whether it's about living vicariously or the release of pressure by seeing other people commit violent acts in drama. But I think it's wrong to purely go out there and just make it entertainment, I don't like that.” 

The eight-part series has already been acquired by a number of international outlets and Gillen says the show and its uniquely Irish elements have not been “watered down” for global audiences.

“This is being made by an American producer largely and they've been with it from the start. There haven't been big demands to water down content or local reference at all. That could have been a problematic journey, even after you shoot, if you go: ‘Are they going to try and change this?’ It didn't happen, not as far as I know. It is quite a niche world. Even in Ireland it is. It remains to be seen but the American producers are quite confident, and they've seen it. They test things to the hilt over there."

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