Peter Campion interview
Tell me a bit about each one of your characters.
Yes so I play Packy but maybe I should explain his name first. Packy is short for Patrick in Ireland. There’s a famous Irish goal keeper called Packy Bonner, Patrick Bonner so it’s a nickname for Patrick. Packy is a guy who has ended up with these three people and he lives in a world of disdain because he’s surrounded by all this madness and he tries to keep everything together from the get go - but he always gets dragged into it and ultimately he goes a lot more mental than everybody else. He always tries to fight it and keep things together but he gets corrupted all the time. I think he needs new mates really. I think Packy needs new mates – maybe my own spin-off show.
The stereotype of Irish people is of them being feckless, party-loving booze-hounds – this doesn’t exactly blow that out of the water, does it?
Ok yes there is little drinking done but it’s a situation comedy so it’s the situations that they get themselves into but there’s no real focus on drink. Yes they’re drunk sometimes but it’s what happens to them when they’re not under the influence that causes the problems.
How closely does it resemble the reality of your own lives?
I suppose it’s roughly based on Lisa’s experiences but there’s a huge amount of comic exaggeration in there as well. It’s roughly based on her experiences but can I relate with it? I suppose I can with the way they approach situations. In my experience, Irish people don’t tend to tip toe around things, we just say it as it is and we might laugh about things that other people don’t laugh about. I suppose our take on life is what’s portrayed through the characters and that’s what is funny so I can relate to that. The madness and the situations – yes here and there but not everything.
And you’re from Southern Ireland?
Yes I’m from the midlands of Ireland originally then I moved to Dublin. I moved to Dublin when I was twelve/thirteen. The character that I play is from one of the boarder counties in Northern Ireland, he’s not as far up as Belfast. He’s from maybe Armagh or Newry.
Had any of you ever worked together before?
I’d never met any of the guys before and it’s amazing because we’re all so totally different and yet we get on extremely well. We’re so different the four of us but somehow we’ve all just clicked.
And was it a fun series to film?
It was a blast. It was like one big trip, it was wild. It was so intense it was 13 hour days, six day weeks. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I’ve never had a character that’s had such a main role before and we were in every scene most days, everyday most scenes – there’s no let up. I lived in the world of London Irish for six weeks. I only realise now how much I enjoyed it because I’m able to look back on it but during filming there wasn’t much time to sit back and just soak it up because it was just so full on
I’m aware you’ve done theatre before – do you prefer one medium to the other?
No I don’t. I mean I suppose…I trained in theatre so I suppose I’ve done more theatre than TV. The screen is relatively new to me so I’m still trying to figure out what to do most of the time but no I don’t prefer one to the other. They’re just two different mediums, they’re two different crafts. They’re both a great buzz and I wouldn’t prefer one to the other.
What are your ambitions?
My ambitions are to tell worthwhile stories and just do good work – that’s my ambitions.