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The Journey: Researching Ian Paisley ‘fascinating exercise’ - Timothy Spall

'I don’t know what the big man would make of this' says actor on late Northern Ireland leader

Published 07/09/2016

Award-winning actor Timothy Spall has said researching Ian Paisley for his role in The Journey was a “fascinating exercise”.

Award winner Timothy Spall’s screen career spans right back to Quadrophenia, although he probably first came to most people’s attention in the hugely successful TV series “Auf Wiedersehen Pet”.

Martin McGuinness in Derry's Bogside at a press conference. 1971
Martin McGuinness in Derry's Bogside at a press conference. 1971
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.
President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness at the funeral of Patrick Kelly . 1987
Martin McGuinness handcuffed to a policeman after being remanded at Special Criminal Court in Dublin, January 1973.
Belfast IRA men on patrol with new drogue bomb in Northern Ireland 1987
Belfast IRA man on patrol in West Belfast 1987 - Pacemaker
IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel
Customs officers check cars at the old Killen-Carrickarnon border post
MOURNERS CARRYING HURLING STICKS HEAD THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF JOHN JOSEPH KAVANAGH, FOUND SHOT DEAD IN THE RIVER BLACKSTAFF. 27.01.1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart
RUC constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during street disturbances on the Shankill Road Belfast. He was the first RUC man killed in the troubles. October 1969
Mrs Arbuckle, wife of constable Victor Arbuckle who was shot during the Shankill Road riots receives the Union Jack which covered the coffin during the funeral service at Roselawn Cemetry
Miami Showband massacre... A Ford Escort which was one of the cars used by loyalist gunmen, is left abandoned near the murder scene. 31/7/1975
Miami Showband
Darkley (Mountain Lodge Pentecostal Hall). The scene where three elders were shot dead by the INLA. The terrorists broke in during a church service. 20/11/1983
The children who escaped death by inches at Darkley, from left, Graham Ritchie, Helen Wilson, Nigel Wilson, Andrew Reid (standing) and Keith Ritchie, photographed the day after the INLA attack.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
Mr Austin Currie, MP, addressing the crowd.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
The first Civil Rights (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association) from Coalisland to Dungannon, held on 24/8/1968. Pictured is a member of the official party leading the civil rights marchers, appealing to the crowd, and requesting that there should be no violence during the march in Dungannon.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Civil rights marchers are confronted by a strong force of polive in Duke Street. October 1968
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
People's Democracy group organised a four-day march from Belfast to Londonderry, starting on 1/1/69. The most serious incident was near Burntollet Bridge in County Londonderry, when marchers were ambushed by some 200 loyalists.
Sir John Hermon, the former Chief Constable of the RUC at the funeral of the RUC's 100th victim of the Troubles, Constable Neill Quinn. Newry 22/6/1081
Betty Williams, former leader of the NI Peace People, pictured with Mairead Corrigan.
UDA members being carried in a Land Rover along the Shankill Road. 22/05/72.
A soldier recieves first aid after being injured by debris after a car bomb exploded on the Crumlin Road. 29/05/72
Riots in Belfast.
UDR colleagues fire a volley of shots over the grave of Private Steven Smart, at Movilla Cemetary. Private Smart was killed along with three others after an IRA bomb blew up their Land Rover in Downpatrick. 13/04/90
Troops and UDA members on joint patrol at Clon Duff Drive in Castlereagh Road area of Belfast, 1972.
The funeral of RUC man William Russell, shot while investgating a burglary at the Avoca Shopping Centre, Andersontown, Belfast
Hunger striker Bobby Sands coffin, flanked by an IRA colour party, leaving his mother's home in Twinbrook.
Bobby Sands' son Robert Gerald holds his mother's hand at the funeral of his father Bobby in west Belfast flanked by Masked IRA men. Picture by Martin Wright
Army engineers take away the fallen statue of the famous Protestant minister The Rev 'Roaring Hugh Hanna' after an early morning IRA bomb blast at Carlisle Circus. 3/3/1970
Newly elected DUP MP Peter Robinson and his wife Iris. 4/5/1979
Peter Robinson about to invade the small village of Clontibret, Co Monaghan, in 1986.
Gerry Adams and Brendan Hughes in Long Kesh
Members of the UDA provide an escort at the funeral of 30 year old John Lunnen Brown, a UDA volunteer, of Blackmountain Park, Springmartin. 01/07/72.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Mrs Mary Meehan who was shot by the army in Cape Street, 23rd october 1971. Family photo.
Northern Ireland Troubles Gallery: Scots Guardsman, Paul Nicholls, from Caithness, killed by an IRA sniper on the Falls Road, Belfast. 1971
Scene of the IRA bomb and shooting attack at Loughall Police Station which resulted in 8 IRA and 1 Civilian being killed.
Supporters of the UDA preparing food to be used by UDA members in the Shankill Road area. 02/07/72
A UDA checkpoint barrier at Moat Road. 08/06/72
UDA on the streets of Londonderry. 30/09/72
Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney, who spent 53 days on IRA hunger strike.
Some of the 24 Ulsterbuses which were burnt out after an IRA attack on the depot in Armagh. 28/4/1982.
Mourners panicking at Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, after a gun and bomb attack by Michael Stone which left three people dead and four seriously injured during the funerals of three IRA membes shot dead in Gibraltar. 1988
Joan Travers and her daughter Ann at the funeral of her other daughter, Mary, shot dead by IRA gunmen in Windsor Avenue, Belfast. while walking home from Mass with her father Judge Tom Travers. 1984
Ian Paisley at the scene of the IRA motar attack on Newry Police Station. which killed 9 officers. 28/2/1985.
Martin Meehan (centre) with Gerry Adams at a funeral in Belfast in 1971 of a Belfast IRA commander.
UDA men line up for inspection at Bloomfield before the march. 30/09/72
Reverend Martin Smyth and Billy Hull with UDA leaders. 1972
The Shankill Road member. 1972
A man is frisked by masked members of the UDA at a barricade on the Lisburn Road end of Sandy Row. 1972
Belfast, Bloody Friday, 21 July, 1972, the IRA set off 26 explosions in Belfast, which killed 11 people and injured 130. 7 people were killed in Oxford Street bus station and 4 at a shopping centre on the Cavehill Road.
Riots in Belfast, 1969
A man talks to soldiers over the barricade, in Divis Street, Belfast. 16/8/1969
Respects are paid to the victims of Bloody Friday, Oxford Street, Belfast
Rioting in Belfast, 1962
A family flee their home during rioting in Belfast 1969
Belfast 1969
British soldiers patrol Belfast in 1969
Belfast City Hall bombed. 23/5/1994.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), in the quiet Co Down village of Loughinisland where UVF gunmen burst in opened fire, during a World Cup match on June 18, 1994.
O'Tooles Bar (The Heights) in the Co. Down village of Loughinisland. Six men were shot dead by two UVF gunmen, while they were watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971
UDA barricades off Ainsworth Avenue. 04/07/72
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in this Feb. 5, 1972, file photo in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75
Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72
William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.
Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72
Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.
Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.
As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.
RUC: Police officers at the 12th parades at Portadown 1985.
The body of catholic man lies in an entry off the Shankill Road in West Belfast after being murdered by members of the Shankill butchers. 25/10/82. Pacemaker Press
Shankill Butcher Lenny Murphy
William Moore aka Shankill Butcher gang member. Pacemaker Press
Con Neeson who was killed by the Shankill butchers in the late 70's. Pacemaker Press
Shankill Butcher Edward McIlwaine. Pacemaker Press
Robert "Basher" Bates: Shankill butcher
A man with slashed wrists after an attack by the Shankill Butchers. Pacemaker Press
Some of the knives used by the Shankill Butchers in their attacks. Pacemaker Press
THE TROUBLES GALLERY - Drumcree
Orangemen On The Garvaghy Road, July 2000
Portadown March at Drumcree bridge July 2002 Portadown District Orangemen parade down to the barrier at Drumcree before trouble flared
Drumcree, Northern Ireland. A makeshift road block on main road into Portadown town centre
An injured woman is led away, Drumcree July 1997
A petrol bomber on the Garvaghy Road
Orangemen go no further as they reach the barrier at Drumcreee preventing them from marching on the Garvaghy Rd.
Tempers flare as Orangemen are blocked from walking the Garvaghy Rd, Drumcree, July 2000
Orangemen at Drumcree
Drumcree July 2000
Drumcree - July 6th 2002. Soldiers erect a security fence at Drumcree Church in Portadown.
PSNI riot team firing plastic bullets
Drumcree Orange Parade At Portadown July 1998. Portadown Grand Master Harold Gracey gives a speech to the crowds outside Drumcree Church of Ireland.
Orange Order: Drumcree, Portadown
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
GARVAGHY RD JULY 1996. POLICE OFFICERS REMOVE PROTESTING NATIONALISTS FROM GARVAGHY RD.
DAVID TRIMBLE MAKES HIS WAY TO GREET THE PORTADOWN ORANGEMEN AFTER THEY MARCHED DOWN GARVAGHY RD 1996.
4/7/03 Garvaghy road residents spokesman Brendan MacCoinnaith pictured in Portadown.
Drumcree Orange Order Demonstration Scarfs drapped around the Road Sign of Drumcree near Portadown
Nationalist protesters walk to Garvaghy Road July 1997. Residents Coalition in Drumcree Portadown to voice their anger at Loyalist Parades through their area
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Brid Rodgers and Brendan McKenna in attendance at Garvaghy Road demonstration, Portadown
Northern Ireland Troubles gallery.....Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. Security Forces kept a Loyalist counter demonstration at a safe distance from Nationalist marchers near Oben Street, Portadown
Nationalist Protest March At Garvaghy Road March 1998. A young Loyalist waves the Union Jack at Royal Ulster Constabulary police in riot gear, from the Loyalist side of the town of Portadown, Northern Ireland, as a nationalist-republican protest march, passed by peacefully down the Nationalist Garvaghy road.
STAND-OFF BETWEEN PSNI AND ORANGEMEN.
Disturbances On Garvaghy Road Portadown May 1998. Rioters hurl stones at RUC riot police on the Garvaghy Road, Portadown, Northern Ireland, during disturbances following an Orange parade in the area.
An RUC officer fires plastic bullets at rioting nationalists on the Garvaghy Road
Garvaghy Road Residents Meet With David Trimble May 99. Brendan McKenna arrives at Craigavon Civic Centre to meet the First Minister David Trimble in an effort to solve the Drumcree stand off.
RIR Support The Orangemen At Drumcree January 2000. Members of the Royal Irish Regiment with a flag supporting Orangemen in Drumcree.
Army Prepare For Drumcree July 2001
Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.
Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. Pacemaker Press
Remains of the van in which 7 workmen were killed in an IRA landmine explosion in Teebane, Co.Tyrone. 18/01/92. Pacemaker Press
William Bleakes, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Cecil James Caldwell, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
David Harkness, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Nigel McKee, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Robert Irons, one of the 7 workmen killed in the IRA 600lb bomb blast on the Omagh to Cookstown road at the Teebane crossing. Pacemaker Press
Catholic school children and their parents make their way to Holy Cross school under a heavy police and British Army presence in the Ardoyne area of North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2001. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
School children and parents with RUC officers who had to escort them to the Holy Cross Primary School Ardoyne today. Photo by: Niall Marshall
Paulette Donnelly with her parents arriving at Holy Cross Girls primary School after walking through "Corridor of Hate" on Friday (7/9/01).
Holy Cross School, November 2001. Children laugh and sing as they make there way up the Ardoyne Road this morning after loyalist protests were suspended and things start to get back to normal for the first time since school term started in September of this year
Ardoyne residents try to overturn an army landrover in Ardoyne avenue after trouble flared up again outside the nearby Holycross school. Picture: Pacemaker
Alice Lee Bunting in tears as she makes her way to Holy Cross Primary School
Fr Aidan Troy at the front gates of Holy Cross Girls School
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Holy Cross Primary School.
Smoke spreads as a pipe bomb explodes after it was thrown at police and army lines by protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. The postman was the only sign of normality this morning on the Ardoyne Rd as despite all that has been happening - the mail got through.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest September 2001. Riot police and army march Holy Cross school children and their parents past burnt out cars and protesting loyalists on their second day back to school in Ardoyne, North Belfast this morning.
An injured police officer is helped by two of his colleagues after a pipe bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists this morning in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, after Holy Cross Primary school children were marched through lines of Police and army on the second day back to school.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Terrified school children after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists. The blast bomb injured one policeman and a police dog, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
An injured police officer is helped into an ambulance by his colleagues after a blast bomb was thrown at them from protesting loyalists in the Glenbryn area of Ardoyne, North Belfast, this morning, this is the third morning trouble has flared as catholic parents and their children through a protestant area to the Holy Cross Primary School in Ardoyne, North Belfast.
Police officers carry an injured dog away to get medical help after a blast bomb was launched by protesting loyalists
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Catholic Holy Cross Primary School children in tears as their parents march them through armed police and army lines who where holding back protesting protestant residents in Ardoyne, North Belfast, on their first day back to school this morning.
Protestant school children who were separated from their parents, scream for their mothers who were held behind armed police and army lines, before the catholic Holy Cross school children were brought to school in Ardoyne this morning.
Catholic schoolchildren are shepherded past protestant protesters at Ardoyne Road.
Holy Cross Primary School Protest And Riots Sept 2001
Holy Cross Primary School Protest In Belfast
Catholic children walking to the Holy Cross Primary School.
A pupil from the Holy Cross school in North Belfast interferance where trouble has been erupting for several weeks.
Ardoyne Road parents and their children on their way to Holy Cross Girls Primary School in what is now the tenth week of the dispute and loyalist protest.
Army bomb disposal experts blow up a second device in a grate beside a protestants car parked near the entrance to the Holy Cross Catholic Shool after having dealt with a suspect bomb across the road in the Protestant Wheatfield Primary And Nursery school.
Security forces keep a watchful eye as a young girl and her father walk up the Ardoyne Road in North Belfast to Holy Cross school. Police stepped up their security outside North Belfast schools after recent threats and trouble as parents walked their children to school.
Father Aiden Troy - Chairman of Board of Governors of Holy Cross School - discusses the sitation with a senior police officer on Ardoyne road
A man receiving attention during the shooting incident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, which became known as Bloody Sunday, January 31, 1972.
Scenes from 'Bloody Sunday' in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.
Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.
The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972
Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.
Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.
Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984
Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.
Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast
Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.
The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph. 8/11/1987
William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.
Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'. 10/12/1985
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.
Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen. 5/1/1976
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured are Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, intervening as Cedric Wilson is led away from the Europa. 11/4/1990.
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.
Mr Roddy Connolly of Bray, unveils a plaque at 420 Falls Road, Belfast, where his father, James Connolly, the 1916 leader, lived from 1907-10 while working in the north for the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Connolly was born 100 years previous to the plague being unveiled (pictured here in 1968). The plaque was donated by MP Mr Gerry Fitt (also pictured).
Lord Gerry Fitt, founding member of SDLP and Civil Rights Organiser. Pic shows Gerry Fitt, then a republican MP, is held by police as the Civil Rights demonstrators clash with them in Duke Street, Londonderry. Pic includes nationalist leader Eddie mcAteer (centre) caught up in the struggle. 7/10/1968.
Ronnie Flanagan, former RUC chief constable
Richard Alan Baird (28) killed by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a parked van. The bomb was detonated when a RUC mobile patrol drove past in Bessbrook Co. Armagh. Also killed in the blast were Paul Gray (25) , Robert Lockhast (44) and Noel Webb (30) 17/4/1979
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.
Scene where Michael Tighe (17) was shot dead by RUC when found with rifles in a shed in Lurgan. 24/11/1982.
An army bomb disposal expert in flameproof suit and padded body armour tackles an incendiary bomb at a clothing shop in the cetre of Belfast in 1984.
Crumlin Road Jail. The scene outside as traffic on the Crumlin road is searched by the RUC following the escape. 17/11/1971
RUC Constable Michael Frederick Leslie Marshall, killed in an IRA ambush in Beleek. Forensics examine Constable Marshall's Sierra 21.10.1989
A man is taken away by troops in the Markets area, Belfast as searches followed vicious shooting battles between gunmen and army. 11/8/1971.
Sir John Herman, former RUC chief constable and his bride Sylvia
Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968
Banned Derry Civil Rights march broken up by RUC batons in presence of Gerry Fitt MP, three British Labour MPs and television crew. Two nights of rioting ensued. 5/10/1968.
Ballgawley Bus Bomb. The scene of the explosion. 20/08/88
Warrenpoint (Narrow Water Castle) where 18 soldiers were killed 27/8/1979. A grim reconstruction of the scene at narrow water, Warrenpoint. An Army helicopter flies in past a replica of the hay lorry which hid the first bomb. 31/8/1979.
Lisburn Fun Run, 6 soldiers killed. All that ramains of their van after a IRA bomb explosion. 15/6/1988.
Bomb blast at the Seaforde Street army post on Belfast's Newtownards Road. 17/09/1971
Bomb making lessons in the maze prison.
Rose and Crown Bar. Two men were killed and 27 injured when a bomb went off in the hallway of the bar. 2nd May 1974
North Street Arcade. A bomb exploded prematurely, killing four people and injuring twenty. 13th January 1976.
Ann Street. A huge bomb planted in a car had exploded causing extensive damage. 28th May 1972.
Abercorn Restaurant. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn , on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Abercorn Restaurant. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn , on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Abercorn Restaurant bomb. Tom McFarlane
Abercorn Restaurant bomb. Rosaleen McNern (right) who lost both legs, an arm and an eye - her sister Jennifer (left) lost both legs.
Sir Edward Carson inspecting the U.V.F 1913
Glory days: Sir Edward Carson rallying the unionist faithful
RUC policeman, DS John Bennison killed in booby trap car bomb in the grounds of Magee College, Londonderry. The coffin is carried from his home at Tyler Avenue, Limavady. 23.3.1987
The funeral of DI Austin Wilson, an RUC man killed in a booby trap car bomb in the grounds of Magee College, Londonderry. 23.3.1987
THE IRA FUNERAL ON THE FALLS ROAD OF ROSE CURRY, KILLED IN A PREMATURE BOMB EXPLOSION AT MERRION STREET, LOWER FALLS BELFAST
A child lies by a litter bin after an IRA bomb blast in Warrington town centre 1993
Steel helmeted police at a burning barricade across Shankill Road, Belfast, littered with stones and debris after a spree of rioting. 1969
Loyalists waving a Union Jack surround Home Secretary James Callaghan on the Shankill Road, Belfast. 28/8/1969.
The body of Joseph Donegan, discovered in an entry off Battenberg Street in Belfast's Shankill Road area, lies covered by a blanket. 25/10/1982.
Harry Ward was shot dead in The Diamond Jubilee Bar, Shankill Road, Belfast October 1991. Pictured is his sister Sadie, being led away from the scene.
DESMOND BOAL IS HELD ALOFT BY JUBILANT UNIONIST SUPPORTERS AT THE BELFAST CITY HALL AS THE RESULT OF THE SHANKILL BY-ELECTION IS ANNOUNCED. 17/2/1960

Since then he has worked with everyone from Bertolucci (The Sheltering Sky) to Mike Leigh (Life is Sweet, Secrets and Lies and more).

Amongst his many other screen credits are White Hunter Black Heart, Hamlet, The King’s Speech, Vanilla Sky, Mr Turner (for which he won Best Actor at Cannes 2014) as well as the Harry Potter films.

In his latest role he plays political powerhouse Ian Paisley in The Journey. The film tells of the unlikely story of the friendship between the late Rev Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

More: The Journey: First trailer as Paisley and McGuinness film premieres at Venice Film Festival

What were your first impressions of The Journey?

It is a fantastic script and a fantastic investigation, particularly of these two men’s motivations and how they come together.

“We all knew there were two opposing sides but not the intricacies or perhaps the personal cost of it. In a sense the beauty of this piece is no one really knows what actually went on.

Having read quite a lot it seems to me a brilliant distillation of what might have happened. It’s your job as an actor to try and breathe life into this.”

Enthronement of Archbishop John Armstrong at Armagh. Ian Paisley arrested outside Cathedral for trying to break through a police cordon. Paisley, Peter Robinson and Jonhy McQuade as well as DUP supporters were arrested. They were held in custody for just one hour. Paisley etc. were there to protest at the presence of Premier Charles Haughey from the south who they claimed was willingly harbouring wanted terrorists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 7th May 1980.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.316/80/BW
Enthronement of Archbishop John Armstrong at Armagh. Ian Paisley arrested outside Cathedral for trying to break through a police cordon. Paisley, Peter Robinson and Jonhy McQuade as well as DUP supporters were arrested. They were held in custody for just one hour. Paisley etc. were there to protest at the presence of Premier Charles Haughey from the south who they claimed was willingly harbouring wanted terrorists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 7th May 1980.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.316/80/BW
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Funeral of Kenneth Campbell who was shot dead at the Finaghy Health Centre with Robert Bradford MP. Ian Paisley is pictured crying. 17/11/81.1120/81/bw
Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen on wedding their day.
Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Nigel Dodds with DUP Candidates for Belfast Council Elections. 24/4/89
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. The early years of the life of the Rev Ian Paisley. 13/8/86.1197/86/bw
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson are taken away by police in Armagh after protesting a vist by Charles Haughey in 1980
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Copy pics from the book about the early years of the life of Ian Paisley. 13/8/86.1197/86/bw14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveRev Ian Paisley preaches to the 12,000 strong congregation at the Kings Hall in Belfast on the 40th anniversary of the free Presbyterian Church.24-3-199114/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.DUP leader Reverend Ian Paisley features on a DUP campaign to 'Smash Sinn Fein and Reject Republicanism'.
The funeral of procession of former DUP leader Ian Paisley. Pic Pacemaker
The Reverend Ian Paisley, a militant Protestant leader, singing during a demonstration outside Canterbury Cathedral against the first Roman Catholic Mass to be held there for 400 years. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, in memory of former DUP leader and First Minister Rev Ian Paisley.
General view of a portrait of Rev Ian Paisley in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, in memory of former DUP leader and First Minister Rev Ian Paisley. Pic Kelvin Boyes
Gerry Adams signs a book of condolence for Ian Paisley. Pic Jonathan Porter
Deputy Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen Date unknown
Rev Ian Paisley After Formation of Defence Corp. Paisley with copy of morning's Newsletter which announces that he had unveiled a new Defence Corp following a late night gathering of loyalists. Pacemaker Press Intl. 6th Feb. 1981.120/81/BW
PACEMAKER ARCHIVE 1978 REF 174/78Rev Ian paisley protesting in Carrick at the fact that the BBC were filming Its a Knockout on a Sunday23/4/78
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux sign away their seats in Westminster during Loyalist Rally. 23/11/85.1224/85/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. End of the Carson Trial Phase 11. Stormont Rally. Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson. 28/3/81.270/81/c
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveIan Paisley in the Pacemaker Studio.June 1991514-91-BWC
Pacamaker Archive BelfastRev Ian Paisley Wedding Day28-02-1991168-91-BW
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST. THe third Force in Newtownards on Loyalist Day of Action. Third force men marched into Newtownards led by Ian Paisley. 23/11/81.1082/81/bw
Peter Robinson signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST. The third Force in Newtownards on Loyalist Day of Action. Third force men marched into Newtownards led by Ian Paisley. 23/11/81.1082/81/bw
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Ian Paisley and DUP sign Ulsters Declaration. 9/2/81.123/81/c
SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), with wife Eileen.
Jim Allister signs a book of condolence at in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast. Pic Kelvin Boyes
PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.2/3/2010 Rev Ian Paisley has today announced that he will not stand at the next generay election after 40 years as an MP. His son Ian junior is expected to fight for the seat against the TUV leader Jim Allister..
Rev Ian Paisley and his Afgan Dog Jason pictured out for a walk along Cyprus Ave. Belfast prior to the assembly elections. Pacemaker Press Intl. 19/10/821047/82/BW
IAN PAISLEY:DEMOCRAIIC UNIONIST PARTY (DUP) LEADER, WITH PARTY SENIORS, NIGEL DODDS, IRIS AND PETER ROBINSON.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), SPEAKS AT A PROTEST RALLY AT CARRICKFERGUS CASTLE. 10/9/1971.
MERLYN REES.Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Labour MP, Baron Merlyn-Rees. Pictured with DUP leader Ian Paisley.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),during his victory rally through Larne. 9/7/1970
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),with fellow DUP MP's John McQuade ans Peter Robinson, wave to the crowd at Stormont gates. 23/11/1981
Rev Ian Paisley: DUP Leader. June 1966.The Reverend Ian Paisley and his supporters, who held a protest march to the Assembly Hall, Belfast..
Rev Ian Paisley, Party Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party grabs Ulster television interviewer Ivan Little during a TV interview at the North Antrim count at Ballymoney in the Northern Ireland election, November 27 2003. The Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist are running neck-and-neck in a tight Northern Ireland Assembly Election contest, an Exit poll has claimed today. See PA story ULSTER Elections. PA Photo: Michael Cooper.
DUP Protesters outside Belfast City Hall on arrival of Dublin Councillors to Belfast. Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson and Rev William McCrea with supporters. Also DUP protesters try to prevent Lord Mayor John Carson reaching Central Station to meet Dubliners. Pacemaker Press Intl. 3rd March 1981193/81/BW
REVEREND IAN PAISLEY MP.Ian Paisley, out looking for votes for the European Elections, stops to look at this little Shetland Pony at the Ballyclare May Fair. 22/5/1984.
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Rev Ian Paisley announcing European Manefests at Party Headquarters. He is pictured with Peter Robinson. 23/5/79105/79/bw
Ian Pailsey aged 8
Pictured in Crossgar on 17th March 1951 at the opening of the first Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster are L to R: Jack Gibson, George Hutton, Cecil Harvey, Rev Dr Ian Paisley, William Emerson, Rev George Stears (Minister Pro tem), James Morrison, George K Gibson, William Miscampbell and Hugh James Adams.
Pacemaker Belfast ArchiveIan Paisley in the Pacemaker Studio.June 1991514-91-BWC
Ian Paisley at an Ulster Says No rally in Ballymoney 1986
CIVIL RIGHTS PROTEST: PEOPLE'S DEMOCRACY. First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.
DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY (DUP)/DELEGATION AFTER MEETING WITH CHIEF CONSTABLE, FROM LEFT, REV. WILLIAM McCREA, REV. IVAN FOSTER, JIM McALLISTER, REV. IAN PAISLEY AND PETER ROBINSON. 1/2/1984
Ian Paisley pictured with wife Eileen and family in 1989
Ian Paisley has died at the age of 88
Government of Northern Ireland. United Ulster Unionist Coalition. (March 1974) Ulster loyalist MPs met at Stormont to agree their policy. From left are Mr. Carson, Mr. Kilfedder, Mr. Dunlop, the Rev. Ian Paisley, Mr. west, the Rev. Robert Bradford, Mr. Craig, Mr. Ross, Mr. Molyneaux, Mr. McCusker. Capt. Orr was in London.
Ian Paisley:Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),ENJOYS A JOKE WITH MAJOR RONALD BUNTING DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE AT ELECTION HEADQUARTERS IN BELFAST. ON THE LEFT IS COUNCILLOR WILLIAM SPENCE. 27/2/1969
Rev Ian Paisley ... family holds vigil for ailing patriarch
Former First Minister Mr Paisley continues to be treated in intensive care for suspected heart failure
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley waves to the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley has his waistcoat buttoned up by his wife Baroness Paisley before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley hangs up his hat and coat as he arrives for the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST Ian Paisley, David Trimble at the bottom of the Garvaghy road after the 1995 parade was allowed to pass down the road.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 10/12/2004: A delighted Reverend Ian Paisley during the ceremony where he was created a Freeman of the Borough of Ballymena in the town tonight.PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
Ian Paisley takes his seat in the House of Lords...Ian Paisley, the former Northern Ireland first minister, took his seat in the House of Lords today as Lord Bannside. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 05, 2010. Lord Bannside was one of 56 new peers announced on one day by Downing Street and today he was introduced to the upper chamber along with two Labour peers, Jeannie Drake and Maeve Sherlock. See PA story LORDS Paisley. Photo credit should read: PA Wire...A
First Minister Dr Ian Paisley and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness after they rang the opening bell ay Nasdaq,Times Square ,New York
PACEMAKER BELFAST 4/5/2007Rev Ian Paisley pictured at his Home in East Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST JUNE 1987 JHIAN PAISLEY CANVASSING IN BALLYMONEY FOR FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTION.604/87/BW/C
Ian Paisley chats to his congregation after delivering his final sermon yesterday from the pulpit of Martyrsí Memorial on the Ravenhill Road for the last time
PAISLEY GREAT GRANDFATHERDr Ian Paisley MP Former Northern Ireland First Minister pictured with his first Great Grandchild Caleb Cassells (3 months). Caleb is the son of Ian Paisley's first Grandchild Lydia who is married to Stephen Cassells. He and his wife Baroness Paisley have 5 children and 10 Grandchildren.Photo John Harrison
STANDALONEHandout photo of First Minister for Northern Ireland Ian Paisley with his daughter Rhonda at the opening of her new art exhibition at the Emer Gallery, Antrim Road, Belfast.: Sunday May 4 2008.
DUP leader Ian Paisley pictured with his wife Eileen on his return from a short stay in hospital. He is now enjoying his summer break before returning to Political work in the Autumn.
20/5/2011 Pacemaker Belfast. Former First Minister Ian Paisley salutes members of the Royal Irish Rangers this evening as they were welcomed home by thousands in Ballymena town centre after their tour of Afghanistan. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th February 2012 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Former First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP Ian Paisley is admitted to hospital. 85-year-old Lord Bannside was admitted to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald after taking ill on Sunday. Ian Paisley Jnr pictured leaving the Ulster Hospital in east Belfast.
Ian Paisley and his wife Baroness Eileen Paisley chatting to Pat Kenny on the Late Late Show.KOBPIX NO FEE
Handout photo of Senator Hilary Clinton with First Minister Northern Ireland Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the Willard Hotel ,Washington DC. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 7, 2007. Photo credit should read: John Harrison/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-02-2012: Ian Paisley Jr pictured leaving Dundonald hospital.The former first minister and DUP leader Ian Paisley has spent the night at his hospital bedside.Lord Bannside, who is 85, was taken ill on Sunday. He is being treated in the intensive care unit of the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.Picture By: Pacemaker.
eader of the DUP , Rev Dr Ian Paisley as he goes on the campaign trail through the streets of Belfast City. Picture Mark Pearce/Pacemaker 2/3/2010
Lord and Lady Paisley celebrate at their east Belfast home
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with his wife Baroness Paisley and their children and grandchildren before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. A reserved seat indeed for the Rev. Ian Paisley among the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley waves to the almost three thousand strong congregation at the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
Ian Paisley D1.jpg
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY
A young Ian Paisley aged just eight years old.
Outgoing Free Presbyterian Moderator Rev Ian Paisley and the Rev Ron Johnston incoming Moderator.
Ian Paisley (right), the former Northern Ireland first minister, with his son Ian Paisley Jnr (left) after his father took his seat in the House of Lords today as Lord Bannside. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday July 05, 2010. Lord Bannside was one of 56 new peers announced on one day by Downing Street and today he was introduced to the upper chamber along with two Labour peers, Jeannie Drake and Maeve Sherlock. See PA story LORDS Paisley. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
(from video) of UUP leader David Trimble and DUP leader Ian Paisley walk hand in hand in the centre of Portadown celebrating the fact that Orangemen were allowed to walk the Nationalist Garvaghy Road.
PACEMAKER BELFAST. Ulsters Day of action-Belfast City Hall. Huge Crowds took the advide of Ian Paisley and other Unionists to take the afternoon off work and show their feelings to the Government that they were against any Dublin relationships developing, fearing that any concessions would only lead to a United Ireland. 23/11/81.4/3/08 The DUP leader has announced that he will step down as First Minister and and leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in May.
Democratic Unionist Party leader The Reverend Ian Paisley (left) and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speak to the media during a press conference at the Stormont Assembly building in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday March 26, 2007. Rev Paisley and Mr Adams are to hold their first-ever face-to-face talks in a last-ditch bid to rescue devolution in Northern Ireland.
THIS could be the biggest political development of 2004 as Gerry Adams, complete with pint of Guinness, comes face-to-face with Ian Paisley. Or could it be a new united unionist front with Dr Paisley finally making peace with David Trimble in a show of solidarity that also includes Bob McCartney, Peter Robinson and David Ervine? Not in the real world of course - but definitely inside the head of impressionist Sean Crummy who is set to bring his hilarious Folks on the Hill radio show to television.
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. Final 2/3/2010Ian Paisley
Belfast Telegraph. Page One. 30/11/1968. "8,000 Marchers halted near Paisley crowd"
Pacemaker Belfast. 12/7/08. The Rev Ian Paisley with the white horse of 'King Billy' in the field at the independents Orange parade in Portglenone this afternoon. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker
Ian Paisley leader of the Democratic Unionist Party,with wife Eileen, relaxes at home with a cup of tea, after his anti agreement party, out polled ,David Trimbles Ulster Unionist Party,Friday 28th November 2003,in the Nortern Ireland Assembley electionsl.PA:Paul Faith
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. End of the Carson Trial Phase 11. Ian Paisley at Stormont Rally. 283/81.270/81/c
PACEMAKER BELFAST ARCHIVE 9124 MARCH 1991REV IAN PAISLEY PREACHING TO 12000 STRONG CONGREGATION ON 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
Ian Paisley:DUP Leader. Wearing that beret.
30/4/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. WHILST THE ELECTION RACE RAGES ON THE FORMER MP AND FIRST MINISTER IAN PAISLEY STOOD AT CITY HALL BELFAST THIS AFTERNOON IN, A FAMILIAR SPOT WHERE HE HAS STOOD MANY TIMES BEFORE WITH A BIBLE IN HIS HAND AS HE PREACHED AND SANG WITH HIS GOSPEL GROUP. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.
30/4/2010. PACEMAKER BELFAST. WHILST THE ELECTION RACE RAGES ON THE FORMER MP AND FIRST MINISTER IAN PAISLEY STOOD AT CITY HALL BELFAST THIS AFTERNOON IN, A FAMILIAR SPOT WHERE HE HAS STOOD MANY TIMES BEFORE BUT TODAY WITH A BIBLE IN HIS HAND AS HE PREACHED AND SANG WITH HIS GOSPEL GROUP. PICTURE CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER.14/11/2011 The Rev Ian Paisley has announced his retirement from preaching after 60 years. Mr Paisley who is 85 started way back in 1946
PACEMAKER BELFAST November 1985Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast in 1985 where he made in infamous Never Never Never speach...
Old school pics -Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley bowed out of Stormont with a rousing speech
Former DUP leader Ian Paisley
Lord Bannside: Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen
Former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley holding his first great grandchild Caleb Cassells
Ian Paisley DUP electioneering for Europe in Portadown. 11/6/84
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were branded the 'chuckle brothers'
15/08/1971 of The Reverend Ian Paisley during a press conference in Stormont, Northern Ireland.
November 1985 - Ian Paisley and Jim Molyneaux address the 250,000 crowd at the Anti Anglo Irish rally in Belfast
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaking at a ceremony held at Stormont to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the death of Edward Carson. October 1985
A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley (centre) near Belfast City Hall. 9/10/1968.
Ian Paisley addresses a 12,000 strong crowd at the 40th anniversary of the Free Presbyterian church in the Kings Hall. 1999
Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness after being sworn in as ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembley, Stormont. May 8, 2007.
Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson being arrested in Armagh.1980
95. Newly appointed First Minister Dr Ian Paisley, left, presents a 300 year-old musket to Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern at the Battle of the Boyne site, Drogheda, Ireland, Friday, May, 11, 2007. The pair visited the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne 1690 between the Protestant King William of Orange and the Catholic King James's army.
Ian Paisley
The Queen greeted by First Minister Ian Paisley in east Belfast
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd of students pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley near Belfast City Hall. Pictured is Ciaran McKeown(with beard). 9/10/1968.
First protest march to Belfast city centre. A crowd pictured at a meeting with Ian Paisley at Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. 9/10/1968.
Ian Paisley confronts an RUC officer when refused access to Duke Street where the Civil Rights parade went on. 10/10/1988

Did you do much research on Ian Paisley?

Yes - now all you need is the internet. I watched interviews with him and documentaries from his past, and looked at him preaching in his church and at political rallies. I put all these things together to try to understand who and what he was.

It was a fascinating exercise. In the end though all that matters is that we are telling a story in the best possible way. It’s not for the audience to be worried about whether it’s all true to life.

Hopefully we play these characters and you believe them.

Is it more difficult to portray a well-known figure?

It’s more precious, because everyone knows what they look like and how they were. So the answer is there is more pressure as everyone has an opinion. This particular man is iconic.

Did you have an opinion about him and McGuinness before you took the role?

Like a lot of people, I was informed by received opinion and the opposition to them on both sides. Of course like all things you only know what you know. But as you get older you realise things are sometimes a lot more complicated.

Was it difficult balancing the comedy and the tragedy?

A scene from the new movie The Journey, starring Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley and Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness
A scene from the new movie The Journey, starring Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley and Colm Meaney as Martin McGuinness
McGuinness and Paisley are faced with a journey.

Sometimes the more serious things are, the more heartrending they appear. There is often comedy within tragedy, the way people behave is never the way it would be in an ideal world.

When people are talking about things that are dangerous there is usually an odd humour in that. Now we have to be very careful because we are in an emotive subject, and people will say none of this is funny. Of course it’s not funny when there are killings.

But human life in all of its profundities is always to me a mixture of the comic and the tragic. The best drama always has elements of both. It’s certainly not a knockabout comedy, more a humour that grows out of the profundity of what humans are.”

What do you think Paisley would make of your portrayal?

As the world speeds up there is a fashion for biographies and films about very recent events. Look at Steve Jobs. I don’t know what the big man would make of this; but I can say I’m trying to delve in and understand him rather than impersonate him.

We are talking about a long and very eventful life. He was a man of faith and a man of conviction – one that not everyone liked. The only simple thing an actor can do is try to understand how that human being works and then become it.

Do the two main characters seem alike to you?

To a great extent yes. I think the script is fantastic. It seems to say that the problem lies in the strength of both their beliefs. If there was anybody you could accuse of having the courage of their convictions it was Ian Paisley.

Whether that creates discord or divisiveness, you can be sure he was a man of principles. He was obviously prepared to stand up for them. And I think he recognised that in the other side. I would have not gone anywhere near the film if I thought it was in any way manipulative.

It seems to me an incredibly well balanced, a very well thought through understanding of both sides. The script lays it out for you and lets you decide. They are men of frailty and men of massive texture, so that’s the interesting thing. Of course what we all know is that they came together and became friends.

You only have to look at the footage of McGuinness being told the news of Paisley’s death to see there was this very unlikely connection, personally as well as politically. Have you worked with Nick Hamm before? No I haven’t and he’s so passionate. It’s a very personal project with him. It felt like a very rare and wonderful experience thanks to him.

Online Editors

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