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Sam Neill helped by Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt to master Irish accent

Published 07/10/2016

Sam Neill said the Belfast accent he needed for his role in Peaky Blinders was 'a tall order', despite his Northern Irish roots
Sam Neill said the Belfast accent he needed for his role in Peaky Blinders was 'a tall order', despite his Northern Irish roots

Jurassic Park star Sam Neill has revealed he turned to his showbiz pals Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt to help him perfect his Irish accent for his role in Peaky Blinders.

Neill played Major Chester Campbell in the hit show until his character was shot at close range at the end of the second series.

The New Zealander has admitted the Belfast accent he needed for the show was "a tall order", despite his Northern Irish roots.

He told The Graham Norton Show: "I did consult Liam Neeson and Jimmy Nesbitt because they are obviously to the manor born.

"I got a couple of lessons from them, which was great but they were brought up just 10 miles from each other and speak with completely different voices, so I thought I would just relax and do my own thing."

Neill is still best known for his role as Dr Alan Grant in the Jurassic Park films, but he told Norton he was not asked to be in the recent reboot Jurassic World.

When asked why he ruled out an appearance in the film, he said: " I didn't rule it out, they just didn't call me.

"It's fine. I've been doing other things. Someone asked me the other day and I said, 'I don't know what's happened to Alan Grant. He could be dead, he could be in therapy or he might be an accountant in Des Moines - nobody knows what's happened to him.'"

Instead, Neill will next be seen on screen in his new film Hunt For The Wilderpeople, of which he says: "It is a little movie that came from nowhere. It is heart-warming, a sort of a road movie without roads - we don't have many in New Zealand.

"People are nicer to me in New Zealand as a result of this because the last time they saw me was as a psychopath in Peaky Blinders and they avoided me."

:: The Graham Norton Show airs on Friday on BBC One at 10.35pm.

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