Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Maze actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor's role fear 'personal not political'

Actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor has said his fears about taking on the leading role in a film about the IRA's Maze prison escape was "more personal" and had "nothing to do with the politics".

The Dublin actor stars as republican prisoner Larry Marley in Stephen Burke's new film Maze.

He was an orchestrator of the 1983 escape which was the biggest jail break in British prison history when 38 inmates fled one of the highest security prisons in Europe.

The film held its Northern Ireland premiere in Belfast on Thursday and has so far received huge critical acclaim.

However there have been arguments the film will 'glamorise' the event in which one prison officer died as a result of the escape and another was seriously injured.

Vaughan-Lawlor said he did have some misgivings about taking on the role.

"My fear in doing the film was nothing to do with the politics, it was more personal in terms of being able to understand experiences of someone growing up in those times," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"As a middle class Dublin kid I'm going to play a part of a working-class Belfast IRA volunteer and that experience was such a journey for me.

"And yet this whole conflict, this whole dynamic, (was) only like a hundred miles up the road."

Maze centres on the relationship between Vaughan Lawlor's character and a warder played by Barry Ward.

Maze actors Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Barry Ward, and director Stephen Burke in Belfast for the premiere at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. (Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press)
Maze actors Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Barry Ward, and director Stephen Burke in Belfast for the premiere at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. (Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press)
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) , Stephen Burke (director) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) , Stephen Burke (director) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actor Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. (Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press)
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 14/09/2017 Actors From L-R Tom Vaughan Lawlor (stars as Larry Marley) and Barry Ward (prison warder) in Belfast for the premiere of the MAZE at Movie House Cinema on the Dublin Road. The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke takes place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th September 2017 The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann.

The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere is Tom Vaughan Lawlor. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th September 2017 The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann.

The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere is Tom Vaughan Lawlor. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th September 2017 The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann.

The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere is Tom Vaughan Lawlor. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th September 2017 The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann.

The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Barry Ward and Tom Vaughan Lawlor. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 14th September 2017 The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival.

The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe.

Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann.

The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Barry Ward, Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Stephen Burke Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Joanne Kane and Una McGinn
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Sinead Coyle, Stephen Burke and Orla McGardy.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Orlaith Mac Eoin Nanus, Lawrence McKeown and Caoilfhionn Mac Eoin Nanus
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Orlaith Mac Eoin Nanus and Caoilfhionn Mac Eoin Nanus
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Paul Connolly and Anne Marie McAvoy
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th September 2017 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The premiere of new film 'MAZE' starring Tom Vaughan-Lawlor and directed by Stephen Burke is set to take place in Belfast on Thursday evening in association with the Belfast Film Festival. The film, inspired by the real-life story of the 1983 Maze prison break-out orchestrated by Larry Marley, saw 38 IRA prisoners attempt to escape from one of the most high-security prisons in Europe. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor stars as Larry Marley, an IRA member and chief architect of the mass breakout alongside local Belfast actor Martin McCann. The film received critical acclaim after its first festival outing at the Galway Film Fleadh in July and will be released by Lionsgate UK on September 22nd. Pictured at the premiere are, from left to right, Michelle and Marie McGreevy

He said: "I think (Maze) offers up a very balanced and quite a thorough investigation of two men on opposing sides and it shows them ... from being diametrically opposed to noticing really deep similarities between the two."

Maze is released in cinemas from September 22.

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