Belfast Telegraph

People mistook me for Liam Neeson until Line of Duty fame, says Dunbar

By Ivan Little

Enniskillen-born actor Adrian Dunbar has revealed people once constantly mistook him for fellow Ulsterman Liam Neeson.

However, the star of soon-to-return hit TV series Line of Duty explained his new-found fame in the police drama was helping to end the mix-ups.

Dunbar told how he was regularly greeted by people in street as 'Mr Neeson' or just plain 'Liam'.

Neeson, who has in the past been frequently mistaken for late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, is six years older than Dunbar, who said more people were now recognising him in his own right thanks to Line of Duty.

The 58-year-old star added: "I now get the check-out ladies in Tesco's eyeing me as I put my shopping on the conveyor belt. When I get to the till, they'll lean over to me and whisper 'What's going to happen next?'"

Dunbar plays Supt Ted Hastings, the head of AC 12, a police anti-corruption unit, in Line of Duty, which is shot entirely in Belfast and which returns to BBC screens on Sunday, March 26.

In an interview in an English magazine, Dunbar said he modelled his character, who has been described as flawed but puritanical, on a number of people, including ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Gordon Jackson's police chief Cowley in the seventies TV series the Professionals.

The actor, who has starred in movies including My Left Foot, stressed he had never known a film or TV show to have the impact of Line of Duty.

He said that when he was growing up during the Troubles, suspicion of the police was a way of life for many people. Adrian added: "When you are younger and more radical, the police seem like the enemy.

"What this show does is show the police force, good and bad, with a forensic eye for detail and procedure.

"Ted Hastings is the guy you would hope would be part of the police. He's got his problems, but is relentless in the pursuit of the truth."

Actress Vicky McClure, who also stars in Line of Duty, said that working on the hit series was "arduous", explaining that the cast frequently put in 10 or 12-hour days during their six months in the city.

McClure, who also starred in highly-acclaimed TV series The Replacement, which has just ended, said that she, Dunbar and co-star Martin Compston lived in apartments next door to each other in the city centre, which is where they spent many evenings going through their upcoming scenes.

Compston, who is Scottish, told how the hardest part of filming Line of Duty was sticking to an English accent for his role as DS Steve Arnott - so much so that he decided to temporarily stick with it.

"You start slipping if you go back into your normal voice," he said. "So even on a night out for a curry and a few drinks in Belfast, I stick to the London accent."

Belfast Telegraph


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