Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Dornan's dad Professor Jim lands part in The Fall

By Stephen Gordon

Jamie Dornan’s dad has revealed how he landed himself a role in hit BBC drama The Fall.

Retired obstetrician Professor Jim Dornan stars as Policing Board member John Porter in this week’s episode of the crime thriller series, which stars his son Jamie as serial killer Paul Spector.

“It was the writer and producer Allan Cubitt’s idea,” Prof Dornan told Sunday Life.

“I met him socially and he asked me to take part in The Fall. He really wanted me to do it for Jamie.

“Jamie had finished filming and he had no idea I was going to be in it. It came as a real surprise to him when he found out.”

In episode two, Professor Jim brings gravitas to the role of John Porter, who quizzes Assistant Chief Constable Jim Burns (John Lynch) over developments in the case of the Belfast strangler.

Jim Dornan had one line to say at a Policing Board meeting at Clarendon Dock — “Can the Assistant Chief Constable please provide us with an update on the progress of the Operation Music Man taskforce?”

“It was quite a difficult line to say,” laughed Jim, who admitted he needed a few takes to satisfy the director.

“John Lynch was lovely — he was very helpful. He had kind words when I got it right and smiled sweetly when I got it wrong. I really enjoyed it and it was a very interesting morning. I would say it was awe-inspiring.

“I was very impressed with the professionalism of everyone involved in the production and the detail they went into to get things right.

“I thought my scene would end up on the cutting room floor,” admitted Jim, who has not viewed the episode yet.

“I’m looking forward to watching it this week.”

Jim joined the actors’ union Equity prior to taking his first professional role in The Fall, but he has experience treading the boards. He acted in school plays and later performed with amateur drama group, The Clarence Players, but he gave up on acting around the time Jamie was born.

“I certainly would have considered acting as a career if medicine hadn’t worked out,” said the 68-year-old granddad.

Also starring in episode two of The Fall is Dublin-born actress Genevieve O’Reilly, who has gone from killer to cop for her latest role filmed here.

The Dublin actress impressed as Sunday school teacher turned killer Hazel Stewart in ITV’s The Secret co-starring James Nesbitt as her twisted, Bible-bashing lover Colin Howell.

She gets to speak in a Northern Irish accent again in The Fall, playing a Police Ombudsman investigator who grills Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson over the operation which resulted in Spector being shot by a loyalist gangster.

O’Reilly’s methodical inquisitor demands to know why both Gibson and the suspect were not wearing body armour when jealous husband Jimmy Tyler ambushed Spector in the woods.

Gibson is put through the ringer over her failure to abide by police procedures in the hunt for the Belfast strangler and the search to find his final victim, Rose Stagg.

The Fall continues on BBC 2 on Thursday at 9pm.

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