Star posed for picture with newlyweds even though his face was a gory mess
James Nesbitt was bloody surprised when asked to pose for pictures with newlyweds while filming in Northern Ireland.
The 57-year-old obliged a couple having their wedding photos taken by joining them for a snap even though his face was a gory mess for a scene in the crime thriller Bloodlands.
“I was filming a scene down by Strangford Lough. Where we were shooting a newlywed couple were having their wedding photos taken, and they asked me if I’d be in one,” he said.
“But my whole face for that scene was covered in blood. That’s definitely one for their wedding album.”
The star plays DCI Tom Brannick in the returning BBC drama, but it’s not the only crime series he’s starring in — the Coleraine man is also appearing in Suspect, which premieres on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.
It has eight 30-minute episodes and is set on a single, devastating day. James plays veteran detective Danny Frater, who turns up at a morgue for a routine ID check and discovers that the dead woman is his estranged daughter, Christina.
The actor said he had no idea why he landed so many cop roles but could not do the job in real life because he is “too old”.
He added: “It [taking police roles] wasn’t a conscious decision. Murphy’s Law I did for five series and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man I did for three seasons.
“Recently, I played DS Michael Broome in the Netflix series Stay Close and, of course, Tom Brannick in Bloodlands.
“So, there have been quite a few detectives, but I don’t know why. I’d like to say it’s because people see the good in me, but the cops I play are usually corrupt.
“With Suspect, I don’t think you’re considering a lot of the time that Danny is a police officer — he’s just a man.
“Could I be a cop in real life? No, I’m too old, is the short answer to that.”
Joining him on Suspect, which he describes as “very, very bleak”, are a string of big-name co-stars, including Richard E Grant, Joely Richardson and Anne-Marie Duff.
He continued: “Suspect makes Bloodlands look like Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em. All these actors had prepared so well that the competitive part of me [thought I] had to rise to the challenge. I thought, ‘I’m going to have to step up here’.”
James also joked that he had his agent to blame for landing him such similar parts.
He said: “Would I call her and ask for a romcom? No. I don’t pick jobs by genre.
“But I suppose I might say, ‘Listen, maybe I shouldn’t play a policeman for a while’.
“I mean, there’s a comedian in Northern Ireland. He does a podcast or something and he’s developed a thing that every detective show anywhere in the world, in whatever language, should just be called ‘Nesbitt’. And I just come in and solve a crime.”
Joely Richardson, the younger sister of Liam Neeson’s late wife Natasha, said getting the chance to work with James was a dream come true.
She added: “I have always wanted to work with him. He is fabulous.”