Laurence Kinlan: People buy me pints and never give me sh*t!

NewsBy Daragh Keany
Elmo is grilled by our man Daragh
Elmo is grilled by our man Daragh

He is one of the few actors to have been part of smash hit TV show Love/Hate from the very beginning - and he even managed to keep himself alive until the record-breaking, blood-soaked climax in season five. So, is Laurence Kinlan, made famous for playing loveable rogue Elmo, sick of talking about the crime drama?

“Not yet,” he smiles proudly. “Love/Hate is still a huge part of my life because people keep talking to me about it. We’re all very proud of it - anywhere I go people ask me if it’ll be coming back. I don’t think it is, genuinely. But the writers have left it open so we can’t rule it out.”

So was the 32-year-old Dubliner happy with how RTE’s most successful show ever finished (1.1million people tuned into the last episode), or would he have preferred to be part of the shocking finale? 

“I was thrilled with the ending. Tom [Vaughan-Lawlor, aka Nidge] being killed was the perfect ending. I wouldn’t have wanted Stuart [Carolan, the show’s writer] to throw me into the mix for the sake of it. I loved watching it, it was amazing TV. I was like any fan watching it every week. I was engrossed.”

There is another reason why the actor loves the drama – he gets pints bought for him every time he’s out: “I’ll never say no to someone buying me a pint,” he laughs. “I still pay for the odd drink, but I try not to. If you can save a few shillings, why not?”

But does it not get annoying when he is out with his wife, Charlene, and everyone just wants to grab a picture?

“A little bit, but it’s always in good spirits,” he smiles. “I never get any sh*t from people. I’m the same when I meet a footballer. I know what it is like to get excited to meet someone, so I understand why people want a photo.”

He adds: “I’m still in touch with all the Love/Hate crew, but not as much as I’d like. Everyone has their own thing going on. I email Tom all the time but he’s in London so we don’t get to meet up. We’re all really good mates, which is brilliant.”

The reason SWM is standing in an abandoned warehouse in Dublin with Kinlan is because he has just been signed up as an ambassador for the new Battlefield Hardline console game, in which gamers can play the good guys or the bad guys. 

“I’m a huge gamer, so when I got the call for this I jumped at it. I love that you can either be the cop or the criminal. That’s deadly, that’s why myself and Kieran [O’Reilly, who played undercover drug cop Ciaran in Love/Hate] are here today. We are both gamers, but we are known for being the good guy and the bad guy in Love/Hate - it’s perfect.” 

You get the impression that life is very good right now for the popular star of films Ned Kelly, Intermission and The Guard. So what gives?

“Everything is going great at the moment. I was busy working  on Breaking Dad [the stage show of Ross O’Carroll’s escapades], and now I don’t know. There’s a chance of some more theatre. I might also spend some time in London. Sometimes it is great not knowing what is coming up next because it gives me a chance to relax,” he says.

“I’m heading out to New York this week, then I’m off playing golf for ten days in Florida with Brendan O’Carroll. It’s a hard life isn’t it?”
How the hell did the father-of-two get a pass for ten days away from the family? 

“Weeks, months of begging and pleading. Oh, and promising to wash the dishes. My young lad [Ollie] turns one the day after Paddy’s Day, and the eldest [Oren] is nearly eight-and-a-half. It’s all go. I still haven’t gotten used to the school runs. It’s mental,” he laughs.

Finally, will Laurence be heading abroad any time soon to take the next big step?

“In the future I’d give London  or L.A. a go. But for now I am working away here, so it’s hard to think like that. I wouldn’t rule it out. It’s about finding time, especially with kids. I have to focus on them.”

SEE the video of Laurence Kinlan behind the scenes at the Battlefield Hardline shoot on now. PLUS we test Kinlan’s Love/Hate knowledge.

Battlefield Hardline is available from Friday March 20