big budget | 

Love/Hate star Peter Coonan says money behind his new series Hidden Assets will take it to 'high level'

Crime pays for Peter Coonan in new big-budget RTÉ series

Peter Coonan Photo Credit: Bernard Walsh/AcornTV

By Eugene Masterson

Former Love/Hate star Peter Coonan has said the significant cost pumped into producing his new TV series Hidden Assets will help bring it to a "high level".

The crime series, which starts tonight on RTE One, costs an estimated €1 million an episode to make for its six-part run.

And it has emerged that RTÉ series Kin was even more expensive to make.

Both shows are co-productions with RTE.

"I thought Kin was excellent, the production looked amazing," explains Peter.

"The performances were stunning; Clare Dunne was extraordinary. They were all brilliant.

Angeline Ball as Emer Berry in Hidden Assets Photo Credit: Bernard Walsh/AcornTV

"I was aware, with American money, that they had a lot of loot to play with. I don't know the Hidden Assets money or what they were dealing with, its not my side of things.

"When you see [production company] Bron involved, and they are involved in so much at the moment, I knew they would have a good budget, which is great that co-productions are allowing that to get to such a high level.

"Hidden Assets is made by RTÉ and a Canadian company. I think the idea is to sell it to other countries. That's the idea of a second series of Kin, to get it released elsewhere."

The new series, which also stars Angeline Ball, is centred on the Criminal Assets Bureau investigating a prominent family.

"So, the CAB are investigating a family, the Brannigans. [I play, Fionn Brannigan], a son of a former head of a company who were involved in various dodgy deals in Ireland and around the world.

"They are trying to find out how they can retrieve their assets in various parts," he reveals.

"My sister is based in Antwerp and I'm in Dublin and they are investigating us.

"There are a lot of different storylines weaved into one. There's a counter terrorist world. There's other little bits and snippets they find while investigating us, so it brings in a load of different factions of the police world.

"I'm running an aircraft leasing company and we have various assets spread across the world.

"We had gone bankrupt and built it back up. So there's hidden assets, which they are trying to retrieve in various forms."

Angeline Ball as Emer Berry and Wouter Hendrickx as Christian De Jong in Hidden Assets Photo Credit: Guillaume Van Laethem/Saffron Pictures/RTÉ/AcornTV

His character is a much-publicised figure.

"So it's someone who has lived under the scope of the media, due to the fact that he was the son of a very wealthy businessman.

"All his life he was always in the public eye, getting out of cars and getting snapped, people trying to follow what he was doing or who he was going out with or what was going on in his life at a certain life," he said.

"It was an interesting character to play, living in that grey area of some of the stuff that was going on through the business and trying to live at the same time."

Peter hails from Leopardstown, in south county Dublin, and now lives in Sandymount in the capital with his partner Kim and their three daughters, who are aged seven, five and two.

"I'm kept busy. Lockdown was busy, but fun," he smiles.

Peter became a household name playing the role of 'Fran the man' in Love/Hate.

"At the time it was quite mental," he recalls of the reaction. "People coming up to you looking for photos and various things. Its kind of died down now, which is nice

"It was great at the time, the excitement when people were coming up to you in your 20s, but people were very nice about it to be honest."

His character was a victim of an infamous attack in prison, when a broken snooker cue was rammed up his behind.

Peter is aghast to learn a copycat attack took place in Co. Longford recently, when a man shoved a broken curtain pole up the anus of a man he found in bed with his mother.

"That's horrendous, a brutal attack," said.

Peter recently shot a film that was playing in the Belfast film festival and is hoping to do theatre in the New Year.

Hidden Assets, tonight, RTÉ1, 9.30pm.

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