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unique shoot Vikings star Moe Dunford lifts lid on gritty new Belfast-based film Nightride

The new Netflix thriller focuses on a drug dealer taking one last job to get out of criminality forever

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Moe in his hometown Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Moe in his hometown Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Moe in his hometown Dungarvan, Co Waterford

He stars in the gritty thriller about a drug dealer taking one last job to get out of criminality forever.

Irish actor Moe Dunford reveals how new movie Nightride was given an extra edge - by being filmed in single continuous takes every night of its Belfast shoot.

Keeping the cameras rolling no matter what, meant that Moe and his co-stars had to roll with whatever came their way. So when he was pulled over by Northern Ireland police, he had to stay in character.

The scene in which the actor had to pivot from 'dealer' to reliable motorist has ended up in the movie, which landed on Netflix this weekend.

"He makes the film, that policeman who pulls us over," smiles the actor. "I tried to turn my head away from the camera and give him a wink. But he was playing along, you know.

"Stephen [director Stephen Fingleton], who at the time was holding the camera, wants it to stay in as well. Because he's saying, 'No matter what happens, no matter what happens here, you keep going'. He was loving it and in the back of my mind I was loving it, because that then gives you a little bit of adrenaline."

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Moe Dunford with Joana Ribeiro in Nightride

Moe Dunford with Joana Ribeiro in Nightride

Moe Dunford with Joana Ribeiro in Nightride

 

Set over one night in Belfast city, Nightride is a thriller that puts viewers right in the driving seat with Budge (Dunford) as he tries to pull off one last deal with cash lent to him by a notorious loan shark. But when the handover goes badly wrong, Budge is in a race against time to find the missing drugs and his buyer before the shark tracks him down.

Unlike in a typical film where a car is placed on a moving trailer, Dunford does all the driving himself as his character crosses the city frantically trying to save the deal and himself.

"I'm used to being carried in the car on a low loader. You're not driving and that always annoyed me. So Steven thought, 'Well, if you're doing the driving for real, it will add to the audience's enjoyment, they could get behind the character'."

Still, he used to look forward to the scenes where he got out of the car and filmed with the other actors. "You spent so much time in the car that when you made an actual living, breathing person, you're like, 'Oh thank God!'"

The actor, from Dungarvan in Co Waterford, would have Zoom meetings with Fingleton, writer Ben Conway and the film's producers in advance of the shoot, then did rehearsals before filming to plan the one-shot movie.

"If Budge would leave the car, then the camera man would take the camera off the bonnet and follow him into the house, following me back. It was like a dance every night."

After enjoying a successful career run that's included TV series Dublin Murders and Vikings, as well as the moving feature film Rosie, Moe now has a second new arrival to Netflix.

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He plays a leading role in the new sequel to the classic horror, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which sees the fearsome Leatherface cranking up his chainsaw for more bloody mayhem.

"My character is called Richter, and he's the proprietor handyman who helps fix up buildings in this town that these youngsters come in and try to jazz up," he explains.

"There's a lot of fake gore and all that. But you're like: 'Yeah, give me that. Give me that any day. This is fun.'

"I'm a big fan of the original 1974 film, my brother introduced me to it when I was 16 years old. So we just tried to make this fun callback to the original, something new and something for the fans. And it's exciting being part of something where you know the fanbase is so big. These horror fans, they're devout you know? And rightly so."

We will next see him in forthcoming TV comedy-drama The Dry with Belfast star Ciarán Hinds and Róisín Gallagher.

"I'm really excited, coming back and working with [Rosie director] Paddy Breathnach again on a completely different character with a whole new cast."

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