ALL FIRED UP RTE's Smother actors 'deeply grateful' for gun training in wake of Alec Baldwin tragedy
Two actors starring in hit RTE show Smother confess they're 'deeply grateful' they were properly shown how to handle dangerous guns for a dramatic episode being shown tonight
Two actors starring in hit RTE show Smother confess that in the wake of the recent Alec Baldwin related tragedy they're "deeply grateful" they were properly shown how to handle dangerous guns for a dramatic episode being shown tonight.
Viewers will see Jenny Ahern ably handle a shotgun to blow apart a watermelon on a homemade range, while her half brother Finn stuns her by picking up a nearby rifle and expertly putting a bullet into another of the fruit.
The twist comes in the wake of a scene in episode one where Finn is curious when he discovers a gun cupboard in the Ahern house, and a flashback at the opening of the new series shows a bloodied floor which could lead to clues of mayhem ahead.
But the actors who plays both roles - Dean Fagan as Finn and Niamh Walsh as Jenny - admit they are relieved they were shown how to use guns especially after Alec Baldwin's recent horror when a prop gun he was using had a real bullet in and kissed an assistant on a film set.
Dean says the pair were shown how to use guns by a trained professional.
"The only other time I previously handled anything like a gun was at the funfair," he says. "We had a guns expert who came in, Stephen, and he showed us how to handle a gun and look confident."
But the Alec Baldwin shooting incident put things in perspective.
"When all that came out it was scary as so near to the time of the filming," stresses Niamh.
"Anytime with guns, there is a tendency among actors, and I hope I haven't been guilty of it in the past, to kind of roll your eyes because armourers (gun professionals) are by their nature a very serious group of people.
"They take what they do incredibly seriously and because it is all fake and because there are no bullets and it's all blanks, we never actually shot at the watermelon.
"The watermelon is rigged to explode when we just take the kickback and all that stuff. There is nothing in the gun except a blank, but there has been a tendency to go 'it's not really happening'."
Tonight's gun scene takes part at a 16h birthday party of Callum.
"The girls are really good with the guns because they have grown up with them," Niamh says.
"She is surprised because she thinks he's (Finn) going to be a newbie, and actually he sort of knows what he's doing. You can tell a lot with that one look, that that's a little bit about you I didn't know, what does that mean for the future."
Fans of the show have seen Jenny and Finn snog, and while they are not of the same blood they are in the same family.
"There is a spark there between the two of them that they know what's gone before and that it would be another rocket launched into the middle of the situation, so it's a thing they both want," Niamh says. "But there's a huge tension keeping them apart."
Dean also reveals that last week's sea swimming scene between Finn and Callum had to be somewhat curtailed because the water was so cold.
"No matter how good you are at swimming I think if it's that cold it kind of like puts you back to a beginner again," he stresses. "You forget how to swim because you're just thinking about how your body is going to handle this freezing cold.
"I'm not a water person. Niamh on the other hand is a water-baby. The longest you can spend is 10 or 12 minutes in the water. We didn't go too far out and we got the stunt guys to do the hard bits, he says.
Smother RTE1 tonight 9.30pm
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