Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley Interview
Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley Interview
Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley, the stars of hugely enjoyable and funny creature feature Grabbers, about a small Irish island community under attack from weird sea creatures, talk to View’s Matthew Turner about getting Irish accents right, being attacked in the face by special effects and onscreen chemistry.
What attracted you to the parts first of all and how did you get involved?

Ruth Bradley

Just normal, got sent the script, went to have a few meetings. I really loved the character of Lisa, I thought there was loads going on in her and she had a great journey throughout, finding herself, from hiding away in her work and having no life to realising there’s more to life than just being a good girl. So I loved her. That was the big draw.

Richard Coyle

And I wanted to do some comedy again and I thought the script was amazing and I thought it was a lovely chance to play some comedy and some drama.
The pair of you obviously have great chemistry on screen, do they make you do chemistry readings beforehand?

Ruth Bradley

Yes.

Richard Coyle

Yes. We did that.

Ruth Bradley

You were already cast, weren’t you? And I came in.

Richard Coyle

Yeah.

Ruth Bradley

And a few other actresses came in and did some chemistry reads.
Are they fun, chemistry reads?

Richard Coyle

Not really. They’re very weird because chemistry is something you can’t manufacture, and it’s an indefinable thing – you either have it with somebody or you don’t. You feel very much like you’re being observed and it’s like you’re in some kind of a control test situation like a dog, Pavlov’s dog or something. They put you in a room and just watch you and go, 'Now you should just talk a bit and read the scenes' and you’re constantly aware that you have to try and have chemistry. They’re very odd situations.
Do you play it down, do you deliberately not have chemistry if there’s someone you don’t want to work with?

Ruth Bradley

You probably shouldn’t go in for the meeting if that’s how you’re feeling, and saying, 'I’m not going to do that job.'
How was Jon as a director on set? Was there room for improvisation?

Ruth Bradley

Yeah.

Richard Coyle

That’s one of the great things, actually, he had this very novel approach of saying, 'Lets do this take on script and then lets do another take off script in your own words', which was very good, it relaxed you; it was a very fresh and open way to work and very often he would then say ‘Lets go back to the script’ and it would have imbued the whole scene with some extra quality. Often he would let us ad lib at the end beyond the dialogue and let us just carry on and then cut a little bit later and a lot of that stuff has ended up in the movie, the ad lib things.
I really love the weapon choosing scene and the rolled up magazine.

Ruth Bradley

That was in the script. All the weapons our characters choose.
I was going to ask you about the accent but obviously…

Ruth Bradley

I was fine.

Richard Coyle

I had a voice coach and well, like I said, I was determined not to put another bad Irish accent on the screen so I worked very hard, and obviously being in Ireland, working with Ruth, helped. So yeah, we did work very hard to make sure it was spot on.
Do you enjoy doing accents?

Richard Coyle

I do actually. I find accents really challenging and I find them very interesting, which probably helps. As you can imagine I’m not a very interesting dinner party guest but I do find accents very interesting, and how they’re shaped by who we are, where we’ve come from, the things that have happened to us. And I have a good ear, which helps me. So I do find that a really rewarding part of the job is working with an accent. I actually almost prefer to work with an accent, it gives me another facet to a character, to break into.
I’m not Irish but I thought it was very good.

Ruth Bradley

Yes, it was.
Was it region specific?

Richard Coyle

I went for street specific, which is weird. Because, in Dublin, I learned that each area has its own sort of specific sound, it’s very weird how specific the Dublin accents are, area to area. So with Ruth’s help I zoned in on an area of North Dublin. You said to me at one point ‘You actually sound like you’re from [street name].’

Ruth Bradley

[repeats street name], which is a little street in [area of Dublin].

Richard Coyle

So I’m quite proud of it.

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Content updated: 16/12/2017 09:00

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