'It's the best parts of new Ireland as well as the worst' – Brian Gleeson talks tonight’s RTÉ drama Taken Down

Irish actor Brian Gleeson has said tonight’s RTÉ drama Taken Down is an example of “the best” and “worst” of new Ireland.

Gleeson plays the major part of Wayne Deevy, a character who runs a Direct Provision centre which becomes the centre of a murder probe.

The actor said the show has the most diverse cast he’s ever seen. 

“The subject matter itself is something that we all know about but not that well. So it was important for lots of different reasons.”

“It’s a cop drama. They’re investigating a murder in the direct provision centre so it’s about that world, it’s also about the cop world; it also goes into the kind of murkier world of prostitution and how women are trafficked through the centres and end up working in these brothels. So it’s very much a seedy underworld but it’s also an indictment really of the new Ireland that has left a lot of people very vulnerable and being preyed upon.”

“I think the show is about the dignity of people who have been left behind, who were in this institutionalised limbo.”

The drama series was written by Stuart Carolan, creator of Love/Hate, and Jo Spain, and represents new Ireland, Gleeson said.

“What’s great about the writing is that the characters aren’t one-dimensional. It’s the most diverse cast I’ve ever been a part of and I really hope people like it.”

“It’s just a great example of the best parts of new Ireland as well as the worst.”

Gleeson’s own character isn’t “the most likeable” he says.

“Wayne runs the direct provision centre and there is a murder that takes place outside the centre, so the cops are investigating that, so he’s kind of not the most likeable of characters. But from his point of view, he’s trying to do the best he can.”

“He’s living with his parents and he’s engaged to be married but he’s still living at home and getting the roast dinner. And it’s a perfect example of the ineptitude of a certain type of Irish man,” he smiles,” “so I thought those things were great.”

Taken Down airs tonight at 9.30pm.

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