60 Seconds With Ronan RafteryNovember 17, 2016
Irish-born Ronan Raftery made his onscreen debut in indie hit Death of a Superhero. He has since featured in Emmy winning series Moone Boy, comedy series Fresh Meat and NBC’s Crossing Lines, as well as on many of London’s most iconic stages. We have chat with Ronan about his latest role in newly released film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as his inspirations and what influences his style.
When and how did you get into acting?
When I was 12, I did Macbeth at school – I played the first witch and that’s when I started telling people I was an actor. I had a bit of a rough time at school so it was nice to find a little niche where I felt happy, felt comfortable and that I thought I might be good at. So I started taking classes, then I decided to audition for drama schools in London. I moved to London in 2006 and I’ve just been working here since.
What was the first big role you landed in film?
The first film I was in was Death of a Superhero. Well, actually I had a couple of lines in Captain America, but I let that one slide, that was my first role of drama school. But the first thing I got a kick out of was Death of a Superhero, a really cool independent Irish and German film directed by Ian FitzGibbon, with Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. It was all shot in Dublin and was about this young guy with terminal cancer and about his family (I played his other brother), and about his relationship with comics, drawing and art, and how as his illness progressed his art kind of changed, and about his relationship with his therapist. It’s a really, really cool film.
Tell us about the role you play in the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them?
I play Langdon Shaw – I’m not magical, but that’s all I can say at the moment. It’s an amazing film, amazing script. It’s basically about a guy called Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne. He arrives in New York on his way back from this amazing trip where he’s been catching all these magical animals from all over the world. Then a lot of stuff starts to happen on his little stop over. He uncovers a lot of weird things going on in New York, both in the wizardry and the
Muggle world, and the film takes off from there.
How did you prepare for the role?
Well, I read a lot of the books and watched a lot of the films. I just went back over the original material. Although this all happens before, so story-wise it doesn’t help, but just to touch back into the world and also to see David’s work again. I watched a lot of his stuff outside of Harry Potter to see what kind of filmmaker he is.
Are there any actors that you look up to or are inspired by?
I think Leonardo DiCaprio has always been my favourite, especially when I was younger.
What’s your favourite Leonardo DiCaprio film?
I actually love The Wolf of Wall Street. And Basketball Diaries, I remember seeing that as a kid and thinking ‘Wow’. He was so young, and I was thinking, I want to do that. It was a big influence on me, seeing somebody that young being that good.
Is there anything that influences your style?
Yes, a good friend of mine Sinéad O’Sullivan is a costumer designer from the industry and she’s hugely into recycled fabric, eco-friendly cotton and Fair trade work. I was completely oblivious to stuff like that before talking to her – so that influences me a lot.
What’s your ultimate fashion essential?
Military boots – the older the better.
Photography by Philipp Raheem