Want to know more about Oisin Stack who plays killer priest Dermott Dolan in Kat & Alfie: Redwater? You’ve come to the right place…
French-Irish actor Oisin Stack has found himself at the centre of EastEnders’ sinister spin-off, Redwater.
In a recent chat with us Oisin, 35, revealed how he came to land the coveted role of killer priest Father Dermott Dolan. He also confesses there are a lot more shocking revelations to come in Redwater…
We found out very quickly Dermott is Kat’s secret adopted son and a killer as well. How much did you know beforehand? “I got a sense early on that Dermott was an unstable guy who feels pretty hard done by. After he murders Lance in the first episode, I’d a clearer picture of what I was dealing with! There are so many more twists and turns to come. The final episode is the textbook definition of an amazing cliffhanger; I’m really excited for people to see it.”
Is it exhausting or fun to play such a complex character? “I think exhausting can also be fun! This is my first time playing a villain; I usually play best friend roles. So for me it’s brilliant. For sure, it’s exhausting to spend the day screaming, crying, and doing horrendous high stake things. Yet it’s also so much fun to be given permission to act this way. I was knackered by the end of the day, but also felt satisfied I’d done a hard day's work. Dermott has a screw or two loose, but I hope people will find him a bit sympathetic.”
Were you aware EastEnders' Kat and Alfie are UK telly institutions before signing up? “I was aware of them because I’d spent my teenage years in the UK yet wasn’t that familiar with them. But my mother is a big EastEnders fan. The decibel level increased ten-fold when I told her I got a role with Kat & Alfie!”
Did she visit while you were filming in Dunmore East, Waterford? “She spent a week with me and was incredibly excited! One evening we went to the pub with Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace and it pretty much made her life!”
Tell us more about yourself… “I never really know where I’m from! I’m half Irish, half French. My mother is French and my father Irish. Until I was 11 I grew up outside Dublin in Arklow. It was the 80s and my mum, as the only foreigner in town, was always known as ‘Marie, the French Lady!’ We then lived in Bordeaux for about 18 months. And after that moved to Chichester on the south coast of England.”
Did you study drama in the UK? “I decided early on I wanted to be an actor and did get into a few drama schools in England. But coming from a single parent family they were far too expensive. Not wanting a huge student debt I auditioned for French drama schools which are nearly free - you pay €500 in subscription fees! I was lucky enough to get into the Paris Conservatoire, where they also give you money so you can study properly… so I decided to go there!”
How did you get involved in Redwater? “My professional life mostly developed in France, but I’ve also worked on Luc Besson’s The Family, the TV remake of Rosemary’s Baby and a Russian production called Mata Hari. Filming in English made me realise I wanted to work in English again because I really missed it. I signed up to a UK-Irish agent and luckily got cast in Redwater a few months later!”
You mentioned The Family. Were you star-struck working with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer? “Absolutely! Initially I was supposed to be in a scene with them both but it was written out. However, there were two days when our timetables crossed over. The first day I didn’t realise they’d turned up early and were watching me film my scenes! I turned around to get a gulp of water when I see this man I recognise standing up to shake my hand. I honestly can’t remember what I said, I became an absolute idiot. Afterwards I watched them filming and it was a master class to see two consummate professionals at work.”
The Redwater cast is impressive too. How was that for you? “Shane and Jessie are brilliant to watch and really good fun to work with. They have a great rapport because they’re close friends in real life. I was cast relatively last minute so on the morning of the first reading my jaw dropped when quality actors like Fionnula Flannagan walked in. When I saw Maria Doyle Kennedy and Angeline Ball I was like a little kid because I’ve watched The Commitments so many times, it’s one of my favourite films!”
Could everyone be back for a second series? “You never know! A cliffhanger leaves it open and the writers are really clever at weaving different possibilities. It could go lots of different ways. There’s more to Redwater than Dermott’s adoption. Many other things get uncovered and come to light.”
Redwater is on Thursdays, BBC1 at 8pm
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