Pádraic lands TV role as hero knight

By david looby

Published 17/09/2016 | 00:00

Pádraic Delaney on location in Dubrovnik where the Siege of Acre shots were filmed
Pádraic Delaney on location in Dubrovnik where the Siege of Acre shots were filmed
Pádraic Delaney

ADAMSTOWN'S Pádraic Delaney has secured one of the leading roles in a major new American television series for the History Channel called Knightfall.

Knightfall chronicles the mysterious but true accounts of the Knights Templar, the elite warriors of the Crusades.

The series, which is being developed by an American Network A + E, tells the story of the Knights Templar movement and their eventual fall from grace and Delaney, 38, plays the role of Gawain, their expert swordsman.

Speaking from the film shoot in Prague, Delaney said he has never worked on anything on the scale of Knightfall.

He said: 'Landing the role reminds me of The Tudors and my role is much bigger in this. This series is on a bigger scale in terms of money and sets. I prefer to act in lower budget, indie type, character-driven projects, but I have a great character who has a lot of conflict of interests and loyalties.'

Delaney said the producers are looking to create the next big thing in television and Knightfall has already been picked up by Netflix.

'They are very much looking at Game of Thrones which is ending next year, as is the Vikings which is huge in America. The Americans love that vibe with ancient European history and swords and battles.'

Delaney landed the role having impressed at an audition in April. He said he usually puts thoughts of getting a part out of his mind as soon as he does an interview, but he wanted the role.

'This one stuck with me as it's about the Knights Templar and I don't think their story has been done before, only touched on in the Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones.'

Delaney said the story opens with a spectacular scene, the Siege of Acre. The story jumps forward to the late 13th century when we meet his character Gawain, who is called after Sir Gawain of the knights of Arthurian legend.

'The main story begins about 200 years into the templars. It's after the fall of Jerusalem and Acre and our story is set in Paris and concerns the relationship the Templars had with King Philip The Fair.'

Delaney's character is one of the main Templar knights.

'He is the best sword fighter but he injures his leg during a sword fight protecting one of the knights who becomes the leader of the Knights Templar. He tells me I can no longer fight and that leads to conflict.'

Delaney has signed a five-year contract for numerous episodes and is expecting the series to be a success.

'Like with any new show it's down to the mercy of the audience. The producers have obviously put a lot of money into this. They do a lot of big shoots here in the at Barrandov Studios in Prague. Some of the crew members have worked on Bourne films and a Bond film and they said they've never worked on something of this scale. It's like Gladiator. I feel very lucky to be here working on this. The scripts and the crew are great.'

Delaney arrived in the Czech Republic in June and has been doing a lot of training at boot camps and with horse riding and swordfighting.

'We've also done a lot of circuit training for bonding with the other guys.'

He will continue on set until December when the first season is due to be completed.

Knightfall is due to air in early 2017 on American TV and is expected to be picked up by RTE.

The exterior sets were destroyed in a fire while Delaney was away with his girlfriend Eve Macklin in Vienna in late August. Around €4m in damage was caused but the producers arrived from America and said everything would be rebuilt and filming would continue.

Delaney said he is loving his time in Prague where the average temperature is 28 degrees.

'Since I've gotten here I haven't worn a pair of jeans, the weather has been so nice.'

The former Colaiste Abbain student said Knightfall has been one of the highlights of his career.

'I have been lucky in my career over the last few years as I've never really been worried about the next job.'

Delaney was home during the summer visiting his parents Sheelagh and Michael Delaney and grandmother. His career has taken off having attended the Beckett Centre in Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated with a BA in Drama & Theatre Studies in 2001. Having worked on Shakespearian roles in theatre and in the Irish television series Pure Mule and The Clinic, Delaney first appeared before international audiences as Irish revolutionary Teddy O'Donovan in Ken Loach's award winning film The Wind That Shakes the Barley, opposite Cillian Murphy.

Wexford People

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