Arts Q&A: Bloodlands creator Chris Brandon

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, screenwriter and Bloodlands creator Chris Brandon

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, screenwriter Chris Brandon

1. When did you think about a career in writing and what were your first steps into it?

I started writing when I was training to be an actor at drama school. I would enter competitions and do small projects for friends, before I started to write bigger ideas. Through doing that I was able to secure a fantastic agent. From there it was all about writing as much as possible until the work started to resonate with the right people.

2. Best gigs you've been to?

The Beta Band's farewell gig at The Shepherd's Bush Empire in 2004 has to be up there. I was broke and working behind the bar, so it felt like a privilege to be there and it was a special connection between the band and the audience that night. Also, Arctic Monkeys at the Benicàssim Festival in Spain about 2007. I think I can still feel Matt Helders's drumming.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Well, I'm going to want to get everybody up and dancing, so it has to be Sly and the Family Stone.

4. The record you would take to a desert island?

The End by The Doors. I figure I'm alone on this desert island, so I'll need the appropriate soundtrack to go insane to.

5. And the book you would take to a desert island?

Eureka Street, by Robert McLiam Wilson. It's one book I can read again and again and keep enjoying.

6. Top three films?

This one is too difficult to answer because I love so many films and each story stands on its own merit. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves made me want to be an actor (particularly Alan Rickman) when I saw it in a Belfast cinema as a kid; The Usual Suspects made me want to be a writer; and The Big Lebowski is just perfect storytelling.

7. Worst film you've seen?

I can't remember the name of it, but it's a film about US soldiers going through some kind of time portal and facing off with Samurai warriors. Even on paper it sounds like a risky proposition.

8. Favourite authors?

Don DeLillo, Alex Garland and Roald Dahl.

9. Sports you most enjoy and top teams?

I'll go a long way to watch Ireland play rugby and Roger Federer play tennis.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

A Greek island.

11. Pet hates?

When people say a cold is the flu. And road rage.

12. What's your favourite: Dinner? Dessert? Drink?

A combination of the three. Dinner, if I have to pick one.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My wife. And it's a long story.

14. Is there a God?

There is, and her name is Beyoncé.

:: Chris Brandon is the creator and writer of Bloodlands, the four-part crime drama series starring James Nesbitt which dredges up Northern Ireland's troubled past. It is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital.

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