New drama 'Copper' follows Irish American detectives in 19th century NYC - VIDEO
New show follows rugged Irish immigrant cop as he patrols the notorious New York Five Points
In Copper, the new BBC America drama starting on Sunday, August 19 we follow Detective Kevin Corcoran, a rugged Irish immigrant cop, as he patrols the notorious New York Five Points neighborhood, standing up for justice in a neighborhood where it’s seldom seen. Cahir O'Doherty talks to the show’s Irish star Kevin Ryan about the hard-hitting new drama set in the 19th century.
Intrigue, political corruption, mystery and murder fill the screen in BBC America’s new big budget crime drama Copper, set in New York’s notorious Five Points slum where Irish immigrants were once forced to make a living in any way they could.
Into this explosive mix comes Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) and his close friend and adviser Detective Francis Maguire (Kevin Ryan), the man who knows the Irish criminal underworld like the back of his hand.
The show opens in the 1860s in the aftermath of the Civil War. It’s BBC America’s first scripted series to be produced here. To date the BBC have only green lighted and broadcast shows set in the U.K., so it’s a measure of the company’s faith in Copper that it has been given the go-ahead.
Early America, with all of its ethnic strife and daily battles for supremacy or foothold on the ladder to power, is a landscape ripe for drama, and Copper genuinely delivers with engaging plotlines and fine performances from the accomplished international cast.
To reflect the diversity of characters, the actors in the show all hail from a variety of ethnic backgrounds -- principal Weston-Jones is British, Ryan is Irish, and Franka Potente (best known for The Bourne Identity) is German.
Originally from Dublin, Ryan, 28, started filming Copper in Toronto at the end of January on massive purpose built sets that recreate the Five Points in all their gaudy glory.
Playing Detective Maguire is the biggest break of Ryan’s career to date and it allows him to do something onscreen he thought he never would -- talk in his own Irish accent.
“I was acting in a TV show in Ireland called Raw when one of the actors was auditioning for Copper,” Ryan tells the Irish Voice. He had never heard of the project, but soon enough he was in New York auditioning for one of the lead roles himself.
Ryan’s busy schedule left him with no time to rehearse the part, so he found himself going over his scene on the subway to the audition.
“I was dressed up like a cross between Lionel Ritchie meets Bono meets Captain Jack Sparrow,” he laughs. “I don’t know New York’s subway so they gave me someone to help me get to the audition quickly, and he turned out to be an African American guy. I asked him on this absolutely packed subway car if he could help read the scene with me and he said yes.
“Then I opened the script and the first line was, “Now look here, n---er.” The second scene was even worse. I was surrounded by people and I was suddenly saying, ‘I apologize. I did not write this!’”
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