‘After the Party’ Star Peter Mullan Destroys Kevin Spacey and the ‘LOTR Mob’ During Riotous, Expletive-Filled Masterclass: ‘The Man Is an A–hole!’

“After the Party” star Peter Mullan tells it like it is.

“The thing with acting is that it’s fun when you are playing. A footballer can relive the moment of scoring the goal, but it’s not as much fun as scoring the goal. Kevin Spacey would watch himself all day long. He never fucking stops. The man is an asshole,” he told the crowd at Series Mania.

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They worked together on “Ordinary Decent Criminal.”

“We would barely finish and he would run to the monitor to check if it worked. If the cheat worked, because he was so fake. I didn’t like him at all. Horrible human being, but fascinating to watch, because he was so mannered. It was like working with Bette Davis.”

Spacey wasn’t the only one who got a drubbing during expletive-filled masterclass, with Mullan’s very own nose in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” earning a special mention.

“We showed that show to Emmy voters in L.A. and afterwards, they had this ridiculously serious discussion about ‘LOTR.’ I suggested the nose should get a nomination and I swear, three people came to me afterwards, thinking it was possible. I think it should – you are up at 3 a.m., getting this thing on,” he laughed.

“These shows have all the money in the world and then it comes down to: ‘Daddy, love me.’ ‘I will try, son.’ These are all simple things that people take so seriously. They are a weird bunch, the ‘LOTR’ mob.”

“Harry Potter” fans didn’t fare much better. In the film, Mulland played Death Eater Corban Yaxley.

“I didn’t give a shit about ‘Harry Potter’ – my kids did. When I was there, this man in a floating coat arrived and said: ‘I suppose you would like your wand?’ And fucked off! I thought that in ‘Harry Potter’ they showed you how to use a wand in a ‘Harry Potter’ way. I was holding mine as if I was in the gangs, like it was a knife. If you watch the film, I look like a Glasgow thug.”

The acclaimed actor has never been one to mince words, he admitted.

“The BBC used to keep a swear count. I did one show and had to ask another guy: ‘Did you get a wank?’ The director said: ‘Peter, you have used up all the sweary words from the day before, so can you just think it?’ Then, the editor called the BBC, asking: ‘Are we allowed to have six ‘bastards,’ eight ‘f—-s’ and no ‘cunts,’ and can we have a ‘wank’? This lady replied: ‘Dear, you can have as many wanks as you want. Just remember: six ‘bastards,’ eight ‘f—-s’ and no ‘cunts.’”

Still, Mullan had only good things to say about Ken Loach, who directed him in “My Name is Joe.”

After the Party
After the Party

“You only get three days-worth of script. His philosophy is that the actor knows as much as the character, although he cheated a bit in that film. You don’t rehearse, so you start acting as soon as you arrive on set. You are an Egyptian god – no one is allowed to look at you. Ken Loach doesn’t look at you. Which, if you don’t know him, makes you think you are the worst actor in the world,” he recalled.

“Nobody says ‘action’ on Ken Loach’s set – he says: ‘In your own time’ or ‘When you are ready.’ Straight up, an actor feels empowered. Ken’s not watching is the realization that acting is not only about facial expression. It’s about the truth. He is happy with a scene when he hears it.”

“My pal Marty – I call him Marty, you call him Mr. Scorsese – said that in ‘Mean Streets,’ he had to hide behind a bar for one scene. He could only hear them and he knew when it worked and when it didn’t. Cillian Murphy changed his entire way of acting after spending 10 weeks with Ken, working on ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley.’”

Mullan also praised the team behind “After the Party,” created by Dianne Taylor and Robyn Malcolm. In the show, he plays a man accused of a sex crime against her daughter’s friend — by his own wife.

“Again, it comes down to who you are working with, but I knew where he was coming from. This guy was suspected of being a pedophile. The only way to play it was by having him believe that what he does is not quite right, but it’s also not wrong,” he noted, admitting that for many, a similar part would mean “career death.”

“As an actor, you present someone who wants to be understood. It’s not about portraying someone you can like and love, and give awards to. If it’s about that, it’s morally reprehensible. I have killed so many people [in my career]. You kill someone and they jump right back, saying: ‘You killed me very well!’ You reply: ‘Thank you – you died very well.’ It’s a play. I don’t have time for actors who try to make others feel uncomfortable.”

Mullan also opened up about his directing career, one that included “Neds” or award-winning “The Magdalene Sisters.”

“I wanted these women to get an apology, so I wanted it to be very classical,” he said about the film that earned him a Golden Lion in Venice.

“Acting is sex and directing is bringing up the baby. It’s a level of responsibility you don’t have as an actor: you just fuck about. It’s not that I am not committed, but if you hear an actor talk about his character, I reach for my gun. There was an Oscar-winning actress I worked with recently, who saw her face as a business. She wanted a crying scene and the director said no. She said: ‘I cry – I get a prize.’ She was probably correct.”

“I have no memory of whole chunks of acting, but when you direct, there is this element of PTSD. Most directors remember every single shot. That’s why so many people only make one film, like Gary Oldman and ‘Nil by Mouth’ or Charles Laughton with ‘The Night of the Hunter.’ Compared to acting, it’s so traumatic.”

Luckily, his masterclass won’t be forgotten anytime soon – also thanks to multiple photos he took during it.

“It’s for my children. They don’t realize I am a fucking big shot in Europe.”

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