Dublin actor Adam Richardson splashed onto the scene as Ant Sheridan in RTÉ series, The Dry.
But he’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes since he was a teenager to cement his place as an actor. And he’s certainly on the way there.
He’s a laugh a minute as VIP Magazine speaks to the rising star as we chat about college, career and the glitz and glam of Hollywood. And how Ireland is one of the hottest places to be an actor right now.
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Hi Adam! Tell us a bit about how you originally dipped your toe in the acting pond.
I went to The Lír, it took me about three years to get in but I eventually did it and had the time of my life. That’s how everyone falls in love with acting. I don’t like using this word but it is a vocation in a way that it just stays with you. It was the absolute makings of me in that regard. I graduated in 2020 which was a bit of a mess because of COVID. But I was really lucky because I managed to land a few gigs. And that then led to the rest…
Oh yikes! Surely that most have been very stressful for you as you started your career.
I was stressing about that for a while. I’m quite a logical person. Money and bills and all the real-life things do come into play. My parents are very practical as well. When I got to the Lír I actually got into the one-year course first before I got into the Bachelor’s. But that was the deciding point for me. Once I got a taste for it, I was obsessed. I was straight out of school when I got that course and it just clarified things for me. I knew I would be working with the best. The Lír is just a really good place to start. Of course, I have those moments in between jobs where I’m like should I get a normal job for a bit so I can pay my bills. It’s never plain sailing really. You just have to know that when it commits.
Of course, there’s anxiety. But it’s manageable. You are in control of how much you give to acting. In my head, I’ve 100 per cent committed that I’m okay with the downtime and when things aren’t going my way. I know things are going to turn around.
Well within three years you have landed a pretty important role in The Dry within three years of graduating from The Lír. So you’re definitely making your mark.
It’s slow but it’s sure. I think as long as you’re making tracks and as long as your trying to progress always. I know it’s easier said than done.
On the other side of things, do you ever stress about people watching your work?
There are always those panics about if it will be a good gig. But it’s mostly if the people will get on. I find that if the set goes smoothly the job will be good because people care about it. If there are problems on set and people aren’t getting on then I start to worry. It’s going to affect the chemistry, the scene, the whole fecking thing. But apart from that I try to arrive on set, do my best job and leave.
You mentioned that your parents are quite level-headed. How did your family react when you said you wanted to be an actor?
The whole extended family were like, “Oh my God! Of course, the first gay child in our extended family wants to be an actor.” As cautious as they were but they knew that there was nothing else I could give to this level and they knew I was committed. But they were shocked and there were definitely people asking, “Are you going to go do computers?” Not that I ever wanted to do that! The extended family were worried and people came to me asking if I wanted to be an accountant. But I sat my parents down and said. “Look if I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I’m really, really struggling I’ll reassess.” As long as I’m happy and going from job to job, I’ll follow it.
A lot of our actors are exported abroad. Are you happy to stay in Ireland or will you be heading off to Hollywood soon?
The Lír gets you connections with industry folk in Ireland and theatre heads. So you leave with a really good knowledge and a really good base with industry professionals. I wouldn’t have the connections without that so I’m going to build those up and build up my CV before going abroad. I don’t want to go over as a chancer. I have gone over and luckily Ciarán Hinds gave me his agent’s contact in the UK. But I am waiting until I have a few more big credits before I go over to London and then hopefully Hollywood. I was born here, I grew up here, I went to school here, I went to college here. I will probably go off when I’m ready.
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Ireland is really full of incredible talent from Ciarán Hinds to young blood like Paul Mescal. Do you think Hollywood is finally sitting up and taking Irish actors seriously?
I don’t think it’s anything but positive. They just naturally grow more of a respect for an Irish actor. Paul [Mescal] is incredible and he’s so modest, it shows he’s a hard worker.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
I think genuinely sticking to the acting after COVID. We were meant to graduate in July 2020 and do our showcase and start our career. We were let go from the Lír in March. We didn’t really have a graduation until two years later. We never got the showcase so a lot of us were in a pickle. So my proudest moment was making it through that COVID panic. I’m happy it’s over and I’m so happy it stuck to it.
What does the future look like for you? What would you love to achieve in the next five years?
I’m just back from LA, I had a few meetings there. That was really fun just to see how the world works over there because it’s so different to what I’m used to here. But I think another year in Dublin and I have another little gig coming up. I have season two of The Dry. I would love to then branch over to London and do a year or two there. I would love to do some theatre in London as well. Maybe in the next five years end up in LA. All things going well. No more pandemics, no more dry spells, no more career breaks.
It seems like it’s every actor’s dream to work in theatre!
The Lír is a classical-trained Conservatoire, so we did a lot of Shakespeare. It was 80 to 90 per cent theatre. Especially in the first two years then you have a screen acting teacher Vinny Murphy who is absolutely amazing. We learned a lot from him because he’s very practical and we learned a lot from doing. That’s why I think a lot of strong film actors come from The Lír. I loved theatre before going in. I still do love it, but theatre is very hard. There’s a bit more space around TV and film. You can get yourself there for the emotional bits and you can talk to the director. I think if you can do theatre you can do film. I want to do theatre now and again to use all my skills. If you’re not using all your skills the audience can see right through you.
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Before we let you go, what’s next for you?
The plan is I’ll be back for Ant for season two of The Dry in the summer. Buzzing for that. Then I’ll be working with a guy called Shaun Dunne in a play in the Dublin Theatre Festival. Then in the autumn, hopefully The Vanishing Triangle will be out on Virgin Media.