Cork actor delighted with reaction to RTÉ drama Smother

Cork’s Éanna Hardwicke is gaining attention for his role in the RTÉ Drama series Smother. He talks to John Bohane about the Cork influence on the series and his career.
Cork actor delighted with reaction to RTÉ drama Smother

Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the most talented young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTE Drama series Smother.

RISING star, Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his reputation as one of the most talented emerging young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTÉ Drama series Smother.

The 24-year-old Cork actor plays the role of Joe in the six-part series. His character was previously in a relationship with Grace, a daughter of Denis Ahern who is murdered in the opening episode.

Éanna said he has been thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the new series.

“I have received so much positive feedback. We are delighted with the reaction. So much time, care, dedication, and work go into shows from the producers and the people making them. It is a huge process. It is great when it strikes a chord and gets a good reaction,” he said.

The young actor, who previously starred in Normal People and the sci-fi thriller Vivarium, said he learned so much from working with such a strong cast.

“There was an amazing cast. Lots of the cast members were actors and actresses I would have followed for years on both the stage and screen. Getting to do scenes and working with them was a real privilege. You are always picking up snippets of information and advice from them which are so invaluable. The show had a nice mixture of established actors and up-and-coming actors. There was also a good Cork influence on the show. I play opposite Ayoola Smart who is from Schull. We had so much fun. It is always great to link up with Cork people.

“I am relatively new in my acting career. Getting to work with my fellow cast members so closely and observing how they approach a scene and ensuring their timing was spot on was brilliant. Watching how the director works was also eye-opening. It was a great learning experience,” he added.

Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the most talented young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTE Drama series Smother. Picture: Wil Coban.
Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the most talented young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTE Drama series Smother. Picture: Wil Coban.

Éanna said the thriller element of the show has really appealed to the viewers.

“The thriller element has really helped catch people’s imagination. There are so many twists and turns in each episode which adds to the suspense. Viewers will be kept guessing until the very end. Everyone is guessing who did the murder.”

The Glanmire native initially took up acting when he was 10.

He credits his various teachers for playing a huge role in his development. 

“I went to the Cork School Project and I went to Ashton Secondary School. I have great memories of my childhood. I attended two great schools with brilliant teachers. I have always wanted to get into acting. I went to drama classes and youth theatre in the School of Music and the Gaiety School of Acting in Cork. I had brilliant teachers and enjoyed such a positive experience all the way up.

“I was lucky I got to do a few professional jobs as a kid which gave me a sense of what the industry would be like. I was doing it all through my teenage years. After my Leaving Cert I, fortunately, got into the Lir Academy in Dublin where I spent three years. It was incredible. It was so immersive as you are working with people who are acting professionals. They brought so much experience into the classroom. It was very intense but enjoyable,” he said.

The talented actor is delighted he pursued his dreams of becoming a full-time actor and says he is in his ‘dream job’.

“I love it and I feel very lucky to do something I love. It always feels like a community environment whether you are working in a theatre or a TV set. You do this intense rehearsal process and you really get to know people. It is such fun and there are always new challenges. There is a huge variety. It can however be a precarious job and it has its up and downs,” he said.

The global outbreak of Covid-19 posed a series of challenges and a lot of uncertainty across every sector. Theatre, TV, and the film industry were no different, said Éanna.

“We all took a big hit during the pandemic. I was lucky when things started opening up again that I was back working straight away. I have been relatively busy which is good. People in the industry have been so resilient which is great to see. People have been doing plays online or through Zoom. There has been such a creative response.

Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the most talented young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTE Drama series Smother.
Cork actor Éanna Hardwicke has further enhanced his growing reputation as one of the most talented young Irish actors with his brilliant portrayal of the detective in the popular RTE Drama series Smother.

“We filmed Smother from February to March before the pandemic struck. We resumed filming again in September. Certain projects have been slowed down or even postponed. It is hard for producers and directors to get stuff off the ground. I have been very busy in recent years thankfully. I was in the show Normal People and I also appeared in a number of films. I also appeared on stage in Cork in 2019 in a play by Irene Kelleher. That was a great experience. She is a great actor and writer. I have done a film since Smother and I have more bits coming up in the next few months,” he added.

The Cork actor said he would encourage anyone seeking to become an actor to definitely ‘follow their dreams’.

“I would encourage everyone to chase their dreams. Pursue their goals as far as they can. There are lots of different roles in the industry. Something else might take their fancy such as writing, directing, or theatre technician. You get to travel and meet so many new people. It is a hard industry but I love it.

“I would urge people to keep reading and keep working away. Read plays and act as much as possible. Join a youth theatre and get involved in any opportunities you can. It is all about putting in the hours and practice. Talent is one thing, but it is all about dedication. Keep digging and keep upskilling. So much is in your hands, but you need that bit of luck also to go your way,” he added.

The Glanmire man has no preferences with regards to working in theatre, TV shows or appearing in films.

He said he will also travel anywhere in the world where work takes him.

“I have no preference. They all compliment each other. What you get in one, you don’t get in the other.

“I always loved getting a balance in both as they stretch you in so many ways. I wouldn’t rule out working in London or LA or anywhere. You go where the work is and where there is a place for you.”

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