Neil Jordan interview: Perspectives on fortune and freedom

The film-maker has stepped away from the camera to write a new novel about the 1798 rebellion, seen through the eyes of a scion of landed gentry and a runaway slave

Neil Jordan: ‘In the 1970s, if you wanted to write or live a literary life, you had to leave the country. Now, you can stay and be celebrated.’ Picture: John Allen

Never admit to Neil Jordan that you’ve taken a course in screenwriting.

“That was a big mistake,” he’ll say. “You shouldn’t have done that. Don’t take a course in screenwriting. I’ve never taken a course in anything in my life.”

And whether you agree or not, it’s certainly hard to imagine Neil Jordan ever letting anyone tell him what to do. Indeed, it might be his headstrong nature that has made him one of Ireland’s ...