Peter Coonan interview: Speaking in tongues

The one-time Love/Hate villain has made a conscious move away from crime dramas in recent years, and his latest role – a British soldier in the Irish-language, Famine-set drama Arracht – builds on that

Peter Coonan: ‘I revelled in the chance to play an English baddie. We’ve spent our whole lives fighting against the idea of someone like that. So I thought it was just fun to go with it.’ Picture: Fergal Phillips

You might know Peter Coonan best as a psychotic gangster with missing teeth, but when I speak to the actor, he has just collected his young daughter from creche and seems unlikely to have “a bone to pick” with anyone.

It’s been seven years since Coonan played Frano in the RTÉ crime drama Love/Hate, and he’s long since shaken off the residue of that role. “Once Love/Hate finished, I kind of stood away from doing ...