James Nesbitt: New drama Bloodlands shows different side of Northern Ireland

Tom Horton, PA

James Nesbitt has said new drama Bloodlands will show Northern Ireland “in a different light”.

The actor, who is from the country, plays Detective Inspector Tom Brannick in the new BBC One series, which is set in Belfast.

Nesbitt, 56, said he “adored” filming in the city.

“Belfast is an exciting, wonderful, vibrant place, it’s a really cosmopolitan place, but it also bears the hallmarks of a place that went through the Troubles,” the Cold Feet star said.

“The last number of years has seen Belfast really emerge since the Troubles and because of the success of the film industry there, it’s had a boost for tourism too.”

He added that the new crime drama will give people “a chance to see Northern Ireland in its beauty”.

“It will show Northern Ireland in a different light for people, on both sides of the water,” Nesbitt said.

Bloodlands sees Nesbitt go on the hunt for a mythical assassin in “an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance”, according to the BBC.

Jed Mercurio
Jed Mercurio (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The series has been written by Chris Brandon, and Line Of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is the executive producer.

Nesbitt added: “I first met Jed Mercurio years ago when I was doing Jekyll and I’ve always liked his work.

“When he was doing Line Of Duty in Northern Ireland, I would say to him, ‘Why am I not in that?’, but he’d say, ‘We’ll find something’.

“Then a couple of years ago, he showed me a script written by Chris Brandon, it was a real thriller and his first commission for his independent film company.”

He added it “felt like familiar ground with people I really respected, and it was such a perfect fit going back to Northern Ireland, doing something contemporary and brilliantly written”.

Bloodlands is “coming soon” to BBC One and BBC iPlayer, according to the broadcaster.

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