Paul Brannigan, star of Ken Loach's The Angels' Share - profile

Paul Brannigan, star of Ken Loach's The Angels' Share - profile

The actor is also set to appear with Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

Born 1987, Glasgow, Scotland

Background After working as a football coach in the Barrowfield community in Glasgow and helping to tackle knife crime as part of a Strathclyde Police initiative, Paul Brannigan was spotted by screenwriter Paul Laverty and director Ken Loach and offered the lead role in The Angels’ Share, a lighthearted whisky heist comedy which premieres in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

On landing the role ‘When I heard what the film was about, the idea really surprised me, because I’ve had exactly the same kind of upbringing as the character I play, like having a wee boy to take care of, the brushes he has with the police and getting a chance to redeem himself through community work. I had to go through about ten auditions, but I felt more confident with each one I made it through, so when Ken finally took me aside told me that I’d got the role, it was like Deal or No Deal, I was jumping for joy, and so were my family and friends. It was just the right role for me.’

On the message of the film ‘I knew about the kind of films that Ken and Paul did from seeing Sweet Sixteen, which was a really popular film with people my age. Although this is a heist movie, I don’t think it would encourage anyone to go out and try a heist for themselves! I think the point of the film is more to do with how anyone can turn their life around given the right circumstances.’

On playing a victim of Scarlett Johansson’s seductive alien in the forthcoming Under The Skin ‘I had to stand around in front of a full crew for a week with my tallywhacker out. It was a completely different experience to working with Ken, standing there stark naked and covered in black goo, but I figured, if I could survive that, I can survive anything.’

The Angels’ Share is on general release from Fri 1 Jun.

The Angel's Share Trailer (ken Loach - 2012)

The Angels' Share

  • 2 stars
  • 2012
  • UK / France
  • 1h 41min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Ken Loach
  • Cast: Roger Allam, John Henshaw, Daniel Portman
  • UK release: 1 June 2012

A young father who has served a prison sentence struggles to rebuild his life, until he discovers an instinct for whisky tasting and, in an improbable wish fulfilling frolic, turns this to his financial advantage. But master of state-of-the nation urban grit Loach is straining so hard to be accessible and populist here…

Elsewhere on the web