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Interview with Peter Mullan who plays The Priest in The North Water



What is the role of the Priest in the North Water?

Well, the audience is introduced to my character, who lives in this cabin with Anna, but not in the romantic sense as he is a priest after all, she instead looks after him. He lives here and he works to define Sumner, played by Jack.

What attracted you to this role?

I loved the script, it’s as simple as that. I got the script, I really liked it and I liked the idea of going to the North Pole. And then, obviously, Colin was doing it and that was a big plus for me, and Stephen and Jack because I know all of these guys. I’ve worked with them before – they’re all beautiful. Then of course Sir Tom Courtenay, who is one of my heroes.

Tell us about working with Jack O’Connell.

Jack’s a sweetheart. We have a really nice time. We have a good laugh. And then, when we turn over we do all of that serious stuff.

Tell us about why Andrew Haigh was essential to this project.

Andrew creates a beautiful atmosphere on a set. With any good atmosphere on a set, the director should take 99 percent of the blame and 99 percent of the credit, when it’s due. And Andrew should get that 99 percent credit because he created a lovely, ensemble feel, where everybody is equal and welcome to contribute. There’s no shouting, no balling, no hierarchy. He’s got a lovely ease and very confident with materials so he could change little bits here and there. But really it’s been a joy, I have to say.