Advertisement

'I haven't heard 'fornication' for a while' - Lenny Abrahamson responds to 'Normal People' controversy

The director of the 'Normal People' TV series has said he welcomes controversy that has been crea...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.03 5 May 2020


Share this article


'I haven't heard 'fornication'...

'I haven't heard 'fornication' for a while' - Lenny Abrahamson responds to 'Normal People' controversy

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.03 5 May 2020


Share this article


The director of the 'Normal People' TV series has said he welcomes controversy that has been created with the show.

The show is a TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s popular novel of the same name - which began airing this week on the BBC and online streaming platform Hulu.

Filming for the 12-part TV series took place here last year on Streedagh Beach, at Ben Bulben and in Tubbercurry in Co Sligo.

Advertisement

A new Tourism Ireland advert is also using filming of the TV series as part of a new campaign.

Director Lenny Abrahamson told Sean Moncrieff he welcomed controversy, after being dubbed 'a promoter of fornication' on RTÉ's LiveLine.

"[Fornication] is a word I hadn't heard for a while.

"Episodes one and two there's a lot of intimacy in them, but I'm a bit worried by the time we get to the later episodes there'll be like pitchforks and torches outside the house.

"It was a mad day because the whole thing had blown up in various places publicity-wise but this was almost, in a way, sort of the icing on the cake.

"A controversy on LiveLine is not to be sniffed at".

"It was sort of mad, but in a way it didn't feel like it had any teeth really - it feels like an echo from another time".

"There's some not absolutely insignificant minority of people who probably share views like that, or views which overlap with the views of the people who called.

"It'll never completely go away I'm sure, just like lots of other things".

"I think the fundamental idea there that is motivating the people, or the sort of picture of the world that's motivating the people who called in, is one that you could never get past - because the idea it's a doctrine that it is simply wrong to have sex outside of marriage.

"[It is] simply wrong and dirty in some way to enjoy sex except within very prescribed limits.

"It's such an odd view... also of the human body, of nakedness and all those things.

"But I don't think we could have depicted the sex in any more sort of tender way, really.

"And felt like we were also talking about the world - this is the way the world is."

He said a TV show was the right way to go, as the book is "very episodic" and "lends itself to this chaptered experience of watching it."

"And in some fundamental sense, it's very uneventful in the literal sense of that word - there's no massive, central drama.

"Its power is in the kind of truthful, intimate experience for the audience".

On any further backlash, he said: "I think I'm safe tonight... but I may have to have some searchlights installed for episodes five and six".

On the impact of the coronavirus on the film industry in general, Mr Abrahamson said it will take some time to get back on its feet.

"On the one hand there's going to be this massive demand because all production is ceased and new content is drying out.

"And there are so many stations and channels and streamers and everything."

"At the same time its quite hard to see, I don't think it's impossible, but it's hard to think of ways that we can start shooting again - even in the medium-term".

'I haven't heard 'fornication' for a while' - Lenny Abrahamson responds to 'Normal People' controversy

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

  

Main image: Lenny Abrahamson arrives at the 2013 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA's). Photo: Laura Hutton/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

BBC Controversy Coronavirus Film Industry Ireland Lenny Abrahamson Liveline Normal People Sean Moncrieff TV Series

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of Newstalk

Best Of Newstalk

00:00-07:00

Share

Up next

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE M...

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE MCKENNA

08:00-09:00

Share

Taking Stock with Mandy Johnst...

Taking Stock with Mandy Johnston

09:00-10:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

10:00-11:00

Share

ON THE RECORD WITH GAVAN REILL...

ON THE RECORD WITH GAVAN REILLY

11:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-19:00

Share

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK G...

TALKING HISTORY WITH PATRICK GEOGHEGAN

19:00-20:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

20:00-21:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on