InStyle chats to actress Andrea Lowe

InStyle chats to actress Andrea Lowe

Actress Andrea Lowe teams up with comic John Bishop for her latest role in gritty drama, Route Irish.

With roles in The Tudors, Torchwood, Shameless and Monroe, actress Andrea Lowe has an impressive CV. But it’s her latest turn in war drama Route Irish, directed by film supremo Ken Loach, that’s getting her most excited.

We interrupted her Argentinean break away to discuss friend Natalie Dormer, the gorgeous Jonathan Rhys Meyer and why she’s the most sought after gal on set…

What are you up to at the moment?

I’m in Argentina promoting Route Irish at Pantalla Pinamar film festival; it’s been really successful. I thought while I was here I’d take some time off so I’m now relaxing at an Estancia [ranch] called Estancia El Roble, it’s run by British woman and is surrounded by thousands of acres of land so I’ve been rounding up cattle and riding horses, something I’ve never done before!

So are you a horse riding pro now?

Ha! Well yesterday I was riding one of the horses and it started galloping off towards a herd of cattle! I got so nervous but after a while I felt quite confident.

Tell us about your character in Route Irish

I play the bereaved wife of an ex-soldier [played by John Bishop] who gets killed under strange circumstances while he’s contracted in Iraq. She tries to get to the bottom of it with his best friend [played by Mark Womack] and uncovers just how many victims there are in Iraq and how corrupt a lot of the contracting companies are. The film is a real rollercoaster of emotions.

We’re used to seeing John as a comedian – as an actor what was he like to work with?

We shot the film in 2009 so it was before he’d hit his meteoric rise. I think it worked well because he’s not an actor so he was a lot more relaxed; he did a really good job.

Was John always cracking jokes offset?

Yes! He’s really funny and so enigmatic; he really makes an impression on you and puts you at ease.

What was it like to work with Ken Loach [Route Irish director]? He’s legendary…

I’ve seen almost all of Ken’s films and have wanted to work with him since I first started acting so I was immediately drawn to the script. I was quite nervous and slightly in awe of him on set.

You played Lady Eleanor Luke [mistress to Henry VIII] in The Tudors, what were the costumes like?

They were so opulent but really hard to wear, I had to get laced into my corset! Getting ready took so long but it was nice to put on something you’d never normally wear.

And you got to hook up with Jonathan Rhys Meyers…

Well, you can’t say no to the King! We shared some pretty steamy scenes but they were all shot quite tastefully so you don’t see too much.

Did you make any new friends?

Natalie [Dormer, who plays Anne Boleyn] and I shot quite a few scenes together. We got to hang out together off set and went for lots of dinners in Dublin where we were shooting.

Who are you loving in music right now?

I’m really into The XX and their new remix album with Gil Scott Heron [I Am Still New Here]. And of course Adele! She’s just amazing.

When you’re not working how do you like to relax?

Running is great for de-stressing and I love yoga. Last year I travelled around India and stayed in a Sovananda Ahram yoga resort in Kerala. I’m a reflexologist too, sounds strange but I find it really relaxing…I’m quite popular on set when people find out!

What are your favourite films?

I love True Romance but my guilty pleasure is Empire Of The Sun. I used to watch it when I was really young. It’s quite heavy so if I want something lighthearted I switch on Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s hilarious!

Route Irish is out on DVD 18 March.

By Sarah Angus

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