Emmet Kirwan: On My Culture Radar

Performer on the appeal of Deadwood, rising photographer George Voronov, and why Kindles are the ‘anti-phone’

Current favourite book

The last book I read was Foundation by Isaac Asimov, who also wrote I, Robot. Foundation is the first part of a trilogy, though it’s now a book series. In it, a scientist invents a science called psychohistory, in which he can predict the future.

Seeing that the galactic empire will enter a dark age for 30,000 years, he gathers the best minds and puts them on a planet on the other side of the galaxy, so they can wait out the dark time and reconstitute the empire in 1,000 years instead. It was written in the 1950s and like a lot of science fiction around that time, the ideas were well thought out, but they’re very much a product of their time; there are hardly any female characters and there’s no great way with language. But it makes for a good page-turner.

Restaurant

I like lunch in Yamamori, I’d go for their ramen. 777 is lovely for dinner – the staff are really nice, the food is delicious and the cocktails are good too. Their tostadas are my favourite; Mexican food is pretty similar, but it feels like a fancy Boojum with different sauces.

Comedian

I watched Anthony Jeselnik's Netflix show, and I enjoyed it because he says quite extreme things that only he can get away with. John Mulvaney did another great special about three or four years ago. A lot of his style is self-depreciating. And I like Doug Stanhope too. He's a pissed off American, who hates Americans. He's very funny.

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Artist/designer

George Voronov is a young Irish photographer, and he did a photographic snapshot of young teenagers who go to the Galway Races. His work is incredible, and he's only starting out. I think he's going to be really famous.

City

Dublin. I grew up in the outskirts in Tallaght, but I like the fact that the city centre is more like a village. A lot of people prefer the anonymity of places like London and New York, but I prefer the community and cohesion of Dublin. There are so many stories worth telling about the place too. I’ve always been intrigued by it.

Actor

I prefer supporting actors who pop up unexpectedly, like Leland Orser. He's in things like ER, Seven, Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan. Any time he shows up in a movie, he's in it for five minutes but plays an incredible character.

Podcast

You Are Not So Smart, by David McRaney, is about our self-delusion and behavioural aspects like confirmation biases and how we perceive things inaccurately. It mixes science, philosophy and psychoanalysis. It’s a series of blog posts and books as well.

Gadget

I love my Kindle. It’s an electronic device certainly, but it’s the anti-phone to me. It fits in my pocket so I can take it around with me, and it stops me from mindlessly going through timelines on social media.

TV show

Deadwood is brilliant. Even my fiancée, who didn’t think she’d enjoy a Western-style show, has become a convert. It’s set in the 19th century and the language is so rich and seems of its time, plus you have actors that perform soliloquies – it’s almost Shakespearean. The town was a real place, and there’s real historical characters that turn up. With Ian McShane leading, the cast are excellent. It got cancelled but the fans were so angered that HBO are now making a TV movie of it, so it’s coming back in May.

Film

I recently saw Apocalypse Now Redux, which is the 2001 version where it’s extended by 45 minutes. It’s an acid trip of insanity. As an anti-war film, it’s an incredible piece of cinema.

Emmet Kirwan stars in Trad, a Livin’ Dred production touring Ireland from April 5th.