‘Who would have thought we would have superheroes with a Northern Irish accent when I started out in this business?’ – James Nesbitt

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man returns to Sky One on July 20th


James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th
James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

No wonder James Nesbitt feels lucky.

Some 21 years have passed since James Nesbitt landed his big break as he secured the prize role of Adam Williams in Cold Feet and, over the course of the last two decades, this enduringly likeable Irishman is still living his dream.

Starring in some of TV’s most popular shows and now reprising his role as DI Harry Clayton in Sky One’s hugely successful comic book drama Lucky Man, Nesbitt told Independent.ie that his fantasies growing up in Broughshane in County Antrim have become reality.

“I’ve probably never really said this in an interview before, but I really feel like I have been a lucky man with the career I have had,” begins Nesbitt. “I’ve have had some incredible experiences and the longevity of the career is a blessing.



James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20thJames Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

“That said, you work hard to be lucky in this business and so long as I continue to give everything I can do my work, hopefully people will still want to watch me.

“It’s an extraordinary privilege to be a working actor and to have the structure I’ve had in my career. I have known what I have been doing a year in advance for a good while now and that is unusual for an actor, so I appreciate that.

“There may be days when you think retiring to a quiet life and playing some golf might be nice, but I think there is still some juice in me as an actor and I want to try and get it out.

“In saying that, it’s getting harder for me to do the action stuff in Lucky Man. We have lots of big drops in the script, lots of chases and my character Harry has always done a lot of running. I need to sleep when this show finishes filming, that’s for sure.”



James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20thJames Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

Nesbitt’s return in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man sees him adding to the already gripping storyline played out by his character Harry, who is granted the power to control his destiny so long as he is wearing a lucky bracelet.

This series sees Nesbitt and new villain Samuel Blake (played by Rupert Penry-Jones) leave the show’s London base and transport their brand of high-octane drama to Hong Kong, as Lucky Man looks to build on a legacy that includes its distinction as the most successful original drama created by Sky.



James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20thJames Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

James Nesbitt returns in Stan Lee’s Lucky Man on Sky One on July 20th

“I think all of the success of this show down to me!” states Nesbitt, with a sarcastic tone evident as he chuckles through the interview.

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“All jokes aside, Sky and everyone involved in Lucky Man deserve the success we have enjoyed because we have all thrown a lot into this.

“Money is tight for making TV at the moment, schedules are tight and to get the show you want is difficult in this climate. We have created an extraordinary world of make-believe on camera and clearly we have got a product that people want to continue following.

“It is now on Amazon in America, so that should take it to an even bigger audience and when the pay cheques run out of from this, that might be very welcome.

“This new series has had a change of backdrop. The wonderful London skyline has had a big role to play in the atmosphere of Lucky Man, but we have a new platform to work on in Hong Kong and it works so well.

“My sister lived out in Hong King for a while so I know it well and the setting was just extraordinary for filming. To be on those little boats under the lights, shooting scenes in the night market and having that incredible skyline to illuminate out work, it lends itself to the excitement and mysticism of the script.”

Nesbitt suggests his role in Lucky Man has created the biggest stir of his career, but he admits the bracelets designed to guarantee good fortune do not serve up their magic when the cameras stop rolling.

“They gave me a bracelet at the end of the last season and I was playing golf over a Portrush the next day, so I popped it on to see if it had any real power and I can confirm it didn’t work,” he stated. “It will need more than that to get me playing good golf!

“Lucky Man has become a big part of my life and I will miss Harry when this is finished. You don’t often get a chance to work with a character and develop him over this extended period and I get asked about this show more than anything I’ve done in my career.

“I got a lot of new fans when I did Murphy’s Law and had a handlebar moustache, but that was for a whole other reason!

“Now, I can honestly say I am stopped in the street to talk about Lucky Man more than anything I’ve ever done and the cross appeal across all ages always fascinates me. The idea of luck is such a simple notion and we all hope it will fall our way at some point.”

Nesbitt admits he is proud to be part of a boom era for Irish actors, as he has emerged from an age when actors from his part of the world tended to be offered very specific roles.

“This is a great time for Irish actors, a golden age you could say,” he adds. “I know Liam Neeson well as we grew up together at a time when most actors from our part of the world were given roles that were often related to the troubles.

“Now we have Jamie Dornan making his way up the acting ladder after emerging from my part of the world and I hope that I have played a part in opening doors for actors who come from my part of the world.

“The accent is not an issue because it has become familiar thanks to those of us who have been given big roles on TV and the great thing now is the history and the politics that used to be associated with Northern Ireland in the past has now gone.

“Who would have thought we would have had superheroes with a Northern Irish accent when I started out in this business? Now no one thinks twice about it. I’m proud of the part I played in that.”

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man returns to Sky One on July 20th.

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