Words by Kevin Palmer, who you can follow on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer

Emmett Scanlan stars as Michael in The Deceived / Picture Credit: New Pictures Ltd & all3media International
Emmett Scanlan stars as Michael in The Deceived / Picture Credit: New Pictures Ltd & all3media International

Emmett Scanlan’s world was transformed all over again in late July and he is loving every second of it.

Some 18 years after his daughter gave him a whole new perspective on life, Dublin-born actor Emmett became a daddy for a second time as little Ocean-Torin arrived into his world in late July to shatter a lockdown routine that has kept him sane through the craziest summer of our collective lives.

Scanlan will return to our screens as Virgin Media debut the compelling psychological thriller The Deceived in Ireland this month and as he sat down with us for a Zoom chat, he was in an upbeat mood despite the lack of sleep guaranteed by the arrival of his son.

"I had everything worked out during lockdown and tried to find a rhythm and a routine to my day," he began. "I’d wake up and do some breathing exercises, have a seven-minute nice bath and go and train in my gym.

"Then I would meditate and listen to podcasts and that was the way my day tended to go until my son was born six weeks ago and everything went out the window and changed overnight!

"At the moment, my wife and I are playing a game of nappy roulette. That involves trying to get the nappy on and off before you get covered in piss! Ocean is winning this game at the moment and seems to love this game a little too much.

"He is a wonderful little kid and it is interesting to be getting back into it 18 years after my daughter was born.

"I remember back then going own to my local pub The Sheds in Clontarf with my Dad and he looked at me and said; 'she’s pregnant isn’t she?'

"I said ‘yes she is’ and then asked him what it was like to be a Dad and he just said one word that I will always remember - 'wonderful'. 

"I’ve never forgotten that moment and when the child arrives, it is hard to come to terms with what it all means. You love something more than you can possibly love anything else in that one second. 

"Everything changes for the better. Christmas becomes magical again, Santa is back in your life and I feel so blessed to be a father again now.

"It is all worthwhile in the end, but we did have a difficult pregnancy. It was 40 hours of labour and then an emergency c-section at the end of it and I was looking at this superhero of a wife thinking: ‘oh my God, I’m so glad that men don’t do this, don’t have to go through this’.

"Honestly, if men had kids and had to go through all that, I’m convinced we would have been extinct as a species thousands of years ago. I would have tapped out on the first trimester when morning sickness kicked in. 

"That’s how I see it and I just looked at her and thought what a superhero she is. It is incredible, incredible stuff. Now we have our little man and he is just wonderful." 

There was raw pride oozing from Emmett’s words as he spoke about the new bright light in his life, with his success away from the screen adding to the buoyant mood of the Peaky Blinders star.

His starring role in The Deceived could take Scanlan’s career to a whole new level as he plays the role of narcissistic lecturer Michael Callaghan, who commits adultery with one of his students and find himself embroiled in a chain of events that has viewers gripped from first to last.

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee is the mastermind behind a drama that also featured the talents of Normal People superstar Paul Mescal, with the lavishly positive reviews it received after it was screened in the UK last month confirming Irish audiences are in for a real treat.

"I got into acting after spending hours shadow boxing behind my seat watching Rocky 8,000 times. I just loved that film and everything about it, my favourite movie of all-time and now I am living the acting dream myself," he continues.

"Ireland is a country of great storytellers and to be able to live inside your imagination as your job is something I never take for granted. I am at my happiest when I’m on set and that was certainly the case during the eight-week shoot for The Deceived in Belfast.

"I did The Fall for a couple of years in Belfast and that is the city where my mother was born and bred. She had not been to Belfast in 30 years, but she came up when we were making The Deceived and we had a wonderful moment together. 

"She had a tough upbringing and the city doesn’t hold great memories for her, but she wanted to show me where she grew up. 

"She came up with my Dad and daughter and we went to her granny's house and seeing her reaction as she got there was very special."

Emily Reid stars as Ophelia opposite Emmett Scanlan as Michael in The Deceived / Picture Credit: New Pictures Ltd & all3media International
Emily Reid stars as Ophelia opposite Emmett Scanlan as Michael in The Deceived / Picture Credit: New Pictures Ltd & all3media International

The Deceived offers up a toxic mix of storylines that drags the viewer across a range of emotions, with Scanlan’s manipulative character ruthlessly devouring everyone who blocks his path.

"Nobody signs up to do a project in the expectation that it is going to be dreadful and I think we have done something great here," he adds. 

"Working on this project was just a fantastic experience. We had a great cast including Paul Mescal and we filmed this before Normal People was released and we all got to see what a masterpiece it is.

"Paul is a great guy and a wonderful actor and there are so many great actors on The Deceived, with each episode ending on lovely little cliffhangers that leave you craving for more.

"The viewing figures were massive when this show was aired in England a few weeks back and I really hope the Irish audience enjoy it now."

The Deceived will air on Virgin Media television in Ireland.