Lewis Tan’s Guide to Dublin, Ireland

The strapping actor, who plays a modern superhero in Deadpool 2, takes us back to the old country

by Samuel Anderson | May 2, 2018 2:30 pm

Deadpool 2 hits theaters next week, and besides a fresh batch of witty quips by the spandex-covered antihero (Ryan Reynolds), fans of the farcical superhero franchise can expect a cast of new sidekicks—including Shatterstar played by British-born, L.A.-raised actor Lewis Tan.

While Shatterstar may be new to theatergoing audiences, like most Marvel characters, he comes with a long and winding backstory. Originally a member of X-Force, an offshoot of the X-Men, Shatterstar’s physical characteristics include carrying a futuristic sword and having an insane body. But he is perhaps best known for his personal life; by some accounts, Shatterstar is both bisexual and polyamorous.

Regardless of his orientation, Shatterstar’s defining characteristic is his swordsmanship, a skill that Tan has practiced in his role on Into the Badlands. Where Shatterstar is a swordsman uniquely suited to 2018, Tan’s role as Gaius Chau on the AMC period drama took to the distant past. To realize the show’s medieval landscape, based on the 16th-century novel by Chinese author Wu Cheng’ En, shooting took place in the hills of Ireland. Here’s where Tan hung out in Dublin when he wasn’t practicing his sword-fighting techniques.

Cup of Joe: First off, I am a bit of a coffee snob, I must admit. I like to drink quality espresso or cold brew. I was really happy when I found CoffeeAngel[1] on South Anne St. The other actors and I would sit and go over the scripts, or I would go alone and read books. The girls there are fans of the show, so we got a few freebies 😉 The runner-up would be Kaph, another quality spot. They don’t allow laptops, so there is a nice vibe.

Power Lunch: Le Petit Parisien[2] on Wicklow Street. If you were watching my Instagram stories, this place got posted quite a bit. It’s a small French bakery and lunch spot. Every day, I would walk past it and see the delicious fruit tarts and pies. For the first few weeks, I just drooled at the window because I was training and wouldn’t allow myself to go inside, but eventually, I gave in and was addicted right away. The fresh fruit tarts, coffee and baguettes, and the music is set to French music from the 1920’s. They also have the best ham and cheese croissants I have ever tried.

Cocktail Hour: Dublin is known for its Guinness. Every day, the pubs and bars are full around 6 p.m. and stay full the rest of the night. It really is incredible to see. The Irish can handle their drink. I personally was never a fan and don’t drink beer normally, but the Guinness in Dublin was a treat. Although, my favorite place to have a drink would be Chelsea Drugstore[3] on Georges Street. This small candle lit lounge has, in my opinion, the best drinks and cocktails in Dublin and great music and ambience. We even had a few cast parties there.

Retail Therapy: Right before I began filming, I flew straight from Positano Italy, so all I had with me was a few shorts, dress pants and tank tops. I had to basically buy a whole new wardrobe for completely different weather, since I didn’t have time to go home to Los Angeles. The Brown Thomas[4] store on Grafton Street knows us quite well. It is a beautiful store with all the top designer brands. It’s also not too far from a great shop called the Secret Book store. I picked up some rare vinyls for my collection and a few books too.

Field Trip: I spent a lot of time at the theatre. IFC is a small art house theatre with a really great selection of films. Next to my hotel was the National Gallery of Ireland[5], I would often go there to get inspired by their incredible collection. They have Picasso, Yeats, Caravaggio, a ton of famous Irish artists and my favorite, Monet. A quick walk from there is Stephens Green Park. When the sun is out, the place is full, and everyone is lying around on the grass. The city is really full of life and has a great energy, especially when the weather allows.

Date Night: I had a lot of great food while I was here, but we had some great memories with the cast at a small place called Peruke & Periwig[6]. Downstairs is a small bar with music inspired drinks, while upstairs is a Stanley Kubrick-esque restaurant with red curtains, velvet sofas, candle lights and golden mirrors. They have classic rock and soul playing in the background and modern Irish cuisine. It has a great energy, and we had many good parties there after late nights of filming fight scenes.

Don’t Miss: This is easily the Powers Court Estate[7]. It is one of the many beautiful filming locations we took advantage of in Ireland and happens to be my character’s house in the series. The Powers Court Estate is a 50-acre property and one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. There is a waterfall, a Japanese garden and tons of historic monuments and art. You have to see it to believe it. Kubrick even used it for his film Barry Lyndon. I was doing fight scenes here jumping up the old stair cases covered in blood, and tourists would be watching and taking pictures as they were on a tour of the house. It was hilarious.

Hidden Gem: The hidden gems of the city can be found with the people. The Irish are very friendly, blunt and great storytellers. Some of my favorite moments were listening to drivers in a cab, or strangers at a pub. They love to dance, drink and chat. These are the times I will remember most, as well as traveling around Europe with the cast. It was a grueling and challenging experience, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m so glad I got to live here for 9 months.

Main image: photo courtesy of Aramis Knight

Written by Samuel Anderson[8]

Endnotes:
  1. CoffeeAngel: https://coffeeangel.com/
  2. Le Petit Parisien: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g186605-d3899506-Reviews-Le_Petit_Parisien-Dublin_County_Dublin.html
  3. Chelsea Drugstore: http://thechelseadrugstore.ie/
  4. Brown Thomas: http://www.brownthomas.com/
  5. National Gallery of Ireland: https://www.nationalgallery.ie/
  6. Peruke & Periwig: https://peruke.ie/
  7. Powers Court Estate: https://powerscourt.com/
  8. Samuel Anderson: http://dujour.com/contributors/samuel-anderson/

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