In Conversation with Colm Meaney The Arts Show


In Conversation with Colm Meaney

The Arts Show returns with a special conversation with actor Colm Meaney about his life and career, which includes roles in The Commitments, Star Trek and The Journey.


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Transcript


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I've come about the ad.

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In a career spanning 30 years,

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Colm Meaney is a man for all screens, large and small.

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He's appeared in over 65 films -

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but it could all have been so very different.

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"Do you really want to be a fisherman?"

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Like, "Absolutely, Dad, yeah,"

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and I'm, you know, lying through my teeth.

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He speaks frankly about his politics...

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My politics that started to form in my teens were very much left-leaning

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and very much of... I mean,

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I actually was a member of the Internationalists.

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..and gives us his personal take on playing Martin McGuinness.

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You know, iconic figures like that, people...

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You know, you have to make an attempt to look like them

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and you have to make an attempt to sound like them,

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but the important thing is getting the character right,

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the inner...you know, the inner person.

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That's the first time you've said "we".

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Colm was born in Dublin in 1953.

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The third of four boys,

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he grew up in a post-war housing estate in Finglas.

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I think we moved to the house the year I was born

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so it was one of the, you know,

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the housing estates that were built after the Second World War,

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built by the Corporation and... You know, my dad...

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It was what they call a purchase house

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so he was paying kind of rent towards the...

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I remember many years later when the house became his, he was so happy.

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-It was a big deal.

-Yeah, it was a big deal.

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So where did it start? Where did the acting bug begin?

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Oh... Early. Very early.

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Like, in my teens, early teens,

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I kind of had this inkling that I wanted to be an actor -

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and in Dublin, in those days, you know,

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there weren't many opportunities,

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so it was kind of hard to figure out how to go about it.

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And what were those days you're talking about?

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-Late '60s, early '70s.

-Yeah.

-Yeah, yeah.

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And what kind of household were you coming from?

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-Was it a theatre household?

-No, no, not at all.

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I mean, we'd go to the theatre once a year, usually.

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My dad used to take us to see the...

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The Abbey used to do a pantomime sa Ghaeilge

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in Irish, every year

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and we would go see that.

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That was about the extent of our theatre-going.

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-And what did he do and what did your mum do?

-He delivered bread.

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He was a bread man for Johnston, Mooney and O'Brien.

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It was the big bread company in Dublin.

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And what did he make of you becoming an actor?

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He was completely baffled by it, you know. It was like, "What?"

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But I'd kind of baffled him a few times before that.

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I was number three, you know, and I think he just sort of saw me as,

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"This guy's going to break me," you know?!

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Cos I... In secondary school...

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I had got into a little bit of trouble, political trouble,

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because we'd tried to form a secondary school students' union.

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Because the Christian Brothers

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didn't take kindly to, you know, Communist propaganda in the school

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so they were expelled.

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I was in fifth year, they were in sixth.

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The sixth years were expelled

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and I knew if I stayed I would be expelled.

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So I kind of pre-empted that

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by one day seeing an ad in the paper for...

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The government had set up a fishery training school

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in Moville in Donegal.

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I remember sitting there with my dad, late at night,

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the fire going down, you know, and saying to him...

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I always remember him saying to me, "You what? A fisherman?

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"Do you really want to be a fisherman?

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Like, "Absolutely, dad, yeah,"

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and I'm, you know, lying through my teeth.

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-So you became a trawlerman?

-So I went off to be a fisherman, yeah.

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I just went to the school,

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and then I'd fish for about ten minutes in Howth, you know,

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before I went into the Abbey School.

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In 1971, Colm's acting career began

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with a place in the Abbey Theatre School.

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I was in the school for two years,

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and in the course of that two years you also did, you know, small parts,

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walk-on parts, ASM - assistant stage manager - doing the props,

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all that sort of thing, on the main stage productions

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and the productions in the Peacock.

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So it was more like kind of an apprenticeship,

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as well as going to school.

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It was actually a really, really good system.

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It doesn't exist any more, cos they moved to the school out

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to...initially Trinity, and now I think it's The Lir -

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but they're much more kind of academically focused.

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So it was a really good learning experience

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and a really good way to come into the business, I feel -

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and I was very fortunate,

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cos I went from the Abbey School into the Abbey Company.

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I was offered a year's contract in the Abbey Company.

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So it immediately solved my Equity problem -

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I immediately became a member of Equity.

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So, it was theatre.

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-That was very much theatre that you were focused on then?

-Yeah.

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And then more theatre in London?

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Yeah. Yeah, I moved to London.

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I worked... I actually found...

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I really feel I found myself as an actor

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when I was working in London

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cos I got involved with a company called 7:84.

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7% of the population own 84% of the wealth.

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So it was a touring company based in London,

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and there was a Scottish company, as well.

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They were quite radical, weren't they?

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-They were... Radical? Socialists.

-Radical!

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Is that considered radical nowadays?

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Well, yeah, we were socialists.

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Yeah, it was a left-wing touring theatre company.

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Wonderful work, and it was like...

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The idea was to create a theatre

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that you could bring into, like, you know, working men's clubs

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or theatres, or - it could go anywhere,

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and always with music.

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And John McGrath founded that company

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and was the writer of that company, and John McGrath was a genius.

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You know, he was an amazing writer, wonderful writer,

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and a wonderful man.

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I had the privilege of spending a number of years there with John

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as a member of the company.

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What we'd do is we'd research an idea to do a show,

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a subject to do a show about

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and then we'd knock it round for a week or two

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and then John would go away and write the play.

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So we had a standing company of, like, six actors and four musicians.

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But prior to that, John originally did Z Cars, as well.

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In his previous incarnation he was a film and TV writer.

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Great films.

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Originally plays, but became films.

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The Bofors Gun.

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You're a disgusting, obscene pig, Featherstone.

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Likewise all cockneys.

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I never knew one who had a ha'p'orth of taste.

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The Reckoning, Nicol Williamson.

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So, John was a hugely successful writer

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before he decided to give all that up and just concentrate on this.

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And then you went the other way -

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cos your first break, then, on the TV was Z Cars.

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Yeah, well, the first...

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It was one of the first TV jobs I did in England.

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It was the final episode of Z Cars. Yeah.

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-The very final...!

-Yeah, yeah.

-That's a bit unfortunate.

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No, no, John just wanted...

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He just got everyone in the company to be in the final episode.

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God giveth and he taketh away. Isn't that so?

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You have the ultimate theological argument - a knife.

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Look, I'm bursting. Do you mind if I...?

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So, he's given us something and he's taken it away from you.

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So, Z Cars kind of kick-started...

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-Did it kick-start a kind of love of TV?

-No, no, no. Very little.

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I did probably... I don't know what year that was.

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It was maybe '79 or '80,

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but I did maybe two or three more TV jobs in England before...

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Then I went to New York in '82.

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Making the Big Apple his new home,

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he married Dublin-born actress Bairbre Dowling.

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What age would you have been then?

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-I was about 27, 28, something like that.

-Yeah.

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So was it just that sense of,

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"There's somewhere else I want to go to"?

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Well, I was visiting New York and I had friends in New York,

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going back and forth for about three years before I actually moved.

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And also my first wife was living there at the time,

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so I was back and forth visiting her.

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And then we decided to get married, which we did in '82,

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and then the move to New York

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seemed like a natural thing to do, you know.

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I never really had a plan.

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I never really had... and in this business,

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if you do have a plan, you're mad, you know,

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cos as soon as you decide to turn left,

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something will make you turn right.

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You know, so I never really had a plan in my head.

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No, I went to New York to continue working in the theatre.

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You know, if TV or film work came up, great.

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But after five years, no film offers came his way.

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Theatre and occasional television roles were the only work available.

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But in 1987, one TV show would change his fortunes forever.

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These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.

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I never watched Star Trek before I did it.

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I mean, I'm sorry... I was...

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Even back in William Shatner's day?

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No, no. I was never... My dad was a huge science-fiction fan. I wasn't.

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To boldly go where no-one has gone before.

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But you started off in Star Trek,

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-was it as a kind of unnamed character?

-Mm-hm, mm-hm.

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-Yeah.

-And then found yourself...

-Really involved, yeah.

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-..as part of the crew of the spin-off, Deep Space Nine.

-Yeah.

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And that's... That's an amazing achievement.

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You can't go sneaking up on someone like that, friend!

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It's an Alpha Quadrant rule.

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No, I, well, what happened was... I mean, I... I was... We were...

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young, knocking around, doing auditions,

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and I auditioned for the pilot of Next Generation,

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and they liked me and wanted to use me,

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and were thinking about me for, you know, a lot of various parts.

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Living and working in capitalist America

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didn't change his socialist convictions,

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nor his support for Sinn Fein,

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which he feels is sometimes misunderstood.

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I always felt...

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..and this is, this is something I find hard to explain to people.

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Because people automatically assume,

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because you're for Sinn Fein, you're a nationalist.

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I'm not really a nationalist, I'm an internationalist.

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You know, I've always been an internationalist.

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My politics that started to form in my teens

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were very much left-leaning and very much -

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I mean, I actually was a member of the Internationalists

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in Trinity College, as well,

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and they were a Maoist organisation, you know?

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I wasn't... It was very brief, but, I mean,

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they were interesting guys at Trinity College in the late '60s.

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So I always felt... I mean,

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I always felt internationalism was the way forward,

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and as a leftist, I joined Sinn Fein in the late '60s -

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and the split, I mean, if I had still been a member

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at the time of the split, I probably...

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I'm sure I would have gone with official Sinn Fein.

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Because that would be my... That's where my sympathies lie.

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That's... That was my politics.

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And so when I went to England, when I went to America, I didn't...

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I never really gravitated towards the emigre community.

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You know, not... I mean, it wasn't a choice,

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it just wasn't something I actively pursued,

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to find, you know, Irish guys and Irish pubs

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and to...make it like it is at home.

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I wanted to explore where I was, you know?

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I wanted to be, like, I'm in a different place,

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a different country, I want to live like...

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people live there.

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That's not to say I wouldn't want to go and see

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the all-Ireland final, or I wouldn't want to, you know...

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Certain occasions were very special, that you try to keep...

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keep a part of your calendar, or whatever.

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But I was very much wanting to be...

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to explore the world.

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And I suppose, because of that,

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that may have given me a different perspective on Ireland.

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Having left Ireland, that I kind of looked...

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at Ireland, then, through that lens. Through the lens of...

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you know, someone who has experienced a different culture

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and a different country.

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HE YELLS

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Even though you're an Irish actor,

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you have been able to be in many different films,

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and many different genres of films, from big-budget Die Hard 2,

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to something very intimate like Parked.

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I've nowhere else, either, except me car.

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I'm Fred.

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Glad to meet you, Fred.

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I didn't want to be considered the "Irish actor", you know?

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I want to... I'm an actor. And I think it's great that today,

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you have much more fluidity in that, you know what I mean?

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Except, I have to say, in the UK.

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The UK still, you know, I mean...

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I've been involved in projects where I've...where I've...

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you know, played English accents.

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They don't, they're very...

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very unsure about it, you know what I mean?

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-They... "But he's Irish!" You know?

-Yeah.

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-I mean, I've heard that so many times.

-So...

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Whereas in America,

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a foreign actor playing an American accent is not a problem.

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I mean, you see, like, so many English actors

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are playing American, you know,

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Daniel Craig, Tom Hardy, all these guys.

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No problem. Sure, play American - and the same for me, it was...

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I mean, that's one of the reasons I liked and wanted to be in America.

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I did find that at the time, if I'd stayed in England,

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I would have been the "Irish actor",

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whereas, when I went to America, I had more...

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-AMERICAN ACCENT:

-"The land of opportunity!" You know.

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SHE LAUGHS Good American accent, as well!

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-She sure is beautiful.

-Beautiful?

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Sunsets are beautiful. Newborn babies are beautiful.

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This, this is fucking spectacular.

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-But you've been in some of my favourite TV programmes.

-I have?

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-Moonlighting.

-Oh!

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-Remington Steele.

-Mm-hm.

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Yeah!

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-With Pierce Brosnan.

-With Pierce, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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The Russians?

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The painting's been hanging in the Moscow museum

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for the past 300 years, mate.

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I had... That episode, that episode of Remington Steele,

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I remember we were at the bar, I was playing, I was a baddie again.

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Anyway, he's... We're having a conversation and it turns nasty.

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Me and Pierce. And the script was that I turn and smack him.

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-And I thought...

-That beautiful face?

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-Yeah, I know.

-You can't smack that beautiful face!

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Beautiful Pierce, yeah. I know.

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Yeah, yeah, he took a beating very well. But...

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I decided that, you know, in a crowded public bar,

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that you wouldn't...you wouldn't swing at a guy, you know?

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You'd probably just nut him, you know?

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So I decided to head-butt him, and...

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Not...

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Being a young actor, and not realising

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that by the time the day was over, I had done that...

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about 86 times.

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Cos, you know, filming from the wide,

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coming in over my shoulder and then over his shoulder, so I'm going...

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-Mm! Mm! And pulling it...

-And are you making physical contact?

-No, no.

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Oh, no, so I was thinking about Pierce. It's you, sorry.

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-Me!

-You.

-Pierce was fine!

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So, you know, I'm pulling it all the time.

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So I'm just going like that, you know.

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And I woke up the next morning and I couldn't,

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I felt like I had glandular fever or something,

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I couldn't move my head, my neck was killing me.

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And so I... That was a lesson learned, you know?

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Don't come up with good ideas like that about head-butting people.

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If I'd thrown a punch it would have been fine!

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You didn't do what I asked.

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Do you feel that, if you look at your career,

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have you been typecast?

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When I say someone's finished, they're finished.

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You know, when I first started on Star Trek,

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there was... There was a danger.

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I mean, you always feel that there's a danger,

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with such a high-profile show like that,

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that you're going to be, you know, just that.

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But what actually ended up happening was quite interesting,

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was I became these, like, two different people.

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I had two different careers.

0:16:020:16:03

I was like, I had my, you know,

0:16:030:16:05

Star Trek fans who knew you from that show

0:16:050:16:08

and you did that show,

0:16:080:16:09

and then, you know, I was doing other, you know,

0:16:090:16:12

films independent of that, and people who knew those films

0:16:120:16:15

didn't even know you were in Star Trek.

0:16:150:16:17

# For goodness' sake

0:16:170:16:19

# I got the hippy hippy shakes... #

0:16:200:16:22

In 1991, the first of a series of films about life

0:16:220:16:26

in working-class Dublin brought him back to Ireland.

0:16:260:16:29

-Roddy Doyle.

-Yeah.

-Has...

0:16:290:16:32

He's obviously been a huge influence in the work that you've got

0:16:320:16:36

and the character of Jimmy Rabbitte Sr, that you inhabited.

0:16:360:16:41

-What's this?

-What's what?

0:16:410:16:43

"Have you got soul?

0:16:440:16:46

"If so, the world's hardest-working band is looking for you.

0:16:460:16:48

"Contact J Rabbitte. Rednecks and Southsiders need not apply."

0:16:480:16:52

Was that, again, one of those moments where you were aware

0:16:530:16:56

of Roddy Doyle's work, you were aware of the Barrytown Trilogy,

0:16:560:16:59

-and thought...

-No. No, not at all.

-.."This is something I can do"?

0:16:590:17:02

No, no.

0:17:020:17:03

And I...you know, it's one of those things that could very easily

0:17:030:17:07

not have happened at all, because...the...

0:17:070:17:10

I, the year before we did The Commitments,

0:17:100:17:12

I worked with Alan Parker in Los Angeles.

0:17:120:17:15

We did a film called Come See The Paradise.

0:17:150:17:17

It was about the internment of Japanese-Americans

0:17:170:17:20

during the Second World War. It's a beautiful film.

0:17:200:17:24

While we were doing that, Alan said to me

0:17:240:17:26

that he'd just got the rights to this book

0:17:260:17:28

that hadn't been published yet.

0:17:280:17:29

It was set in Dublin, it was called The Commitments,

0:17:290:17:32

and he said he loved it and he really wanted to do it,

0:17:320:17:35

and, you know...

0:17:350:17:37

You kind of hear these things in this business all the time.

0:17:370:17:40

You know, this is going to happen, that's happening, you know...

0:17:400:17:42

-And then it goes nowhere.

-Various things are going to be made,

0:17:420:17:45

and then they never happen.

0:17:450:17:46

So you always take it with a grain of salt, you know?

0:17:460:17:48

And even from Alan, I kind of said, "OK, Alan,"

0:17:480:17:50

and thought, "Yeah, we'll see."

0:17:500:17:52

And within six months, he had it up, he had it set up.

0:17:520:17:55

And he brought me back to Dublin to do it.

0:17:550:17:58

And Alan was very adamant that he would only use people

0:17:580:18:01

from Dublin, who lived in Dublin, who...

0:18:010:18:04

I mean, he didn't want any names in the film at all.

0:18:040:18:07

And you already had traction, though. I mean, you...

0:18:080:18:10

Yeah, so I was surprised that he brought me -

0:18:100:18:12

but I was the only one who, that he was prepared to do it for.

0:18:120:18:15

Which was very nice of him.

0:18:150:18:17

And what that did for me was it kind of...

0:18:170:18:19

Cos I hadn't worked in Ireland -

0:18:190:18:21

at this stage it was, like, more than 10 years

0:18:210:18:24

since I'd worked, since I'd spent time in Ireland, even,

0:18:240:18:27

like, any length of time.

0:18:270:18:28

So it was lovely to come back and do that.

0:18:280:18:30

It was just, I mean, it really reconnected me with Ireland,

0:18:300:18:33

and, you know, then, you know...

0:18:330:18:35

The...

0:18:350:18:37

The Snapper after that, which was Stephen Frears,

0:18:370:18:40

a different director.

0:18:400:18:42

Stephen did the last films, The Snapper and The Van, then,

0:18:420:18:46

and, you know, I think without The Commitments,

0:18:460:18:48

I probably wouldn't have done The Snapper, you know?

0:18:480:18:50

7lb, 12oz.

0:18:500:18:52

12!

0:18:530:18:55

Yeah. Yeah, two arms, two legs and a head. Right!

0:18:550:18:57

-And the dialogue is so whip-smart...

-Yeah, Roddy...

-..As well.

0:18:580:19:02

Roddy's a genius.

0:19:020:19:03

There's a scene where you're in the pub, with two pints and a man

0:19:030:19:06

and they're talking about a baby...

0:19:060:19:08

Oh, the baby's just been born, yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:19:080:19:11

7lb, 12oz.

0:19:110:19:13

Huh?

0:19:130:19:14

Is that a turkey or a baby?

0:19:140:19:17

It's a baby!

0:19:180:19:19

-That's a good-sized baby.

-It is, but, isn't it?

0:19:200:19:23

Small turkey, though.

0:19:250:19:26

So many movies.

0:19:290:19:30

Are there favourite, standout moments for you?

0:19:300:19:33

Well, you know, the...

0:19:350:19:36

The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van were...

0:19:360:19:39

That was a great period of time for me,

0:19:390:19:41

because, you know, to get the chance to play the same character

0:19:410:19:45

in three different films, even though he had a different name

0:19:450:19:47

in each film. That was because of legal and copyright things,

0:19:470:19:50

or something, I don't know.

0:19:500:19:52

-But he was Jimmy Rabbitte Sr to all of us.

-He was really... Yeah.

0:19:520:19:54

-Are you Mr Rabbitte?

-Yeah.

0:19:540:19:56

I've come about the ad.

0:19:560:19:58

What ad?

0:19:580:19:59

You normally don't get to play the same character

0:19:590:20:02

three times in a film, unless it's, you know,

0:20:020:20:05

an action-adventure, comic book, or something like that.

0:20:050:20:09

So this was... It was kind of a unique opportunity for me -

0:20:090:20:12

and there were so many great moments in those films, you know?

0:20:120:20:15

Because Roddy's writing is just peppered with, you know, gems.

0:20:150:20:19

-£2.10.

-I've only got £2.

0:20:200:20:22

Here.

0:20:220:20:24

-MUFFLED:

-£2.

0:20:270:20:28

Did you see what he done?

0:20:290:20:31

One I always remember was from The Commitments,

0:20:310:20:34

was when I'm asking...

0:20:340:20:36

when I first meet Joey The Lips.

0:20:360:20:39

You know...

0:20:390:20:40

Unforgettably played by Johnny Murphy.

0:20:400:20:42

Tell me something, Joey.

0:20:440:20:46

In all the time that you were in Graceland,

0:20:460:20:48

did you ever...?

0:20:480:20:49

Did you ever see Elvis

0:20:510:20:53

messing around with drugs?

0:20:530:20:54

No, brother.

0:20:550:20:56

I knew it.

0:20:560:20:58

I always said...

0:20:580:21:00

and you, you malignant little bastard!

0:21:000:21:02

The choice of those words was just...

0:21:020:21:04

masterful, you know what I mean? And that's Roddy, you know?

0:21:040:21:07

He's just... It's just...

0:21:070:21:09

His choice of, of...

0:21:090:21:11

of descriptive words and swear words are always immaculate.

0:21:110:21:16

Suppose a ride is out of the question?

0:21:160:21:18

Hang on till I get this line done.

0:21:210:21:23

You're serious?

0:21:230:21:25

Suppose so.

0:21:250:21:27

Fucking great!

0:21:270:21:28

And what about a romcom?

0:21:280:21:30

Shall we get you in a romantic role, romantic lead?

0:21:300:21:33

People just don't see me that way, I'm afraid.

0:21:330:21:35

I'd love to do a romcom.

0:21:350:21:37

You know, it's interesting, I mean,

0:21:370:21:38

I've always been a character actor, even as a kid, I was like...

0:21:380:21:41

I wasn't considered the, you know, the juvenile lead.

0:21:410:21:44

You know, I was the character guy, always,

0:21:440:21:47

and there's great satisfaction in that, in some ways.

0:21:470:21:52

His most recent characterisation

0:21:520:21:54

has been Martin McGuinness in The Journey.

0:21:540:21:57

And this is Martin McGuinness,

0:21:570:21:59

former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army.

0:21:590:22:03

Allegedly.

0:22:040:22:06

Were you apprehensive at all about playing Martin McGuinness?

0:22:060:22:10

Not... People have asked me this a number of times. Not really.

0:22:100:22:12

I mean, I met Martin, just the once.

0:22:120:22:14

I supported his campaign for president in 2011 and...

0:22:140:22:18

you know, spent a good part of the evening with him,

0:22:180:22:20

and it was delightful.

0:22:200:22:22

I mean, he was a delightful man, wonderful company,

0:22:220:22:26

and you do stop to think,

0:22:260:22:28

when you're asked to play a real-life person -

0:22:280:22:30

the only time I've done it before was,

0:22:300:22:32

I played Don Revie in a film called The Damned United,

0:22:320:22:35

and that was a bit of a...

0:22:350:22:37

You know, cos people, you know,

0:22:370:22:38

iconic figures like that, people, you know...

0:22:380:22:40

You have to make an attempt to look like them

0:22:400:22:42

and you have to make an attempt to sound like them,

0:22:420:22:45

but the important thing is getting the character right, the inner...

0:22:450:22:48

you know, the inner person.

0:22:480:22:50

For Leeds to win the First Division title,

0:22:500:22:53

and me to be named English Manager Of The Year

0:22:530:22:55

really is a dream come true.

0:22:550:22:57

When you come to a film, a drama,

0:22:570:23:00

an impersonation isn't what you're looking for.

0:23:000:23:03

I mean, impersonation is fine for three or four minutes, you know?

0:23:030:23:06

But to tell the story, which is a drama,

0:23:060:23:09

which is, you know, fiction, it's invented,

0:23:090:23:12

you have to go for the emotional...

0:23:120:23:15

13 innocent people, shot in the back, most of them!

0:23:150:23:18

The next day, we had so many volunteers, we couldn't cope.

0:23:180:23:21

They were queueing round the block to join us.

0:23:210:23:23

-And you had your licence to kill.

-We were fighting a civil war!

0:23:230:23:27

If it hadn't been well-written, I would have had problems,

0:23:270:23:30

you know, I would have, you know, I would have had to sort of...

0:23:300:23:32

really kind of dig deep to find who this man was.

0:23:320:23:36

Would you still had taken the part,

0:23:360:23:38

-if you hadn't liked the script as much?

-No, no.

-OK.

0:23:380:23:40

My initial reaction was it might be a slightly kind of dry,

0:23:400:23:43

political treatise, you know?

0:23:430:23:45

And...

0:23:450:23:47

But once I started reading it, I sat down to read it,

0:23:470:23:50

and I couldn't put it down.

0:23:500:23:52

I just read it straight through in one sitting, you know? And it...

0:23:520:23:56

You know, made me laugh,

0:23:560:23:58

and by the end, it had me in tears.

0:23:580:24:01

It was just a beautiful piece of writing, and...

0:24:010:24:04

about, you know, such a significant event

0:24:040:24:07

and extraordinary characters.

0:24:070:24:09

It was a very clever device, in the first place,

0:24:090:24:11

to put the two guys in the car together

0:24:110:24:13

and have the outside eye on them, as it were.

0:24:130:24:16

We had a civil war.

0:24:170:24:19

And this is our only opportunity

0:24:210:24:24

for both sides to walk away

0:24:240:24:27

with heads held high.

0:24:270:24:29

To build something that will last at least for our lifetimes.

0:24:300:24:34

-When you were making the film, Martin McGuinness was alive.

-Mm-hm.

0:24:340:24:39

He has passed away now,

0:24:390:24:41

-so he hasn't had the chance to see the finished film.

-No.

0:24:410:24:45

Has that...

0:24:450:24:47

put the film into a different light for you?

0:24:470:24:49

Well, no, just, it's a real regret for me, personally,

0:24:490:24:52

because I'm sure he would have had

0:24:520:24:54

some very, very wry, funny comments to make about it, you know?

0:24:540:24:58

Which I would have appreciated very much.

0:24:580:25:00

So, just from a personal point of view, it's a real...

0:25:000:25:03

..shame, that he didn't get to see it.

0:25:040:25:08

You know, as far...as far as the...

0:25:080:25:11

I mean, I'd love to have...

0:25:110:25:13

I mean, from a personal point of view,

0:25:130:25:15

but also from a political point of view,

0:25:150:25:17

I'd love to have known his thoughts on it, you know?

0:25:170:25:19

It would have been... It would have been extremely interesting.

0:25:190:25:22

-Because... Did that journey actually happen?

-No.

0:25:220:25:25

So it's entirely fictional?

0:25:250:25:27

Well, it's not entirely fictional.

0:25:270:25:29

It's an imagining of what could have happened.

0:25:290:25:31

I mean, basically, because...

0:25:310:25:33

The issue in the picture is,

0:25:330:25:34

how did these guys get from where they were to where they got to?

0:25:340:25:38

We say never!

0:25:380:25:41

Never! Never!

0:25:410:25:44

Never.

0:25:440:25:45

You know, the stakes were very high.

0:25:450:25:47

I mean, for me personally, it's...it's...

0:25:470:25:49

You know, I care deeply about...

0:25:490:25:51

..the characters and the country.

0:25:520:25:55

And, so, yeah, it was...I felt that.

0:25:550:25:57

When we made this film, it was kind of like,

0:25:570:25:59

this is something that happened in '06, and it was amazing -

0:25:590:26:04

and look at these two figures who were, you know, polar opposites,

0:26:040:26:08

managed to travel that distance to be able to work together.

0:26:080:26:12

-No change.

-Very good.

0:26:120:26:14

Not an inch and no surrender.

0:26:140:26:15

LAUGHTER

0:26:150:26:16

And it's an inspirational story for...

0:26:160:26:19

for any conflict situation, you know?

0:26:190:26:21

And we sort of saw it as...

0:26:210:26:23

Hopefully, that would make it universal,

0:26:230:26:25

that it would be for conflict situations

0:26:250:26:27

around the world, you know?

0:26:270:26:29

That if it could be done here, it could be done anywhere, you know?

0:26:290:26:32

So, you know, without wanting to sound pretentious or presumptuous,

0:26:320:26:38

you would hope that a film like this, that actually kind of...

0:26:380:26:41

..is, you know, is in praise of compromise,

0:26:430:26:47

you'd hope that would have some influence on...

0:26:470:26:50

on the players who are here today.

0:26:500:26:52

How can we even contemplate doing this?

0:26:520:26:56

Hm?

0:26:570:26:59

HE CHUCKLES

0:26:590:27:02

What?

0:27:040:27:06

That's the first time you've said "we".

0:27:090:27:12

And long may it continue...

0:27:130:27:15

..to be a character actor.

0:27:160:27:18

Colm Meaney, it has been a pleasure talking to you.

0:27:180:27:20

Thank you for your time.

0:27:200:27:21

Same here. Thank you so much.

0:27:210:27:23