Irish Eye on Hollywood
Tom Deignan covers the latest Irish happenings in film and television
On the television front, the FX network must be thrilled at the success of The Fighter, the Mark Wahlberg film about “Irish” Mickey Ward. Right after The Fighter began wowing audiences and earning talk of Oscar nominations, FX began running a new series about another Irish-American boxer entitled Lights Out. The series features Holt McCallany as Patrick “Lights” Leary, a washed-up boxer who is thinking about one last shot at the ring. It’s that or return to work as a debt collector – which he is quite good at because he is so intimidating. The Leary family struggles to pay its bills and stick together in this show, which is slated to run for 13 episodes.
Over on Showtime, Natasha McElhone – whose parents were from Ireland – stars alongside David Duchovny in Season Four of Californication. McElhone – best known for big-screen roles in films such as Solaris and The Truman Show – plays the girlfriend of troubled novelist and teacher Hank Moody (Duchovny). Californication’s fourth season premiered in January and will run Sunday nights on Showtime through the spring.
Finally, a gem of a documentary made its premiere on Irish television this past Christmas. Fans of Irish cinema should lobby for a U.S. release.
Ireland’s TV3 channel premiered a new documentary entitled The Irish in Hollywood at the end of 2010. Spanning more than 100 years, the documentary was narrated by Patrick Bergin, and looks at earlier Irish and Irish American stars such as James Cagney, Maureen O’Hara and Pat O’Brien, before taking us through today’s stars such as Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan.
According to director Paul Howard, Gabriel Byrne emerges as a key voice in the film, because of his widespread knowledge of Hollywood history.
“One of the things about Gabriel – and it was one of the most amazing interviews that I have ever done – was that we sat down to interview him about his life and career in Hollywood, but he went way beyond that,” Howard tells us. ” Gabriel was very knowledgeable – knowledgeable to such a degree that he could form very credible opinions on our topics.”
Until the documentary is released on DVD – which we very much hope it will be – you can read the book on which the documentary is based: Steve Brennan’s Emeralds in Tinsletown.
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