Speaking about his craft as an actor and the depth he invests in each character he plays, Hinds thinks it may in part stem from his Belfast background. Being Irish may actually be good training for the stage.
“I’m from Belfast. My close friend Liam (Neeson) is from Ballymena. I’ve been told that there’s something about the Irish: they talk a lot but when it comes to things that are emotional, while some people will talk them out, we Irish just tend to keep a lid on it. It’s private,” says Hinds.
“Especially northern people, it’s been pointed out to me. So maybe that stoicism is part of our psyche. Not speaking, but reflecting the emotion in a look that is significant.”
Hinds lives with his wife Helene Patarot in Paris, and he laments the state of Irish filmmaking at the moment.
“There was a time when I hoped that our great young filmmakers like Lance Daly and Declan Recks – well, the opportunities for them are few and far between to make film,” Hinds says.
“It’s a shame because they’re so gifted. I don’t know if it should have to be by law, but we should support our own talent. There’d be no harm in going out to see an Irish film once a week and it would support the whole industry. Somehow in Ireland we should really encourage it at some level.”
As for a future Broadway run for “The Birds,” McPherson’s latest play that ran with Hinds in the lead role, he sounds skeptical.
“We don’t know if that’s going to happen to it because although it packed out the theater in Dublin the critical reaction differed,” Hinds says.
“I think that Conor took it to a place that was an adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s original story, then he took it into his own realm of the slightly existential survival of the human species, and where does that put us philosophically?
“Some people really liked that, and some people really wanted to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds onstage. You know, big birds coming down on stage and eating people. When you have that expectation you’ll be disappointed.
“But many people were enthralled by it. We just don’t know at this point if it will transfer. It needs to have a real fire when it leaves Dublin.”
As for the career renaissance being experienced at the moment by Ireland’s other leading men like Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Neeson, Hinds is delighted.
“It’s not like we think, oh we’re at this level, this is the work we’ll do now. There’s no plan,” says Hinds.
“Brendan Gleeson is directing his first film, ‘At Swim Two Birds.’ I hear he’s got Colin Farrell and Cillian Murphy and perhaps Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Isn’t that fantastic? I just think yes, get cracking on that!”
Hinds will also feature in the next Harry Potter film as Aberforth Dumbledore, the gruff younger brother of Hogwarts beloved Principal Albus Dumbledore.
“I’m grumpy in the film, and the joy of that was that they tried to make me look similar to Michael Gambon, which was a great honor for me. It was fun to be a part of that world and those amazing sets.”
“The Eclipse” opens in limited release on March 26.