“I’ve got at least one play that I need to complete the Aran Islands trilogy so I’ll go back there with that story at some script.
What can fans expect? “I have a film script that I’ve had for a while that is based in Ireland too. I think it ends up in Connemara. So those places and things are always going to be present in my writing.”
This week Fox News brought up the number of homophobic statements made in Seven Psychopaths, and asked if it would generate a backlash from the gay community. Does he anticipate being placarded on opening night?
“Hopefully not. No one’s actually brought it up too much at screenings so far,” he says.
“I guess the heart or the hope of the piece is anti-racism and homophobia, as mine is. It’s interesting to play around with political correctness and I hope there isn’t any meanness to the film as a whole. But you know, if you’re writing crazy psychotic characters who are racist or whatever else then certain words are going to have to be used I think.”
But in the film the lads talk about women as complicating factors that just upset their day. There’s a real complicity between them that makes you wonder what’s going on?
“Oh really?” says McDonagh gamely.
I tell him they sound like they’d rather spend time witch each other until they get self-conscious about it and compensate by talking about gays.
“I guess I can be accused of going down that road in the past. I don’t know it’s more just playing up the fun of that,” he says.
“It was a fun just playing up the exploration of the character more than anything. I’m not saying it’s how men ought to be.”
Meanwhile, he admits how important Ireland was to his creative life.
“I thinking going back and forth to Ireland so much as a kid had a major influence on me. And going to Connemara rather than Dublin had a definite impact on my storytelling and all of that.”
And how is directing Colin Farrell? “I honestly don’t give him much direction,” McDonagh confesses. “He just loves the characters and it’s more about getting out of the way of a great script. People forget sometimes how great of an actor he is.”
Mickey Rourke was originally slated to play the villain until he bowed out and the role went to Woody Harrelson instead. What happened there? “This was a pretty low budget film and his people wanted more than we were able to afford. There wasn’t too much anger on my side for sure. It just didn’t work out. He’s a fantastic actor,” McDonagh says.
The final questions are the ones I have most wanted to ask him. McDonagh’s plays are full of torture, murder and mayhem. Their violence factors set new records on Broadway. Has he enjoyed pushing the boundaries? Has it been a laugh for him? “Completely. I mean to get to stage some of the most outrageous possible things and then to find the morality and sweetness at its heart is kind of joyful. To have gotten away with it for long!”