Zonad the Great! Ireland's newest comedy hero


It wasn’t the first time the two brothers had worked together on the film. It’s been a pet project for them both since 2000.

“We originally shot a feature length version of the film in John’s apartment with Simon Delaney and Cillian Murphy back in 2000,” says Kieran.

“But when we showed it to people outside the film business they didn’t enjoy it as much as we thought they should do. Eighty percent of it was completed and we rented an edit suite to cut it. But the editing equipment was repossessed and in that editing deck was the original film. Half a year of work was lost.”

With that kind of history it’s no wonder they felt compelled to complete the film. But the film’s secret weapon is its originality.

“It’s certainly original for an Irish piece of work,’ says Zonad star Delaney. “We’re getting our own back on The Quiet Man.”

When Delaney talks as Zonad he sounds like a weird mash-up of the speaking clock and Professor Stephen Hawking. It’s the sort of alien visitor voice that we used to hear in old 1950s movies.

“The real challenge of filming Zonad was wearing the red rubber suit,” says Delaney. “Wearing that big red condom for eight weeks was a challenge. But wearing it while trying to cycle a bike was a disaster. It was a tough, tough shoot.”

Delaney’s son Eliot was born during the shoot and, to save time, Delaney visited him in hospital in his costume.

“I was on set on the day my son was born and of course I wanted to see him. I only had my lunch hour so I took a taxi over to the hospital. The looks I got,” he laughs.

“I looked like a blubber-gram. One lad shouted that Britney Spears has really let herself go.”

Delaney comes from a musical theater background and has a robust soul singing voice (which is put to good use in the film singing the Hothouse Flowers’ signature tune “I’m Sorry”).

But it was just the fun of making the film in Wicklow and seeing the public’s reaction to his spaceman suit that really made the experience for him.

“I think the locals must have thought we were making a mad Polish porn film. We turned a few heads. But now that Zonad got a rave review in Variety we’re feeling very chuffed I must say,” Delaney says.

Zonad plays at the Tribeca Film Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Visit www.tribecafilm.com.