Irish comedian Dylan Moran talks New York show, 'Calvary' and more
Moran speaks with Cahir O'Doherty about upcoming projects
It seems certain to be the same kind of hit that McDonagh’s hugely popular The Guard was, Moran says.
“I think it’s a really good old-fashioned kind of Hollywood movie really. We were shooting in the west of Ireland, which I didn’t know growing up, and it’s extraordinary dramatic and beautiful landscape,” Moran says.
“It adds to the atmosphere of a script pregnant with history. It feels big in a way that Ireland often doesn’t.”
Moran made his name as an actor in television and film playing brilliant but unstable characters not a million miles from his own real life persona. Does he agree?
“It’s fair to say there’s a lot of me in my work, but the important word is that it’s heightened, or whatever you want to call it. In Black Books the objective was to make an entertaining half hour,” he says.
“That’s all you can do, you set the bar high for yourself. The distortion and the mangling of who you really are is inevitable and it wouldn’t really be funny without that.”
Growing up, one gets the sense that Moran must have been a handful. With all that restless intellectual energy, what was he like in his teens?
“I was quite keen to get to Dublin as quickly as possible,” he laughs. “I’m at the point now where I’ve been out of Ireland as long as I was in it. I remember registering that.
“I’m really not big on nationalism to be honest with you. I really don’t think it gets people anywhere except near a pile of dead bodies. I’m Irish, yeah, but I don’t need to get up on a soapbox about it.”
Coming from Ireland, with such a strong monoculture, he learned to have patience with other cultures, at least until he knows what’s really going on.
“Religion is a massive deal in Russia,” says Moran, who is the first Irish stand up to play a series of sold out shows there.
“You have to talk about it extremely carefully. It’s a mirror image of America in a sense, minus all the Cold War stuff.”
Like a lot of people, thanks to the recent election America has been on Moran’s mind lately. Its religious life in particular interests him greatly.
“America’s work ethic is non-stop; it’s not even enshrined in law that workers have to get their two weeks holiday money. But Americans work harder than everyone else I can think of.”
One thing he won’t be drawn into is any narrow nationalism or flag waving. There’s good reason for that he says.
“I grew up in the 1970’s and I remember the news, which was shootings. I lived in Belfast for a year and I knew people directly affected by it,” he recalls.
“It was murder, death, blood and dead children. What can you say about it that’s good? People screaming the name of their country or their province. Bringing up stuff from 400 or 500 years ago and painting it on a wall – are you out of your mind? What are you doing, you’re alive now.”
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