Irish Eye on Hollywood Liam Cunningham is an Irish actor to look out for as fall approaches He h
Another independent film to look out for is The Greening of Southie. Produced by Curt Ellis, the documentary explores efforts by environmentalists to create the first completely "green" building in the famous Irish enclave in Boston. Aside from its educational aspect, part of the film's appeal is its depiction of the efforts to win Irish-American laborers over to the environmental cause, which is spearheaded by a wealthy (and quite young) real estate heir. The film has been shown on the Sundance channel and festival. (Go to greeningofsouthie.com to order a DVD.)
Finally, Marian Quinn's 32A is building buzz on the festival circuit. The coming-of-age drama was written and directed by Quinn and stars her famous brother Aidan, as well as acclaimed Irish actress Orla Brady.
Set in 1979 Dublin, 32A revolves around 13-year-old Maeve (played by newcomer Ailish McCarthy), who is having trouble entering womanhood. All her friends seem at ease with boys, but not Maeve. So it is all the more surprising when Maeve starts dating the local heartthrob.
Aidan Quinn, of course, has amassed a highly impressive body of Irish and American film work. Most recently, he completed shooting a film called A Shine of Rainbows in Ireland. Orla Brady, meanwhile, is probably best known to U.S. audiences for her work in the TV shows Shark and Nip / Tuck.
The Quinns are not the only members of the 32A cast with good connections. The film also features up-and-coming star Jared Harris (son of Richard Harris) as well as Kate O'Toole (Peter O'Toole's daughter).
In Irish-American documentary news, Thomas Maier's excellent book, The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings, is being made into a two-hour Warner Brothers documentary. The film will be shown in select theaters and then released on DVD. Screenings in New York will begin in November. The big news when it comes to television is that it appears The Sopranos are going Irish.
One of the more anticipated TV shows of the fall season is Life on Mars, which stars two Irish actors, Jason O'Mara and Colm Meaney.
O'Mara plays Sam Tyler, a modern-day detective transported back to 1972. Meaney plays a detective who actually worked in the early 1970s. Life on Mars is a remake of the acclaimed BBC detective series. Former Sopranos star Michael Imperioli has joined the Life on Mars cast.
Another Sopranos star is hoping an Irish-American character will be good show biz luck next year. Edie Falco - Tony Soprano's long-suffering wife - is slated to star in Nurse Jackie, in which she plays Jackie O'Hurley, a brilliant nurse who has personal problems. Set in a bustling New York City hospital, press reports about Nurse Jackie - which should air on Showtime next year - also play up the fact that Nurse O'Hurley struggles with her Catholicism. The series also stars Eve Best, Peter Facinelli and Paul Schulze.
Finally on the TV front, Rhode Island native Michaela McManus, best know for starring in One Tree Hill, has been added as a new assistant DA to the cast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.