Hollywood star Chris O’Dowd talks about 'Sapphires', his role in HBO’s 'Girls' and the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day


“But after the comeback the last time you never say never. It’s a terrific show and man, it’s great writing.”

O’Dowd also turned up as an Irish guy in Judd Apatow’s recent comedy drama This Is 40. 

“I never asked Judd where he was supposed to be from,” O’Dowd reveals. “My character was some kind of a hipster. In my head he was probably a guy who had worked for a record label in London. 

“That’s not that weird, it’s in LA, and there are loads of Irish people in LA. Unless there’s a good reason not to make them Irish, I’m going with Irish.”

Meanwhile, a project that O’Dowd wants to shoot in Ireland soon involves a rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger tale. With the recession still so biting and emigration figures through the roof, he’s not sure if Irish people are ready to see the funny side of the collapse.

What’s remarkable is that O’Dowd can be a movie star all over the world and then want to nip home to film his Celtic Tiger drama. “I know, and I’m very lucky that I can do this. We’re doing this Moone Boy show that we shoot in my hometown of Boyle, Co. Roscommon and it’s a very grounding thing to do,” he says.

“I find it creatively very helpful, but also it’s a very good thing for someone like me who could get easily lost in the crazy film world in America without the ability to go home. I think it keeps the work fresher and more personal.”

The question he has about the Celtic Tiger years is, exactly how far can charm and chancing your arm get you? 

“I think it would be interesting to deal with a character like that. Who’s just a f***ing chancer. When you bring it down to brass tacks on the whole boom and bust in Ireland that’s what it comes down to,” O’Dowd says.

“That’s the problem, it’s just chancers. These guys down the country were bribing people to get planning permission, and politicians who served jail sentences came out of and prison their share of the vote goes up.”

O’Dowd, who married his long-term girlfriend, British comedian and host Dawn Porter, last year, hangs out with the brightest lights in Hollywood, but he’s keeping his focus firmly on home for two good reasons -- one, it’s a head check, and two, it’s an endless source of inspiration. 

“I think it’s true that every story is a local story,” he says. 

Asked in a parting shot if he thinks Americans understand the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day he laughs, “Oh, I think they’ve gotten the message. It’s drunk Halloween.”