On the press circuit ahead of his ‘Moone Boy’ debut, Hollywood star Chris O’Dowd spoke about his loyalty to Ireland.
After playing the charismatic traffic cop Officer Rhodes in 2011 hit “Bridesmaids”, O’Dowd was offered several roles with “mediocre romcoms," but says he knew he wanted to work on something close to home.
“The first thing I conceived to do when 'Bridesmaids' was such a success was to come back and shoot something more personal before all the madness ensued,” O’Dowd told the Irish Times.
Earlier this year O’Dowd came back to Ireland to film 'Moone Boy,' a semi-autobiographical comedy drama all about a boy and his imaginary friend set in Boyle. Co. Roscommon, the actors hometown.
“I’ve always been conscious of the fact that there aren’t enough Irish voices on British television compared to the amount of Irish people who live there. And it’s been a joy. I get to hang out with my old mates. I get to hang out with my family. And it’s set in a real town."
The six part comedy is set at the end of the eighties. It follows Martin Moone, a young boy from a large family who spends a lot of time with his imaginary friend, played by O’Dowd.
O’Dowd says at home in Roscommon: “Nobody will let you away with anything,”
“The people that know you won’t let you change. I don’t think that I’m the kind of person that would have been changed anyway, but I know I bloody won’t now . . .
“I found that on the back of Bridesmaids I got quickly offered a few mediocre romcoms. The wages were going up and up, but the quality wasn’t as good as 'Bridesmaids.' So I thought if I got on to something personal very quickly, I wouldn’t lose the run of myself.
“I’ve known everybody here since I was born and I think they’re happy with how things are going with the show. We had the world premiere here. It’s kind of hard to say these kinds of things without coming across like a dickhead, but I think they’re proud of me.”
Speaking about Ireland’s economic nosedive, the actor said the country needs to learn to laugh more.
“I think we’ll never move on in Ireland unless we learn to laugh at it,” he says. “I definitely want to keep working in Ireland, and without being too worthy about it, if it’s possible to bring work into the country, that’s no harm. I’ve never been as proud of the place as I was when showing the crew Boyle. It’s like when you introduce your girlfriend to your friends and they’re like, ‘Oh my god, she’s really hot and I love that funny thing that she does!’ and you’d forgotten about that funny thing that she does."
Moone Boy starts on 14 September on Sky1 at 9.30pm.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore