Top Irish actor Chris O'Dowd and his British wife Dawn O'Porter are among the thousands of people facing delays on their green cards.
Roscommon native Chris O'Dowd has been back and forward to the US for "the guts of a decade" and has been established in Los Angeles since his Hollywood acting career took off.
The dad-of-two appeared on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, spilling the details of his Irish roots, his take on Irish Americans versus the Irish in Ireland, and what Irish food he misses.
The 38-year-old told Maron that he's currently in the middle of the laborious process to obtain a green card in order to live and work in America. O'Dowd's wife Dawn O'Porter is a Guernsey native born in Scotland, meaning she must also apply through the system.
That was fun, thank you Marcus. https://t.co/xaygLGavFr— chris o'dowd (@BigBoyler) August 9, 2018
"We're in the middle of the green card process right now," O'Dowd said. "It’s a little slowed down, usually it would take three months and we’re in our sixth month right now."
"The most frustrating thing is that when you’re in the middle of it, you can’t leave the country. We were trying to... you just have to start again, which is boring….it’s just annoying," he said.
O'Dowd is waiting for the green card to come through so the family can go to London for his upcoming "interesting little art piece" project with Rosamund Pike.
The "Get Shorty" star added that he probably won't pursue a blue passport - but his two children Art and Valentine are US citizens as they were born in LA.
"I won’t be a citizen, I don’t really have any interest in that. But both of my kids are American so they’ll be dual citizens," he said.
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Maron pressed O'Dowd about the difference between the Boston Irish versus the Irish natives. Maron joked that the "intimidating, somewhat mean" demeanor of many Massachusetts-based Irish immigrants is very different from the "very sweet" people in Ireland.
"Do you understand what the Americans did to the Irish?" Maron laughed.
"I think the tough ones left," O'Dowd retaliated. "They took to the streets and became cops or what not and that hardened them forever."
"They were mistreated, the same racist practices that are happening all over the country now, they were downtrodden so that toughened them up. Weather in Massachusetts is tough so that hardened them also," he laughed.
As for his own genealogy, O'Dowd revealed that his family have been residents of Boyle, County Roscommon for an impressive 1100-1200 years.
“There is a castle around 40 mins from where I grew up: O’Dowd's castle," he said.
"That's where the first O’Dowds came from. It’s a ruin now. It's from 800 AD, a while back. That’s how far we’ve traveled in 1100, 1200 years - 40 minutes!”
As for the most pressing question? What Irish dish does O'Dowd miss most?
"We don't have a history of cuisine," he admitted. "It’s a stew kind of a country, one pot kind of stuff. A lot of fish, I’ve never been a fish guy though - I don’t know why. We do great fucking dairy. Great bread, great dairy. I miss that!"
To listen to the hilarious full podcast, see here.