If there are people out there who mistakenly believe the famous troubled poet Dylan Thomas was Irish (he was actually Welsh), they must pay close attention to “The Edge of Love” – a film due out in March about Thomas and his wife Caitlin MacNamara, who did have Irish roots.
Cork star Cillian Murphy plays the poet whose life came to a sad end at The White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village. “The Edge of Love” also features Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Matthew Rhys and was directed by John Maybury.
If there is an actress working today with a more Irish name than Siobhan Fallon Hogan, then you are most likely to see her on TG4, the Irish language TV station. Hogan, however, is a native of Syracuse, New York, who has slowly but surely built a solid career, appearing regularly on TV stalwarts such as Seinfeld and Saturday Night Live, before moving on to movie roles in blockbusters such as Men in Black and (most recently) the Renée Zellweger-Harry Connick Jr. comedy "New in Town" (out on DVD).
Hogan (a graduate of Catholic University), initially turned down the "New in Town" role. It would have required this mother of three to fly across country with one day’s notice. But once Hogan read the script, she ended up landing the part – which, she says, appealed to her devout Catholicism.
“Being that I was raised in the Catholic faith, I am very careful about what I choose. I’ve turned down a lot of projects that . . . could have helped me a lot financially, and I’ve quit shows because of where they were going and because I feel like I have to be a role model for my kids. So when I got this script, it was unbelievable to me,” she recently said.
Speaking of famous Irish names, how does Oona Chaplin roll off the tongue? Yes, this is indeed Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter, but the young actress’s Irish connection goes far beyond her mythic first name.
Charlie Chaplin, of course, married the daughter of acclaimed Irish-American playwright Eugene O’Neill (even though O’Neill’s daughter, also named Oona, was half Chaplin’s age).
These days, the young Oona O’Neill is trying to get an acting career going. She recently appeared in an Italian film entitled Imago Mortis. It was quite a family effort for young Oona, because also appearing was her mother, Geraldine Chaplin, a screen veteran who has appeared in classic films such as "Doctor Zhivago," and remains a busy actress.
Irish actor Cillian MurphyYui Mok/PA