Irish actors Gabriel Byrne and Aidan Gillen have joined the cast of the upcoming Samuel Beckett biopic, "Dance First."
Titled after Beckett's famous adage “Dance first, think later,” the film is a sweeping account of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright's life.
The film will be directed by James Marsh, who won an Academy Award for his 2009 documentary “Man on Wire" and directed the Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything."
“‘Dance First’ is an imaginative, playful and often poignant account of the life of Samuel Beckett. The film has a bold structure that sees Beckett discussing his life’s mistakes with another version of himself, an antagonistic alter ego," Marsh told Variety.
"But you don’t need to be a student of Beckett to enjoy this film – the script is both witty and dramatic, focusing on the key relationships in his life and including some startling episodes such as his active involvement in the French Resistance and his near-fatal stabbing by a pimp in Paris. We have Gabriel Byrne attached to play both the mature Beckett and his alter-ego and we expect to build a powerful ensemble cast around him.”
Fionn O'Shea ("Normal People") is set to play the young Beckett, while Golden Globe-winning actor Gabriel Byrne ("Hereditary," "The Usual Suspects") will portray the playwright in his later years.
Tony-award winning Drumcondra native Aidan Gillen ("Game of Thrones," "Peaky Blinders") has been recently announced to join the cast, reports HotPress. French actress Sandrine Bonnaire (“La cérémonie") has also been announced for the film.
"Samuel Beckett had such a radical influence on modern culture, yet despite all the adulation that came his way was acutely aware of his own failings," said Marsh.
"The film is a playful and often poignant exploration of the life of the literature icon, delving deep into the key relationships in Beckett’s life — mainly the two women he was close to."
"Dance First" is written by BAFTA-winning screenwriter Neil Forsyth (“Guilt,” “Eric, Ernie & Me”).
The film is expected to begin shooting in Budapest on May 30.