They say that Sean Connery got the James Bond gig after his performance in Darby O’Gill and the little People. The Bond director Albert Broccoli was apparently so impressed that he was cast immediately. I wonder what it was about his portrayal of ‘Michael McBride’ that swung it in his favour? Maybe it was the accent, which was strangely closer to ‘stately Englishman’ than it was Irish anyway, or was it his stylish and almost 007-like dispatch of Pony Sugrue at the Rathcullen Arms. Either way, James Bond went from strength to strength and the Darby O’Gill series came to halt after the loss of its big star. Connery did briefly reprised the role once again in The Untouchables, where he even managed to whistle Danny Boy like a heartbroken leprechaun.
The legacy of all of this is that it seems that Darby O'Gill serves as a tutorial for all actors to study and perfect their Irish accents. Spaceman Tom Cruise must have got some inspiration from it for his role in ‘Far and Away’ – either that or by studying the mating call of the pigeon. Brad Pitt’s obscene brogue in ‘The Devils Own’ is credited with setting back the peace process by a dozen or so years. Julia Roberts has in the past demonstrated a wide array of accents, it’s just a shame she did them all in Michael Collins’. The list goes on. Kevin Spacey in ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’, an accent that meandered back and forth from American to Semi-Scottish so much that Shannon Airport demanded a mandatory stop-over. Richard Gere wasn’t so much a man running from the troubles in ‘The Jackal’, as a man with a serious Helium addiction.
All of this got me thinking of an idea. It’s a bit out there though, and sorta radical.
How about hiring Irish actors to play Irish Roles!!
Mega-star Jason Barry, the guy who looked like he was a member of the film crew that forgot to get out of shot in Titanic, has assembled a motley crew of actors for his historical epic, Easter 16. Rather than learn the lessons of the past, Barry has pretty much guaranteed his place in ‘Oirish’ folklore already with his curious casting choices.
Chris O’Donnell, whose own contribution to the rape of the Irish Accent in ‘Circle of Friends’ was too heinous to mention above, has been drafted in to play that well known 1916 hero, ‘Ross’. He’s particularly happy with the scene where he storms the GPO with Monica and bravely fights off Chandler and Phoebe at Stephens Green.
Guy Pearce, the Australian, will play conveniently enough ‘Padraig Pearse’, just with slightly more of a tan, and perhaps with less children in the vicinity.
Another actor who’s passport is also lacking a harp is the one and only Anthony LaPaglia. His half Aussie, half Italian background will be perfect for his portrayal of the infamous free state rebel, ‘Spindler’.
Craig Kelly, an British actor famous for his antics on Coronation Street swaps the cobbles of Corrie for the cobbles of Temple Bar in his casting as 'Captain Hawkins'.
The kid from the abysmal and degrading ‘Millions’ will be ‘Spike’, whilst Oscar bother-er Nicola Charles swaps Ramsey Street for Grafton Street for her role as, well it’s not confirmed, but possibly Dev himself. This is the sort of thing that could break the United Nations people!
Shelly Goldstein is lined up to play ‘Sadie the Shawlie’. Sadie the fucking Shawlie??? What is this, the Disney version of the Rising? Oh look, here comes Captain Fluffy pants and the rest of the black and tans.
‘Rudi’ (a Mayo name I believe) will be played by up and coming British actor Neil Larson and lastly, but not leastly, but definitely thankfully, the much sought after role of 'Private Edwards' is to be ably filled by Trance DJ MARK TABBERNER!!
It's enough to make a Banshee wail!! (played by Denzel Washington)