There are few actresses for whom the word ‘luminous’ genuinely applies, but Australia’s Cate Blanchett is one of them – although by now she is probably weary of the description. And yet it’s true; there’s something about the way she looks up close and on the screen that makes you want to reach out and touch her skin to check if it’s as other worldly as it seems.
The first thing you notice about 30-year-old, six-feet-plus Irish actor Domhnaill Gleeson is the shock of unruly red hair that announces itself without so much as a beg-your-pardon. The second thing you notice is a certain casualness of demeanour that comes with not really noticing that members of the public are looking at you; and the third is just how much of a nice guy he is.
Now there’s a question: what would 15-year-old drug dealer, face smasher, cheeky little council estate skanger Ben Drew think of 28-year-old singer, songwriter, screenwriter, actor, director Plan B? Tired eyes squint in my direction. There is little hesitation: “He’d think he was the bomb.” Myself and Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew are relaxing backstage.
There comes a point in every wild child’s life when they have to either clean up their mess and glance back at it ruefully or wallow in it and suffer the consequences. We can easily see which route Dublin actor Colin Farrell has chosen – he sits beside me in a state of health so rude it’s almost unforgivable.
“I’ve always thought of myself as an actor, whereas the term ‘movie star’ has changed over the course of the past few years. You see these movies opening in America with unknown actors and they make hundreds of millions of dollars, and then you see ginormous star vehicles crashing and burning.
Let’s hear it for theatre companies, however small; if it were not for these often under-funded bodies, how else would the many actors we have come to know (yet not always love) come up through the ranks? In the case of Irish actor, Aidan Gillen, it is debatable what direction his life might have taken had he not lived close to a youth theatre company.
If you were an unwise person, you might try to categorise or pigeonhole the work of Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan. That he’s a remarkable cinematic stylist isn’t in doubt. Call him an auteur (he’s undoubtedly a filmmaker whose body of work is underpinned by his creative influences) and he might deny it.