Here Are The Young Men director Eoin Macken on non-Irish actors nailing the Irish accent
The new Irish movie features stars from Game Of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, Vikings, and The Queen's Gambit.
The Irish accent has taken down some of the biggest and the best.
Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Gerard Butler, Tom Cruise... they've all given a go, and they've all failed miserably.
All you need to do is look at the recent reaction to Wild Mountain Thyme and see why so many actors would likely shy away from such an undertaking.
For his upcoming dark drama Here Are The Young Men, writer and director Eoin Macken amassed an impressive collection of Irish and international actors, including Dean-Charles Chapman (1917), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit), Travis Fimmell (Vikings), Conelth Hill (Game of Thrones), Emmett J. Scanlan (Gangs of London), Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street).
In the run-up to the movie's release, JOE had a nice long chat with Macken about his new movie, and you can listen to that full interview right here:
But one of the primary points of conversation was around non-Irish actors tackling the Irish accent, and how tricky it has proven to be for some of the biggest and best actors of all time. Was that ever a concern when it came to casting?
Macken had the following to say:
"Actually, to be honest with you, I had them all work with a voice coach, but fundamentally the most important thing to me was actually, I believe, having the right actors for the part. Because I wanted the movie to feel as universal as possible.
"If there was going to be an issue with an accent, I was willing to find out how we could work on that. But actually, all three of them I thought did a really good job, and they were all really talented, and they all did a really good job with the accent. But for me, also, fundamentally, there are so many different accents in Ireland. So if somebody had a slightly different variation of an accent, then that's okay. Because there are so many different nationalities that are kind of half-Irish.
"Plus, as an actor, I go off an do American accents or British accents, so I didn't want to be like 'Well, no one else can do an Irish accent, but it's okay for me to do an American accent!', y'know? I just wanted to get the right actors, and then they can go and work on the accents, and we can make it work. That was the most important thing."
But before he landed such a talented cast, did it ever cross his mind that it would have been easier to just cast an all-Irish set of actors for the movie?
"I did think about it. But at the same time, I just thought that if the film and the themes - even though it's an Irish movie based off an Irish book - I wanted it to be as universal as possible, and I wanted it to be as accessible as possible. That wasn't the overriding thing. The overriding thing was to let me get these actors that work, that become these characters, first and foremost. And then if I get them, the rest should just fall into place."
Here Are The Young Men will be available via PVOD (Rakuten TV, Google Play, Apple TV, etc.) platforms from Friday, 30 April.
Check out the trailer right here:
Clip via Wildcard Distribution