Damien Molony: from Kildare to the top of British TV – “both a lover and a fighter”
Big, brilliant brand new Damien interview in the Irish Times
Our fave actor has been busy in recent weeks promoting his upcoming show Brassic, which premieres 22 August on Sky One and Now TV.
In an in-depth new interview feature with The Irish Times Culture, we are treated to even more with an exciting wider look at his career.
Damien also shares his thoughts on being an Irish actor based in London, on Brexit and more.
Damien Molony: from Kildare to the top of British TV
Here are the highlights.
On Edmund’s fight scene in King Lear
I had a fight scene at the end of the play that nearly destroyed me,” he says, more proud than pained. “We did eight shows a week, and after a double-show day, I’d lie in bed until 3pm the next day, just aching. But it was great fun. When you’re playing with knives and swords, it feels like you’re getting paid to be in primary school again.”
“Not that we had swords in primary school . . .”
On his Brassic accent and filming fun
We got up to the most ridiculous things every single day,” Molony smiles, remembering the three-month shoot at the end of last year. “No day was ever the same. It was either a car chase or we were running into a field running after a Shetland pony, or getting shot at.
“I got the accent by listening to Joe… Really listening. He tells stories on set at a mile a minute, so you’re constantly given a very good sample voice on who to base it on.”
On the second series of GameFace
I spent so much of the first series in the car, people wondered if I had legs,” he smiles. “So it was lovely to be out of the car this time around, and navigate this awkward love story. Roisin did such an incredible job of making it human. I think the show is so popular because everyone can relate to the things that she’s going through.”
On Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Crashing) and Roisin Conaty
Every time there’s a new headline about what Phoebe’s up to next, I’m so delighted for her. She’s an incredible talent and she’s getting her rewards… There has always been something very special about her. In the same way there is about Roisin. When you’re working with an actor who’s also the showrunner, like they did on the shows we worked on, decisions were being made all the time in my earshot. Being privy to that was inspiring.
Like, if I was in their position and someone gave me script notes or production notes, I’d take them with thanks,” he says, and he’s such an amenable guy, I can believe that. “Whereas they’re like, ‘this is how it works, trust me, I know what I’m doing. Don’t mess with it.’ It’s brilliant to watch how direct and driven they are.”
On No Man’s Land and advice from Sir Ian McKellen
We did around 120 performances, and he did something different on every single show.
He said to me, ‘If you surprise yourself with a line, then you’re going to surprise the audience.’ So I try to take that onto every single job I do. If I do six takes of a scene and I do something slightly different every time, then the director and the editor have six different ways in which they can tell the story.”
On being an Irish actor based in London, and Brexit
It will be a complete disaster if the UK left,” he says of the debacle. “But right now, the worst thing is the uncertainty.
“I have met some [Irish actors] on various jobs – like Aaron on Brassic – but I rarely go to events here so I don’t meet them, Roisin brought me to the Irish Embassy for Bloomsday this year, and it felt like she was introducing me to the Irish set; people like Sinead Cusack and Niall Buggy were there doing readings, for instance.”
On how he got the role in The Split
I watched the last episode with a glass of wine, and I loved the show so much I found out who the casting director was, and I emailed her in the middle of the night saying ‘If you ever make a second series of this, please, I would love to be in it.’
We finished filming it 10 days ago and I’m bereft. There were genuine moments of being on set, in the main family scenes with everyone, going I can’t believe I’m here. I had so much fun. I don’t know if they’ll squeeze me into a third series, but I made it so clear my last day that I’d like to be involved. The dialogue is just brilliant.”
On playing the ‘love interest’ and romcoms
I never really read for the big, battle-scarred action hero,” he grins. “But I am probably reading more now for the love interest. And that’s great. Some of my favourite films are How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and 10 Things I Hate About You. I love those romcom films, so it’s lovely be in similar things, and play against the inevitability of it all.”
It is heartwarming to read such wonderful observations of Damien’s talents and a delight to hear a review of his career from his own perspective. As an actor he has consistently appeared in top quality projects from TV to theatre and film for years and his star has continued to rise higher and higher. As a fan it’s an honour to be constantly surprised, endlessly entertained and to enjoy all he brings. Long may it continue.
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