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Thursday 21 August 2014

O'Dowd's Broadway debut has dad beaming with pride

Mark O'Regan

Published 18/04/2014 | 02:30

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Chris O'Dowd, Leighton Meester and James Franco attend the after party for the Broadway opening night for "Of Mice and Men" at The Plaza Hotel on April 16, 2014 in New York City.
Chris O'Dowd, Leighton Meester and James Franco attend the after party for the Broadway opening night for "Of Mice and Men" at The Plaza Hotel on April 16, 2014 in New York City.
James Franco, left, and Chris O’Dowd, onstage

From Boyle to Broadway, Chris O'Dowd's rise to superstardom shows no sign of waning.

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The 34-year-old made his critically acclaimed Broadway debut on Wednesday night alongside Gossip Girl's star Leighton Meester.

And now his father, Sean, has spoken of his "immense pride" after his son's stellar performance in a new stage adaptation of the John Steinbeck classic novel, 'Of Mice and Men'.

O'Dowd was singled out for his portrayal of Lennie, a brain- damaged homeless man who travels the country with his cousin George, played by Hollywood star James Franco.

"We're absolutely thrilled that the reviews are just so good. As an actor he's maturing on a world stage and that is not easy to achieve," Sean told the Irish Independent.

"How many thousands of actors are out of work, but there's Chris managing to make a big name for himself. I did get a text before the opening night to say he was quite anxious because he had a sore voice.

"But thankfully everything went extremely well."

The 'Hollywood Reporter' described O'Dowd as "tremendous", while 'Variety' magazine said the depth and understanding he brought to the role was "quiet simply, heart breaking." The Roscommon native has adopted a radical new look for the part, complete with a shaved head and full bushy beard.

After the stage show ends in July, Sean said Chris has a number of projects in the pipeline.

"They're Hollywood related, but that's all I can say," he added.

Irish Independent

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