Irish actor Daryl McCormack has Star Wars hopes dashed...but JJ Abrams tips him as one to watch
IRISH actor Daryl McCormack has been tipped as one to watch out for by Hollywood producers.
The budding talent, who was the victim of racist remarks after appearing in the national referendum adverts last year, has dreams of superstardom.
And proving he has what it takes, the 21-year-old made it through to the last round of auditions for the next 'Star Wars: Episode VII' film, being brought to the silver screen by JJ Abrams.
Daryl was put forward for the role by casting agent Annette Walsh of the Castannettenow agency and the DIT student, whose mother is from Tipperary and father is from America, beat thousands of hopefuls to make it to the last stage of the selection process.
Although he narrowly missed out on the role, he's been told he's now on the Hollywood casting agents' books for future projects - as they loved him on screen.
"It came down to experience mostly," Daryl told the Herald.
"I got through as far as I could and that's amazing, I'm thrilled about that."
It all started when he turned up to Croke Park last November for an open casting and within hours had turned producers' heads.
"After the first stage there was a call back that afternoon and we had to play out a scene from 'The Hunger Games' to the camera," he said.
"A couple of weeks later they rang me to record two scenes from the actual 'Star Wars' film for them and send it over. I had almost forgotten about it at that point so I was delighted."
Daryl had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to reveal any details about the scenes he was given, as producers want the storyline to be kept a surprise for fans when it is released in 2015.
"In January there were the final call backs in London and I was one of them," Daryl said.
"There were very few of us there and it was a fantastic experience - we were in a proper studio acting out scenes from the movie."
He added: "It was really exciting for me to get to do an audition of that scale and make it that far. The fact that I know I'm on their radar now too is beyond anything I expected."
When Daryl appeared on billboards across the country as the poster boy for the referendum campaign last October, he received a slew of nasty and negative comments about his skin colour online.
"Growing up I experienced a bit of racial abuse, on a smaller scale, nothing too serious, but I just had the attitude to laugh it off to be honest.
"People who get involved in that activity are just narrow minded and aren't up to speed with the present day."
Daryl admitted that he worried that because he's not "typically Irish looking", it might go against him when looking for roles - especially overseas.
But 'Love/Hate' actor Aaron Heffernan changed his mind.
"Aaron has really inspired me to go and get work. I feared I don't look traditionally Irish and that it could go against me, but it hasn't been the case."
In fact, Daryl and Aaron have laughed on many occasions about how often fans mistake Daryl for the 'Love/Hate' cop on the street.
"I've been told so many few times that we look like each other," he said.
"People regularly come up to me and ask about 'Love/Hate'; they're almost certain that I'm him. We've talked about it and it's funny."