Monday 24 July 2017

'Incredibly talented Irish people' turning red carpet green for Academy Awards

Actors Chris O’Dowd, Fionnula Flanagan and Colin Farrell at the Irish Film Board and IDA pre-Oscars party in Hollywood. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Irish Film Board
Actors Chris O’Dowd, Fionnula Flanagan and Colin Farrell at the Irish Film Board and IDA pre-Oscars party in Hollywood. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Irish Film Board
Above: Director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Benjamin Cleary. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Irish Film Board
Saoirse Ronan. Photo: Reuters

Kirsty Blake Knox and Eimear Rabbitt

The voting is over - all that remains is for the ballots to be counted.

We're talking about Tinsel Town and the 88th Academy Awards, of course.

Now, the Oscar runners and riders must wait until Chris Rock bursts on to the stage of LA's Dolby Theatre to host the glitzy event.

The Irish are strongly represented with a record nine nominations; Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) and Brie Larson (Room) are up for Best Actress; Michael Fassbender will go head to head with Leonardo DiCaprio for the Best Actor gong.

'Brooklyn' and 'Room' are both contenders in the Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay categories; Benjamin Cleary's film 'Stutterer' is in the running for Best Short Film; while Lenny Abrahamson has got a nod in the Best Director category.

To celebrate the Irish presence at this year's ceremony, the Irish Film Board and the IDA held a networking party on Wednesday night.

Actors Colin Farrell and Fionnula Flanagan were joined by director Lenny Abrahamson and Chris O'Dowd on the red carpet.

The Irish Film Board and the IDA also invited big-name US producers, distributors, talent agents, and film financiers to the party to showcase the unprecedented Irish showing at this year's Academy Awards.

'Bridesmaids' star O'Dowd was quick to praise the talents of the Irish contingent.

"There are incredibly talented people from a very small island making incredibly beautiful work," he said.

Meanwhile, Saoirse Ronan opened up about the insecurities that come with working in the volatile film industry.

Ronan found it easier dealing with the limelight and 'Oscar buzz' when she received her first nomination aged 13.

"When I was a kid, it felt - not in a big-headed way - but it felt like it was so easy," the 21-year-old said in her latest interview.

"And the older I got, the more insecurities start to take hold of you . . . I won't be able to do it as easily as when I was younger."

The Carlow native said she left Ireland two years ago so she could gain some sense of anonymity.

"I wanted to leave Ireland . . . while I was young so I could be stupid and relaxed."

Ronan admitted she struggled with the pressure that the Oscar nomination placed on her young shoulders.

"That's the worst thing for me. I'm a huge worrier as well. The thing that I would worry about after being nominated again is, 'How do I keep that up?' Not in relation to awards, but keeping up performances," she told 'Interview Magazine's' March issue.

Irish Independent

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