Chris O’Dowd walking on the Moone with new TV shoot
FOR lots of us heading out to work at the start of the week, it's just another manic Monday.
But actor Chris O'Dowd said it was a "magical" feeling reporting for work in his hometown yesterday as shooting got under way on a new TV comedy he has co-written. A film crew of 60 has set up in the town of Boyle, Co Roscommon, to shoot the Sky TV series, which features big names like Steve Coogan and Johnny Vegas alongside Mr O'Dowd.
Filming of 'Moone Boy' began in the town yesterday where the star was on set with young actor, David Rawle from Carrigallen in neighbouring Co Leitrim, who plays a character based on the young O'Dowd in the six-part series.
"It's an amazing feeling," the star of 'Bridesmaids' and the 'IT Crowd' told the Irish Independent.
"I've been walking around with a skip in my step all week. The sun is shining and with that low winter light it is all a little bit magical."
For Mr O'Dowd, there was no other option but to film in Boyle and the crew has made the Royal Hotel on Bridge Street its hub.
"It did not seem right to cultivate great memories and images from a place and not give something back," he said.
"Also for the pureness of the world we're recreating, it had to be back here.
"It's a gorgeous town, it was a great place to grow up in and I feel lucky that we have it as a resource."
The weather gods smiled down as the film crew were blessed with a bright, sunny January sky for the first day of filming on Wooden Bridge just outside the town.
Young David, donning a bright blue anorak, old Liverpool jersey and woolly hat complete with tassel on top, spent most of the shoot on a bike, accompanied by his larger-than-life imaginary friend, Sean Murphy, played by Mr O'Dowd.
The story is largely autobiographical and centres on the actor's own experiences of growing up in the late 1980s.
It's set against the backdrop of the presidential election but the fictional Moone family is divided in its loyalties.
Mrs Moone, played by Deirdre O'Kane, is in the Mary Robinson camp; while her husband, played by Peter McDonald, is behind Brian Lenihan Snr.
Mr O'Dowd admits a lot of the stories for the series, which he co-wrote with Nick Murphy, have a basis in reality and his own childhood.
"I was the youngest of five so I was beaten down, wearing over-sized clothes that were often female," he joked.
Yesterday filming centred on the Crescent but the production company promised that traffic would only be held up for three minutes at a time to facilitate filming.
Grabbing a quick bite to eat with co-writer Mr Murphy in the Stone House Café, Mr O'Dowd's presence barely attracted a second glance.
As one local put it: "Chris is the very same as he always was."