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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Star's welcome as President drops in

Caitriona Palmer

Published 17/12/2008 | 00:00

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President Mary McAleese (right) meets California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Marie Shriver at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills yesterday. Below, the president with actor Colin Farrell at Hollywood’s Warner Brothers studios.

PRESIDENT Mary McAleese paid a visit to Hollywood to be feted by the Irish and American entertainment community, and even bumped into Colin Farrell.

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Arriving in a downpour at the Warner Brothers' studios in Hollywood, the President joked about bringing the Irish weather to sunny California -- and was greeted at the door by the Irish film star from Castleknock.

Standing behind a row of Oscars in the Warner Brothers' museum, and surrounded by movie props for the films Batman, Superman and Casablanca, Farrell greeted the president like a long-lost friend.

"When did youse get in?" Farrell asked the President and her husband, Dr Martin McAleese.

An older Irish woman standing at the back of the presidential entourage seemed confused by the bubble of excitement surrounding the actor and the president.

"Who's that?" she asked nodding towards Farrell.

Informed that it was the Irish star of 'Alexander' and other Hollywood blockbusters, the woman shook her head and said: "Well, that fella needs a shave".

As members of the President's entourage pressed close for a chance to have their photo taken with Farrell, the young actor, dressed in ripped jeans and a pinstripe jacket and waistcoat, posed politely before bidding the group farewell.

"Look after yourselves," he called out with a wave as he headed back into the maze of the Warner Brothers' studios.

Last week, the actor was nominated for a Golden Globe award for his role in the movie, 'In Bruges'.

His co-star and fellow Irishman Brendan Gleeson received a best actor nomination for his role in the same movie.

Elsewhere, among the Hollywood celebrities present at a reception to honour Mrs McALeese was St Elsewhere star Ed Begley Jr and Emmy-award winning Irish star, Fionnula Flanagan.

The president was visiting Hollywood as a host of the Irish Film Board and Enterprise Ireland to promote Irish entertainment and film technology and to encourage more American film and television series to shoot in Ireland.

"Creativity is in the Irish DNA -- generations of Irish actors, directors, writers, designers and film-makers have made their names in Hollywood, and have inspired, excited and entertained so many on the big screen," said Mrs McAleese.

"More recent years have seen the flourishing of that creativity gene in a new generation of entrepreneurs who are technologically innovative and market-intuitive, and they have made their mark on this industry too," she said.

The president is also expected to meet with former Hollywood action hero and now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the close of her seven-day trip to the United States before returning to Ireland today.

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