No stage compares to Croke Park for this hurler/actor
Published 28/02/2016 | 02:30
There's a big difference between playing make-believe on stage or screen and playing hurling at the highest level, but Antrim's Shane McNaughton is enjoying rubbing shoulders with global celebrities like Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson.
McNaughton will feature for Cushendall in their first All-Ireland club hurling final on St Patrick's Day, but he is also coming to our television screens soon after playing a small role in the third series of the hit RTE/BBC co-production The Fall.
In the search for a new challenge, the 28-year-old turned to acting during rehabilitation from a serious hip injury and was quickly cast in the role of Oxford student James Wentworth in Say You'll Remember Me, which ran at Belfast's MAC Theatre last month.
Hurling sidelined his theatrical participation growing up, but despite a lack of experience, he quickly turned heads and was coaxed into auditioning for The Fall in London, before getting a part and even standing-in for Fifty Shades of Grey star Dornan.
"You're seeing the likes of Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan which was a bit surreal because I've never been involved in anything like that before. And I was his stand-in for a few days in between reading my own lines," McNaughton told the Sunday Independent.
"It's no big part, blink and you'll miss me, but I had a few lines. I'm not even sure if they'll show it but I know they paid me for the week's work and it was a good experience. Even if nothing comes of it, it's a different string to my bow."
He wasn't one bit overawed by Dornan and admits he'd be "more intimidated meeting Henry Shefflin".
No stage compares to Croke Park for McNaughton, but he acknowledges that he felt out of his comfort zone and suffered some stage fright.