Sunday 17 November 2019

Fassbender and Co happy to play their part in Irish film's big night

Michael Fassbender and Brenda Fricker
Michael Fassbender and Brenda Fricker
Michael Fassbender
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

He is one of the hottest movie stars on the planet, but Michael Fassbender hasn't forgotten his roots.

Following a whirlwind Oscars campaign, where he narrowly missed out on a golden statuette, the Hollywood A-lister is jetting home for the annual Irish Film and Television Awards.

"It's nice to come home to the IFTAs and be among friends and family. It's pretty special," Fassbender said this weekend.

The actor will go head-to-head with Hollywood heartthrob Colin Farrell for the Best Supporting Actor Film award for his role in 12 Years a Slave. Farrell has been nominated for his role in Saving Mr Banks, along with Edward MacLiam for Run & Jump and Peter McDonald in The Stag.

The Castelknock star, who has been busy promoting his new movie A New York Winter's Tale, said he is looking forward to coming back to town to catch up with old pals.

"To experience this on home turf, the craic element, the good fun element is magnified. It's really nice to be home and support Irish film and home-grown talent. It's very important actually."

Harry Potter star Brendan Gleeson echoed the sentiment: "It's very important that we celebrate the industry here and make sure that kids coming up are encouraged and made to feel part of the community. It's fantastic to have such a night as the IFTAs."

Comedian Brendan O'Carroll, whose BAFTA-winning sitcom Mrs Brown's Boys has achieved worldwide acclaim, explained the draw of the red-carpet event.

"It doesn't matter how you do anywhere else in the entire world, you just want to come home and have everyone proud of you. This is amazing," he said.

Liam Cunningham, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actor for the international hit series Game of Thrones, said he is "absolutely delighted to be nominated for my involvement in a show that I'm incredibly proud to be a part of".

The event, which has returned to its original home in the Burlington Hotel, will take place on Saturday, April 5, and organisers are keen to focus on atmosphere rather than the formality of the ceremony.

IFTA CEO Aine Moriarity told the Sunday Independent: "Last year it was an orchestra-style stage show and a dinner afterwards, this year there will be a round-table plan for the awards to bring a bit of banter among guests and more of an athmosphere."

Despite criticism from some quarters, the show pulled in a record number of viewers last year, with 1.24 million people tuning in.

Ms Moriarity said: "I think everyone has a bit of that [criticism] in their own country, it's not just an Irish thing, but we have become a lot more confident in recent years as a nation and we have come into our own as an industry and we are a lot less likely to put each other down."

Irish actor Jamie Dornan, who has just finished filming his role as Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey, has been nominated for a Best Lead Actor in Television award for his role in The Fall and he's up against Love/Hate's Tom Vaughan- Lawlor (aka Nidge), Chris O'Dowd for Moone Boy and Gabriel Byrne for Quirke.

Deirdre O'Kane (Moone Boy), Eva Birthistle (Amber) and Love/Hate's Mary Murray and Charlie Murphy (Siobhan) will battle it out for television's leading lady award.

Sunday Independent

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