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Friday 19 January 2018

Independent film-makers struggle to survive, says Cunningham

Actor Liam Cunningham speaking at the John Ford Ireland Symposium in Dublin
Actor Liam Cunningham speaking at the John Ford Ireland Symposium in Dublin
Actress Charlie Murphy at the discussion panel at the John Ford Ireland Symposium in Dublin
Laura Butler

Laura Butler

Actor Liam Cunningham claims independent film-makers are finding it even harder to survive.

The 'Game of Thrones' star told the Irish Independent that although it was becoming cheaper to make indie films, actors, directors and screenwriters had to adapt to survive.

"It's difficult now, definitely. Blockbuster marquees take over, which is fine, but it's then very tough for independent film-makers.

"It's cheaper to make indies now, but the problem is getting the last bit of funding or actually just getting the project seen," Cunningham said.

Cunningham (52) has not lost his love for independent films, however.

He will next appear in two small-budget movies, in one of which he will play an American CIA agent.

"It's Russian and a lot of it will be in Russian, too. But I'm not learning the language, no way. I did that a couple of years ago for a French part and it killed me," he said.

Cunningham stars in HBO's 'Game of Thrones' and says that when it comes to ideal jobs, his preference is to take on work that sees him as part of an ensemble cast.

"It's the most difficult thing, but if you pull it off, it's a wonderful thing for an audience to watch," he said.

Cunningham was speaking at the John Ford Ireland film symposium in Dublin yesterday.

He was joined by fellow actors Stephen Rea, Martin McCann and Charlie Murphy for a discussion panel on their craft, as well as on the work of Ford, a legendary director.

Also in attendance were special guests Patrick and Marisa Wayne, children of silver-screen icon John Wayne.

Wayne collaborated with Ford on several films, including 'The Quiet Man' alongside Maureen O'Hara in Cong, Co Mayo, in the early 1950s.


Speaking about actors' experiences under the helm of Ford, Patrick Wayne said that his attitude could be ruthless at times.

"Every actor came to set wondering if they'd be in the barrel at some point and he eventually got to everybody.

"In terms of manipulation, though, he was also a psychologist because if someone was having difficulty with a scene, he'd then be tough on somebody else to take the pressure off the other person," Mr Wayne said.

Irish Independent

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