'It's a story of loss, resilience, how the system has failed them' - Sarah Greene on playing homeless mother in Dublin-based drama Rosie
Irish actress Sarah Greene has spoken of her emotions at representing a homeless family in her new film Rosie.
The film follows a woman, her partner and four children as they come to grips with finding a place to live in Dublin after spending seven years renting a property when they are told the owner wants to sell. The story arc focuses on her the aftermath of that decision as they seek shelter, either temporary or permanent and they become increasingly desperate for stability.
The trailer is harrowing, following the young mother and her children filling their belongings in bin bags and carrying them from various hotel rooms to their car, where they wind up sleeping some nights; and it's this emotive concept that motivated scriptwriter Roddy Doyle to pen the screenplay, his first in nearly 20 years.
The film was received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and is receiving positive early reviews. "It's a story of loss, resilience, how the system and the government has failed them," Greene says of her take on the titular role," she told the Sunday World.
"This struggle is happening to lots of families in Ireland and globally. We meet them two weeks after losing their home."
Doyle said he was "angry" while he was working on the script as he considered the family's struggles, many of which have real life parallelsin Dublin as the homelessness crisis worsens. In fact, it was listening to a news report about the crisis back in 2016 that he felt compelled to tell this story.
“I wish, in many ways, that I hadn't felt the need to write Rosie – but I can’t wait for Irish audiences to see it in October," he said.
“One morning, in late 2016, I was listening to the radio news and heard a young woman describing how she’d spent the previous day in her car, with her children, trying to find a place to stay that night. I thought to myself as I listened: ‘That’s the story.’ I immediately went upstairs to my office and started writing the script."
It rounds off an exceptionally busy year for Greene, a Cork native who now splits her time between Dublin and London, where she lives with family and said part of her commitment comes from acceptance that there will be dry spells in your career as an actor.
"If you want to do this job you have to give yourself over to the fact that you're going to be unemployed," she said. "Two years ago, I had five months off. You just have to go, 'OK, what's for me won't pass me by'. You have to be prepared to be unemployed."
She also appears in famine action drama Black 47 opposite James Frecheville and Barry keogh