Coronavirus even affects Hollywood stars. Right before our interview at the Light House cinema in Dublin, Jack Reynor takes a nervous phone call.
An upcoming trip is looking dicey. But he tries to look on the bright side. Everyone being cooped up at home with the television might have the knock-on effect of boosting viewing figures for his auspicious directorial debut, Bainne, which gets its TV premiere on Sky this coming St Patrick's night.
It stars the brilliant Will Poulter and, in stylish black and white, tells a story from the Famine, which seems, in the context, a timely reminder that we have survived much worse than this. As the makers of Black 47 discovered, depicting the horror of mass starvation in a way that audiences will be able to cope with is no easy task, and Reynor's short film focuses instead on the ghostly, deserted landscape that the fleeing millions left behind. He was heavily influenced, he says, by Japanese cinema, and sees commonalities in the "culture of shame and silence" that pervaded both Japan and Ireland for much of their histories.
The film is dedicated to his grandmother, who died in 2016, and was partly filmed in the graveyard where she is buried.
Jack was raised, in part, by his grandparents, who supported their daughter, Jack's mother, when she moved back from America to Ireland in the mid 1990s.
"My grandmother was hugely influential on me", he says. "She raised me. I grew up with her, with both my grandparents and my mam. My grandmother taught me the value of kindness to people."
There wasn't much money in the house, he recalls.
"The 1990s in Ireland wasn't an affluent time for a lot of people and it was the same for my family. I was never starving but it was definitely economically a different time for us, we didn't have a lot. It was kind of like austerity, it shaped my relationship with the society around me."
Despite the straitened circumstances, Jack managed to win a place at Belvedere College, the exclusive boys school on Dublin's northside: "I told them I wanted to be an actor and they let me in and subsidised my fees, which we couldn't have afforded if they hadn't done that."
Reynor's rise was inexorable and he has racked up a string of screen hits including What Richard Did and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
While he got on with Lenny Abrahamson and Michael Bay, the directors of those films, he says his experiences on other projects were not always positive. "I've had experiences of working with people and felt they're not in it for the right reasons or they're dangerous. I've honestly dealt with people in this industry who are actually dangerous. If you are with someone who goads you or manipulates you while you're doing that, it can be dangerous. I've seen it happening."
He adds: "Harvey Weinstein is not the only rapist in Hollywood. There are older directors and producers and they're very set in their ways."
Reynor recently started working with his fiancee Madeline Mulqueen and she was the set producer on Bainne. "We work very well together and that was the ultimate litmus test," he says, smiling. "We made it through that and so now we know we can work together."
They have been engaged for six years, but Reynor indicates that nobody need start saving for a hat just yet. "We are going to get married but I always said that when people stop asking us when we're going to get married, that's when we'll get married - so now you can look forward to another 10 years of waiting."
'Bainne', St Patrick's Day, 10.30pm, Sky Arts