Saturday 21 April 2018

Michael Flatley as you've never seen him before as he makes Hollywood debut

Michael Flatley whose debut feature film, 'Blackbird', has wrapped production and will hit Irish cinemas next autumn
Michael Flatley whose debut feature film, 'Blackbird', has wrapped production and will hit Irish cinemas next autumn
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

HAVING conquered the worlds of dance, music and theatre, Michael Flatley (59) is now set to star in his first Hollywood film.

The Lord of the Dance celebrated the conclusion of production this week on his debut feature film, 'Blackbird.'

Shot on location in Ireland, London and Barbados, the dancer not only stars in 'Blackbird' but wrote and directed the thriller as well.

The film, which is due to hit Irish cinemas next autumn, also features Eric Roberts of 'The Dark Knight' fame as well as Irish star, Patrick Bergin, whose credits including 'Sleeping With The Enemy' and 'Patriot Games'.

It also features Ian Beattie who is best known for his work on 'Game of Thrones'.

The film was produced by West One Entertainment, Five Knights Films, Parachute Productions and Dancelord Pictures.

It revolves around the story of a retired intelligence operative, played by the dancer, who is living in the Caribbean to escape his past.

However, the arrival of an international arms dealer wrecks any hopes he had of hiding from his former life.

Mr Flatley said 'Blackbird' is a spy thriller of the classic genre.

The star boasts homes in London and Barbados which made filming at those locations much easier.

He is famed for having ploughed a major chunk of his fortune into restoring the once-derelict Castlehyde House mansion in north Cork to its original 18th Century glory.

More than €30m was spent on refurbishing the mansion which boasts a stunning setting on the banks of the River Blackwater outside Fermoy.

However, the pressures of his international entertainment empire prompted the star to move his permanent residence to London and to place Castlehyde House on the market two years ago. Born in Chicago, Mr Flatley helped make 'Riverdance' an international sensation before writing and choreographing his own smash hit production, 'Lord of the Dance'.

A new version of the show is currently on a world tour.

His autobiography became a best seller and he is also a champion musician, playing regularly with The Chieftains.

Mr Flatley held the world record for tap-dancing and became the first American to clinch the World Irish Dance championship.

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