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Fighting fit: 'McGregor inspired my Ned Kelly'

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‘Aggressive persona’: George MacKay stars in ‘The True History of The Kelly Gang’. PA photo

‘Aggressive persona’: George MacKay stars in ‘The True History of The Kelly Gang’. PA photo

PA

‘Aggressive persona’: George MacKay stars in ‘The True History of The Kelly Gang’. PA photo

George MacKay has revealed he was inspired by Conor McGregor for his portrayal of Ned Kelly in his new film.

The '1917' actor stars as the Australian outlaw in 'The True History of the Kelly Gang' and joked he had to seek out other sources of stimulation for the role after he failed to grow the full beard Kelly was famous for, finding it in the mixed martial artist from Dublin.

Discussing his first scene in the film, in which he is performing a deep back bend, MacKay said: "Ned is like an animal. He's everything, he's like a mixture of this wild colonial boy but also by the same token, if I'm going to be every element of Australia, there was a bit of a kangaroo dance in there as well.

"Conor McGregor was a big reference, for a modern Irish aggressive [persona]. There were so many things."

The role of the bushranger and gangleader, who was executed in 1880, has been played by a string of actors including Heath Ledger and Mick Jagger, but MacKay said he wanted to make the part his own.

'The True History of the Kelly Gang' is released in Irish cinemas today.

Irish Independent