Monday 21 May 2018

'I couldn't have done it better myself' - Irish actor praises Jamie Dornan's portrayal of real life grandfather

Cian Murray

Conor Quinlan, who starred alongside Jamie Dornan in the newly released 'The Siege of Jadotville', has praised the Northern Irish actor's portrayal of his war hero grandfather, Pat Quinlan.

The movie is based on the true story of Commander Pat Quinlan leading 150 Irish troops to safety after being attacked by around 3,000 mercenaries in the Congo in 1961.

Conor was a youngster when Pat died, but said that Dornan reignited memories of his late grandfather.

He said: "It was pretty amazing. [My grandfather] died when I was six, but I still have vague memories and Jamie definitely captured the quiet authority he had. The essence of a strong, silent and wise man was definitely there.

Pat Quinlan
Pat Quinlan

"It was surreal for the first week or two seeing him portray him. My family were over the moon watching his performance. It was actually an incredible experience, from day one on set to the movie getting its premiere alongside the veterans it is celebrating."

Conor, who plays Athlone man PJ Joyce in the movie, recognises the challenges and rewards of portraying real people on film.

"I got to meet PJ's family, which was brilliant. They didn't want to shoot me, which means I must have done a good job. It was an amazing experience to get to meet these people who were part of something that epic," he told

When asked whether he would have liked to play his grandfather, Conor said: "Those are big boots to fill, and I wouldn't even try. Jamie was so fantastic. I couldn't have done it better myself.'

The Siege of Jadotville is in cinemas now and will be released worldwide on Netflix on October 7.

Conor Quinlan
Conor Quinlan

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