Tuesday 16 January 2018

'I ended up in comedy by accident' - Chris O'Dowd wants to shed goofy image

Chris and David
Chris and David

He has a reputation for playing funny characters on screen, but Chris O’Dowd has said that he ended up in comedy “by accident”.

After years starring in Channel 4 comedy The IT Crowd, the Roscommon actor got his big break playing Officer Rhodes in 2011 hit Bridesmaids and he admitted shaking off his comic image has been tough since, especially in America.

“Being considered for serious roles is hard when Bridesmaids was such a big movie,” he said.

“And particularly stateside, when it’s probably what 90pc of the people know you from. But you always just want to find the best work, not to tick a box.

Chris O'Dowd with Kristen Wiig in 'Bridesmaids'
Chris O'Dowd with Kristen Wiig in 'Bridesmaids'

“I ended up doing comedy by accident really. It’s not like it was a life plan or anything.”

In a change from playing the clown, Chris portrays journalist David Walsh’s quest to reveal the Lance Armstrong doping scandal in upcoming film The Program.

While the Calvary star has carved out a successful career for himself in the acting business, he said his childhood dreams weren’t pointing towards the film set, but rather the newsroom.

“I wanted to be a journalist quite a lot when I was in school, but I didn’t get the grades to go to the journalism college,” he said.

'Bridesmaids was brilliant but could he be a hard-edged journalist?' - David Walsh on reservations about Chris O'Dowd playing him in The Program  

Although the 36-year-old’s life might not have worked out quite how he imagined it, he sought inspiration from his eventful childhood for his hit Sky series Moone Boy.

The show shares many similarities with Chris’s own experiences growing up, including being filmed in his Roscommon home town Boyle, but he said sometimes his family aren’t always so pleased with their portrayals in the show.

“I mean, we kind of look at it all, not through rose-tinted glasses, but certainly I had a lovely childhood, so I wasn’t necessarily worried about dealing with issues from my past.

“There are moments when my family would be like, ‘that’s not how I remember it’,” he told the London Independent.

“But for the most part, the vast majority of it, relationship-wise it’s totally accurate to how I grew up. A lot of the stories kind of come and go.

The Program review - 'a compelling tale of fallen hero Lance Armstrong' 

“Some of them are based in reality and then you make them more funny in some way, or make them more interesting to watch,” Chris added.

Now based in London with his wife Dawn O’Porter (left) and baby son Art, Chris was back on Irish shores last week.

Instead of visiting one of Dublin’s VIP hotspots, the actor opted for a few drinks with a host of Irish politicians in the Dail bar after the Budget was announced.

'I don't feel any guilt, I really don't' - Irish journalist David Walsh on taking down Lance Armstrong 

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