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'It all feels so f***ing fake. I tell jokes on television, f***ing relax' - Fame is wearing thin for Chris O'Dowd


Chris O'Dowd in 'Moone Boy'

Chris O'Dowd in 'Moone Boy'

Chris O'Dowd

Chris O'Dowd

Dawn O'Porter and Chris O'Dowd

Dawn O'Porter and Chris O'Dowd


Chris O'Dowd in 'Moone Boy'

Fame is starting to wear thin for Chris O'Dowd. The gripe curdles his tone.

Since his Bridesmaids breakout four years ago, he's always possessed a healthy perspective on superstardom, voicing his disdain for the golden prisoned celebrity of Robert Pattinson and Justin Bieber, while gleefully gurning for red carpet selfies.

There appeared to be a balanced appreciation and understanding of the powerful commodity. Along the way however, something seems to have changed.

"You know what, I've no interest in it," he says. "In fame. Absolutely none. Now okay, when you start doing well, there's a novelty to it that's kind of exciting. It's like nothing you've ever experienced. It's great.

"But now, it's not something that attracts me in anyway."

And it appears there's also one type of passionate fan the star could do without.

"The shriekers," he says. "I have no time for shriekers. It all feels so fucking fake. 'Yea, I tell jokes on television, fucking relax.' There's so many shriekers. Like, generally, 13-year-old girls tend to shriek.

"And I want to be nice about it, I do, because they are excited but you think, 'just fucking calm down'.

"Everybody has gone fame mad. If somebody said to me I didn't have to be famous, I'd be delighted. But I love my job so much that it's one of the consequences of it."

As we chat more, his new-found approach starts to make more sense. Chris and his wife, the TV presenter and author Dawn O'Porter, are expecting their first child in the spring.

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Insider asks how he'll react if the paparazzi come too close to his new family.

"Well you can understand when actors hit the paparazzi and people are like: 'What the hell is wrong with that guy?' But I totally understand. I have a lot of sympathy for them in that situation."

Fans of Roscommon's towering treasure can breathe easy. All soft vowels and skittish delivery, the effortlessly warm star has a long way to go before he graduates to the thankless bleatings of his Hollywood contemporaries.

Though speaking to me while poolside from his LA home, he's definitely become more accustomed to the Tinseltown way of life.

"I really don't want to gloat but I'm in t-shirt and shorts right now... although my skin's still a nice grey hue because I can't be bothered sitting in the sun. But you know, I like that I'm wearing slippers right now, out by the pool. I like that." After four years in London, the couple moved to the City of Angels permanently last year and plan to give birth in Hollywood.

Announced at the end of August via a typically cute Ice Bucket challenge (Dawn poured a small tumbler over her bump while her husband tittered in the background), preparations for the new arrival are still in the development stages.

"We're pretty good right now. Everything is coming in stages and we had a little building work done. We're kind of nesting and getting ready and trying to enjoy the free time while we have it."

With their last festive season sans child approaching, will they make the most of it? Has Dawn given Chris free rein for a few last nights on the town?

"I'm on dry solidarity with her," he gallantly responds. "Plus, she's the one I spend the most time with and the one I have the most fun with so it's no great hardship."

O'Dowd's killing me here. I find myself having to stifle a loaded 'awww'. But the couple have always come across so lovably fine-tuned and in sync. It's smugness in its most palatable form.

How will this translate as parents? For example, who will be the authoritarian? Difficult to imagine either having the capacity to scold.

"Dawn thinks I'm going to be strict when they're teenagers but I'll be a total pussy when they're kids. And then she'll be the other way around. So maybe, that could happen. It's hard to know anything until it happens so right now, we're enjoying all the time before.

"And because we can't travel now, we're looking forward to the idea of doing nothing."

It's a welcome change in pace.

Since Judd Apatow cast him as the dippy, oddly dreamy Officer Rhodes in Bridesmaids, Chris' career has accelerated to warp speeds.

A string of blockbuster roles in Thor, This Is 40 and Epic has meshed with a glut of independent features, The Sapphires, Cuban Fury and a reteam with Richard Ayoade, his former The IT Crowd co-star in The Double.

His semi-autobiographical series, Moone Boy is a stellar success for Sky. A news series will hit screens in February while he's currently adapting the comedy for US network ABC.

And the actor has just come off an exhaustive seven month run on Broadway alongside James Franco in a sell-out performance of Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men.

Though he's eager for another opportunity to tread the boards, simply because of the practicalities allowed with a young child.

"Thankfully, because it went well, some interesting offers have come through, but its a pretty time-consuming job. Like this was seven months [between rehearsals and the show] so I wouldn't go into another straight away. Probably every two, three years.

"It's a great job to do though when you have a baby. You only work three hours of the day. The rest of the time I can sit around the house looking useless."

He cites his clashing shoot schedule for latest film St Vincent and the new series of Moone Boy as a prime example of what won't work with his new family.

"I was in Boyle during the week for Moone and would then have to fly to the States every weekend for St Vincent. It worked fine and you know, you sleep on the plane but ultimately, you can't keep going at that pace.

"But it was one of those projects you couldn't say no to because of who you were working with. Bill Murray, it doesn't get better than that. The man is a God for me, so pretty up there with the all-time stuff I've done in my life. I must have watched Groundhog Day 15 times growing up."

In St Vincent, the Ghostbusters legend is a boozing, cantankerous recluse who inadvertently finds himself babysitting 12-year-old Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) when his neighbour, Melissa McCarthy, can't find an alternative.

After eyeing each other suspiciously, the pair eventually bond through a series of unorthodox vices, including gambling and strip clubs.

O'Dowd plays Oliver's parochial bumbling teacher, Brother Geragthy, who's primed with the best line of the film: "Catholicism is the best of all the religions because it has the most rules."

"I had some lovely teachers growing up and some very sweet priests too," he says. "My relationship with priests was really good. And I know it's very easy to do a hatchet job on all priests at the moment so when I have the opportunity to be the other voice, I generally take it.

"Though I feel after Moone Boy, Calvary and now this, my quota for religious characters has spilled over.

"I can take a break now. For a non-religious man, I think I'm done for a while."

While starring in the same film together ticked an ultimate bucket-list entry, Chris mournfully admits he shared few scenes with Murray.

"And he must have known I was disappointed by this," he says. "So on my last day, he took me out for a big boozy Italian lunch and really talked to me about the world simply because we didn't spend that much time together.

"I thought it was this very sweet, incredibly generous thing to do and I got to learn just how very enigmatic and very spiritual he is. Maybe spiritual is the wrong word. Very smart. I really like the way he looks at the world."

With equal billing alongside Murray indicating the current strength of his Hollywood powers, Chris finds himself in a smugly enviable position. He seduced Broadway with a stellar debut and now sits behind the driving force of two hit series on both sides of the Atlantic. But is he satisfied with his standing? Does he feel secure in his successes or will a layer of satisfaction always remain?

"It's a good question," says the actor before a gentle pause. His chirpy tone slips into a minor key. "It's hard to think about it in an objective way. At times, you're very happy with how things are going. But most of the time, you're pushing yourself to do more stuff, so you're usually unhappy.

"Unhappy this other thing didn't work out or this project didn't work out the way you wanted it do. Or you can't find a really good funny script to do."

Speaking to Insider by the lapping warm ripples of his Californian pool while the sun toasts his pale Roscommon pallor, O'Dowd sits amongst the blossoming fruits of his success. It's interesting he used the word 'unhappy'.

Is he simply a natural worrier? "I don't know if I'm a worrier. If I use that word [unhappy] it's more because I'm pretty ambitious and I always want to create. I'm conscious of always trying to test myself and finding the boundaries of my limitations. Although I'm sure a lot of people will say I found that many years ago," he snorts.

"So you know what, I find more often than not, I'm probably not enjoying how well things are going because I'm so conscious that it can end very quickly.

"But honestly though, that's probably not a bad thing. And that makes me appreciate everything I have all the more."

St Vincent is in cinemas today

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