Thursday 22 February 2018

Richard Harris was mad as a brush - director Jim Sheridan

Elaine McCahill

Director Jim Sheridan believed late hell-raiser actor Richard Harris was "as mad as a brush".

Harris, who died in 2002 aged 72, played Bull Mc- Cabe in the movie version of John B Keane's The Field, but Sheridan said the pair did not always get on.

"On the first day of filming he fell down and collapsed and the second day he came in and he was perfectly OK - Harris was as mad as a brush," he said.

"He was awful stubborn - once he decided he was doing something, that was it, you couldn't move him.

Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan
Richard Harris as the Bull McCabe in the film version of John B Keane's 'The Field'

"He was full of energy, and once we had a huge row where he told me I was having a row with my father and he was just the replacement.

"It was like beyond intense. You get to know people in a very intense experience when you're making a film - it's different, it's like being on a very, very shaky flight."

Richard Harris and Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Crowe says Harris
Richard Harris and Russell Crowe in Gladiator. Crowe says Harris "filled me with a certain type of confidence".

Harris (inset), who received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of McCabe, said his "career was dead" before Sheridan cast him.

"I actually created my own audition," the actor said in an interview. "I really had to convince Jim. He understood that I had the passion for it, the commitment.

"You see, my career was dead."

Sheridan is currently doing the post-production work on his upcoming film, The Secret Scripture.

It is based on the Sebastian Barry novel of the same name and tells the story of Roseanne McNulty, who recounts her life and her experiences in a psychiatric institution.

It has an all-star cast including Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Jack Reynor and Aidan Turner.

"I like the one I'm doing now, it's very much a woman's movie," said Sheridan.

"It will be interesting to see if I can make that work. I don't know when it will be released because Rooney Mara has a new movie called Carol and I don't know if we want to go out when that's out as well."


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