Monday 27 January 2020

Steve Coogan: I drew on Irish roots for role in 'Philomena'

Actor Tadhg Bowen (4) who plays young Anthony with Cathy Belton and Steve Coogan tonight at The Irish Gala Screening PHILOMENA A FILM BY STEPHEN FREARS at The IFI in Eustace Street Dublin Pix Brian McEvoy
Actor Tadhg Bowen (4) who plays young Anthony with Cathy Belton and Steve Coogan tonight at The Irish Gala Screening PHILOMENA A FILM BY STEPHEN FREARS at The IFI in Eustace Street Dublin Pix Brian McEvoy
actor steve coogan at The Irish Gala Screening PHILOMENA A FILM BY STEPHEN FREARS at The IFI in Eustace Street Dublin Pix Brian McEvoy
Actor Tadhg Bowen (4) who play young Anthony with Cathy Belton ,Steve Coogan and Sean Mahon tonight at The Irish Gala Screening PHILOMENA A FILM BY STEPHEN FREARS at The IFI in Eustace Street Dublin Pix Brian McEvoy
Cathy Belton,Steve Coogan ,Sean Mahon and Ruth McCabe tonight at The Irish Gala Screening PHILOMENA A FILM BY STEPHEN FREARS at The IFI in Eustace Street Dublin Pix Brian McEvoy

Louise Hogan

COMIC Steve Coogan revealed he drew on his Irish Catholic roots for a new movie following an Irishwoman’s hunt for her out-of-wedlock son sold to America against her will from a convent.

Coogan was beaming despite being upstaged at the red carpet screening of the acclaimed film ‘Philomena’ at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin as young Tadhg (4) and Saorise (2) Bowen turned on the charm for the cameras.

Their mother, Sharon Bowen, said they’d had such a “good experience” on the Irish set of the movie that they would hopefully go on to play more roles.

Coogan, known for his legendary media ‘personality’ Alan Partridge, said he was raised a Catholic to an Irish mother and his background did play a part in his portrayal of the story.

“There are people in my life who are Catholic and I love them and respect them. I don’t share all their views but I wanted to dignify them within a discussion about other things,” said the British comic.

“The script in a way although it wasn’t my story I used it as a way to have a discussion about issues of faith.”

The tale follows Philomena Lee, played by Oscar-winning Dame Judi Dench, an Irishwoman in her 70s, who became pregnant as a teenager in 1952. She was sent to a convent in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, and when her son, Anthony, played by Tadhg, was three he was taken and sold to an American family for adoption.

It follows her hunt to be reunited with her son, which leads her to meet ex-BBC foreign correspondent Martin Sixsmith, played by Coogan.

Anna Lee said her aunt, Philomena, had came across as a “forgiving and kind person”, adding those were “different times”.

There were plenty of Irish actors cast in the film including up-and-coming star DJ McGrath (19), from Clondalkin, Dublin, revealed a few words of encouragement from his acting teacher Maureen Ward, from Talented Kids, had resulted in him auditioning.

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