Saturday 7 December 2019

WATCH: 'We look like we're looking for attention walking around Cork but we're actually friends' - The Young Offenders stars Chris Walley and Alex Murphy

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Chris Walley and Alex Murphy have reprised their roles from the big screen outing of The Young Offenders for the BBC's new six part series. They sat down with to talk filming, fame, and Cork.

With the BBC on board, the production was on a larger scale, but fans have been relieved to find the TV series carries the essence of what made the movie special.

At the centre of it is the friendship between the teenage Young Offenders of the title, Jock (Chris) and Conor (Alex) as they navigate their way through lives of petty crime, difficult family situations and head teacher (PJ Gallagher) who despises their very existence.

Writer/director Peter Foott has crafted a series that is genuinely hilarious but punctuated by some moving, dramatic moments.

Chris and Alex admit that sometimes it was difficult to keep a straight face during filming.

"Corpsing is always a problem," says Chris.  "You get it into your head that something is funny even if it's not that funny you can't stop laughing.  You're like a child at school and the teacher's shouting at you to stop laughing and you can't stop laughing."

"We are professional though," quips Alex.

It's clear they have a genuine friendship, so much so that they tend to finish each other's sentences and while they're a world away from their characters they do admit they managed to wangle a stay in a hotel together to work on their "rapport" prior to filming.

"We said that we should live together, which was unnecessary, but they put us up in a hotel for a couple of weeks," says Chris.

"We really chanced our arm and we were just, like, 'I think for us to get back into the rapport we should live together' and they were like, 'Oh yeah, good idea'," adds Alex.

Chris continues, "It was a really nice hotel so the was how we established rapport again.  We didn't need to do that because we always see each other!"

"It's kind of sad the fact we are actually friends," says Alex.  "We'd be hanging around Cork city and people probably just think we're two losers hanging around.  We are actually friends, we're not them."

Chris says, "In the summer we're walking around with our hair cut like Conor and Jock and walking through Cork and it looks like we're looking for attention but we're genuinely just friends.  But everyone's like, 'Look it's Conor and Jock!'"

Chris is now based in London as he studies drama at RADA and has already encountered a fan on the Tube.

"I talked to him for the whole journey because I just thought it was gas someone in England recognised me," he laughs.

Check out the full interview with Chris and Alex above.

The Young Offenders continues on Thursdays at 9.30pm on RTE2.  It will also air on BBC One tonight (Friday) at 11.25pm.

WATCH: 'I'm all for the comparisons between Derry Girls and The Young Offenders' - PJ Gallagher

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