Monday 24 June 2019

'Why would you come back to Ireland?' - Fair City's Paul says he'd stay in New York if he had a second chance

Tony Tormey who plays Paul Brennan, Niamh Quirke who plays Rachel Brennan and Clelia Murphy who plays Niamh Brennan
Tony Tormey who plays Paul Brennan, Niamh Quirke who plays Rachel Brennan and Clelia Murphy who plays Niamh Brennan
The only two remaining members of the original cast of Fair City, Tom Jordan (Charlie Kelly) second rightand Tony Tormey (Paul Brennan) right with other cast members pictured on the set of the show this afternoon to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the popular soap Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

He may be a familiar face in Carrigstown, but if actor Tony Tormey had his time again he would have taken his chances in America.

The Dublin man has had his share of dramatics on RTE's serial show as Paul Brennan over the years, but told the Herald he wishes he had stayed in New York to pursue his acting career.

His on-screen daughter Rachel was formerly played by Niamh Quirke, who has been a student at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts since 2016.

If Tony was in the 22-year-old's shoes, he wouldn't come home to Ireland if he could help it as he reckons there are better opportunities for young actors like her over there.

"She is over in America, is looking for an agent, and is doing a really good course over there. I don't know if she is coming back but if I was her and I was that age, I wouldn't come back here. Why would you come back? There are better opportunities over there," he said.

"I think if I had my chance all over again, I'd stay over there."

Tony has taken a bite out of the Big Apple before - but had already tied the knot with wife Kate and had two children, Max and Issy, at the time, so he was drawn back home.

He said the bright lights of Broadway had once appealed to him more than treading the boards of Dublin theatres.

"I was in a couple of plays in Broadway years ago but I was married and had kids at that stage. But when you are over there working, working in New York, there is no better place to be," he explained.

"It is like a different world and it sure beats going into the Olympia or the Gaiety every night."

While he has a solid role in Fair City, he said that sometimes people forget he is available for other opportunities.

He said being involved in the juggernaut soap had its "ups and downs".

"Up is that if people see you in the street they're nice to you; down is that they associate you with that all the time and assume you are working all the time and you're not," he said.

"We are only contracted for 25 weeks of the year and we are actors looking for work."

Tony is good friends with co-star Victor Burke, who plays Wayne in Fair City.

He said that when Victor's Californian home was destroyed a month ago by wildfires in Malibu, Tony was left reassuring a very startled Victor.

"His wife has a business over there and he was phoning me saying, 'My house, my house', and I was going, 'Are you back in Dublin?' And he was like, 'No, the house is gone' - he was scared s**tless," he said.


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