Saturday 24 August 2019

Rea pays tribute to late friend Brian Friel

Stephen Rea
Stephen Rea

Caroline Crawford

Actor Stephen Rea has paid tribute to his long-time friend Brian Friel, saying the playwright had left a legacy of work that would endure.

The actor, who co-founded the Field Day Theatre Company with Friel, described him as a "legend".

"I was there at Glenties at the funeral. He was a legend, but the work is there. He was 86, it was a sad occasion but a warm occasion as well. It's awful for the family to lose anyone, but his work is there," he said.

The actor also called on the Irish film industry to move away from its reliance on big foreign productions like 'Game of Thrones' and focus on more homegrown programmes.

Rea said Irish crews and actors were as good as any in the world, adding that the issue was making sure there was enough work for them.

"They've got these huge series, which do provide employment and they are all very good; 'Vikings' and 'Game of Thrones', they're great and provide constant employment for people - but they are not Irish work. They are brought in for tax reasons and I get that, but I'd like to see more Irish film."

Rea said the problem was a lack of funding.

"I'm afraid it comes down to money. The Film Board doesn't have enough money. When Neil Jordan did his first film that I was in, 'Angel', he did it for peanuts. It was the smallest amount but it was all they had. People should work for as little as possible and just get stuff done."

Irish Independent

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