Monday 20 January 2020

The Four Minute Interview with actor Eamon Morrissey

Eamon Morrissey. Photo: Tony Gavin
Eamon Morrissey. Photo: Tony Gavin

The actor on the best decade, his secret skills, greatest regrets and living heroes.

What's been the best decade of your life so far and why?

The 60s in New York. I performed there in Brian Friel's Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Lovers. I married my wife Ann there.

What was the worst moment of your life?

My mother Maeve dying in 1984. I carried on quite well at the time but it has had long-term affects, I was an only child.

What secret skill or talent do you have?

I'm good at cutting logs with a chainsaw. We've a place in Wicklow I think of as my spiritual home.

If there was one song you associated with your youth, what would it be?

St. James Infirmary Blues.

What was the last lie you told?

I endlessly lie about knowing people's names. I nod along and smile.

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

After years visiting the Louvre, I finally got to see the Mona Lisa six years ago. Beauty and nature in perfect harmony.

Which local star in any field should the world outside of Britain and Ireland know about?

The short story writer Maeve Brennan, who grew up in Ranelagh and in the same house as I did. My play, Maeve's House, is about her.

What is your greatest regret?

Not getting a private pilot's licence. I took up lessons to get over my fear of flying.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

The first sip of a gin and tonic at the end of a day.

Who is/was the love of your life?

Ann, we've been married for 46 years. She was working in a travel agent's on Grafton Street and I went in and our eyes met.

What is your present state of mind?

Sane, I hope. Let me think; yes, definitely sane. Not in a bad state anyway.

What are the consolations of getting older?

The free travel pass. I love getting on a bus and going one stop and getting off again. It's my idea of living on the edge.

What living heroes or heroines do you have?

Brian Friel, for all he has done for Irish theatre.

What is your best chat-up line?

I asked Ann would she consider becoming my second wife. I quickly explained the theatre was my first wife.

What is the best lesson life has taught you?

Nothing ever really ends. It's always a door opening onto something new and different.

The Abbey Theatre is on a mini-tour of 'Maeve's House', Eamon Morrissey's play about the life of Maeve Brennan, which runs at the Peacock from Tuesday' August 26.

Sunday Independent

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