HAVING an Irish accent has helped former Fair City actor Derek O'Sullivan land his breakthrough Hollywood role.
The 29-year-old has been cast in big-budget movie Whitey 19, a feature film about notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger and the 19 murders he committed.
A string of A-list stars are in talks to feature in the film, which will start shooting in October and will see Derek play Aidan, the mobster's nephew.
In addition to the movie, Derek has also been lined up to star in HBO TV drama Bad Boys of Boston, which will tell a similar story about the Irish-American underworld. It is expected to be shot in Boston and Dublin during the summer.
"I've been slogging it out and working hard for the last five years since deciding this is what I want to do," Derek, from Kildare, told the Herald. "So to reap the reward of that graft now and get these roles is just the best thing ever.
"It was one of the greatest days ever when I found out. I'm still getting used to it all, to be honest, but my accent is (helpful) to me.
"For both productions the casting agent said that they wanted someone who would be able to bring across the real Irish traits to add depth."
From the beginning of his acting career, Derek has portrayed a range of violent and aggressive characters.
He told the Herald that he had become accustomed to "being the bad guy", but was nothing like it away from the set.
"I'm actually a nice guy," he said. "But I do enjoy playing these roles – you have to search inside yourself and they're usually quite layered.
"I play Aidan in the movie and I'm going to be a young, psychopathic hit man in the Bad Boys of Boston.
"The original brief was to look for a huge, gorilla-like guy, but I'm not that – I'm just 12 stone. So I was thrilled when they came up with this part for me. It's going to be amazing to play and it's an unreal opportunity."
O'Sullivan also recently landed a part in forthcoming British-Irish co-production The Street, which will star Paul Ronan, the father of Oscar nominee Saoirse.