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I won't be moving to LA for film roles -- I love living here too much, says Pat

COMEDIAN Pat Shortt says he would take his native Thurles over Tinseltown any day.

The 45-year-old actor, who has starred in acclaimed films including Garage and The Guard, told the Herald that he had turned down several movie deals Stateside for Irish gigs.

"I wouldn't go over to LA," the D'Unbelievables star said. "I don't like it there. I have no interest whatsoever in LA.

"I was asked to go over by agents to do castings and meet with directors, they showed me some scripts but I said no. I've turned down a lot of stuff I wasn't particularly wild about."

For Pat it seems nothing beats being in the Old Country. "I like Ireland," he said. "I like living here.

"I think it's a great country. And I have three kids; I'm away from home enough as it is without going to the States."

Pat, whose roles include Sergeant Mattie, local politician Morris Hickey, Mattie O'Dwyer and singer/songwriter Dixie Walsh, says he's definitely not a high-brow comedian.

"I'm daft," he said. "I'm more into the silliness and daftness end of things than serious satirical stand-up.

"That isn't me. I'm too much of a clown. I don't tell jokes, I perform them."

But with so many stand out stand-up comedians, Pat admits feeling a tad jealous of the competition.

"You do get a bit jealous when you watch other people," he told the Herald.

"When you're watching someone really talented who is really funny, you can't help but think 'Feck! I wish I had thought of that'," he laughs.

"But I'm sure people look at me when I'm on TV or in a film and think 'Jaysus the lucky b******, I wish I got that part'."

And Pat has got some great roles. From The Guard, to Father Ted, Man About Dog to Moone Boy, Pat has landed some of the hottest film and TV gigs in Ireland.

"I've been very lucky with the roles I've got. I've got to work with amazing directors and actors."

In 2007, Shortt showed that he wasn't confined to comedic roles when he starred in Lenny Abrahamson's film Garage.

"People always ask me if I would do another 'serious' film like Garage and I always say I would if it came along. Films like that are rare.

"Garage was like a perfect storm -- everything just came together and worked."

More recently, Shortt has joined fellow thespians Aidan Gillen and Brendan Gleeson on set of John Martin McDonagh's upcoming feature Calvary, which is currently being shot on location in Rush, North Co Dublin.

Gleeson stars as a priest tormented by the inhabitants of his town. "It's a dark comedy and it's brilliant," Pat says.

The Tipperary native is touring the country with his one man show I Am The Band.

The show sees the return of Dixie Walsh, the man behind the songs The Jumbo Breakfast Roll and Where Did My Money Go.

"I started writing it last year and I'm having a blast," Pat said. "The thing that's great about live shows instead of TV is the buzz you get off the audience.

"There is just this wall of sound and you can play with the audience. You can work off them. It's a real adrenalin rush."

It's a busy year for Pat, his show tours until the end of April 2013 and he begins his first ever solo tour of the UK next September.

"I'm flat out. I have a big tour of the UK lined up in September of next year; it will be my first solo tour of the UK. I'm going from London to Edinburgh and covering every city in between."

The comedian says he believes that Brendan O'Carroll, the man responsible for Mrs Brown's Boys, has opened the doors for Irish comedians in the UK.

"I'm not a big fan of the show but I really admire Brendan for what he's done."

hnews@herald.ie


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