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Honesty wins Ronan Keating big-screen role

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 Ronan Keating: second role

Ronan Keating: second role

Ronan Keating: second role

FORMER Boyzone frontman Ronan Keating is to star in a big-screen adaptation of Marie Jones's multi-awardwinning play 'Stones in His Pockets'.

The Dublin-born singer, who featured in his first acting role this year, will star opposite Northern Irishman Conleth Hill in the movie version of Jones's world-famous production, with filming to start next year.

Keating (36) will play the part of Jake Quinn, while 'Game of Thrones' star Hill will reprise his original role of Charlie Conlon, which won him an Olivier Award for Best Actor in 2001.

'Stones In His Pockets' is set in a rural town in Co Kerry which is overrun by a Hollywood film crew. The story centres on Jake Quinn and Charlie Conlon, who are employed as extras in the movie.

The key point in the play is when a local teenager commits suicide after he is humiliated by one of the female stars of the film. He drowns himself with stones in his pockets, devastating the whole town.

Jones's casting agent Ros Hubbard, who worked on 'The Commitments', 'Into The West' and 'Bloody Sunday', invited Keating for a screen test after she saw him being interviewed on the 'Piers Morgan Show'. During the interview, Keating broke down talking about his marriage split.

Jones told RTE: "I started to listen to him. The camera really loved him. He had so much controlled emotion and was dead honest. I thought 'he'd be brilliant in 'Stones', why isn't he an actor?'. Then at the end of the interview he said he wanted to do more films, that he'd done one already."

Belfast playwright Jones is adapting 'Stones' herself for the big screen and her husband Ian McElhinney will direct. Keating starred earlier this year in an Australian movie called 'Goddess' opposite English actress Laura Michelle Kelly.

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