Gabriel Byrne is always in the news. In addition to new films and TV series (he’s making something new in New York City right now!) heading our way very soon–Lies We Tell, Mad To Be Normal, An L. A. Minute, In The Cloud–you can find him celebrating another Spirit of Ireland Gala at the Irish Arts Center in New York City, introducing an author’s new book at McNally Jackson Bookstore (also in NYC), and popping up in other places (Ireland, for instance), including a myriad array of news outlets.
Proof is below, but first, some sad news.
Saying goodbye to Roy Dotrice
Mr. Dotrice passed away at the age of 94 on October 16.
We remember him for the two roles pictured: as Josie’s father, Phil Hogan, the shrewd (and funny!) Irish farmer in Eugene O’Neill’s searing A Moon for the Misbegotten, for which he won the Tony Award, and as Seamus, father to Gabriel Byrne’s Ben Madigan, in Madigan Men.
And of course he had a career that spanned much more than these two Irish parts! I remember him for his portrayal of Mozart’s father in Amadeus, his Father in Beauty and the Beast, and his role in real life as father to actress Michelle Dotrice and father-in-law to one of my favorite actors, Edward Woodward, who died in 2009.
Among his last projects: narrating the audiobooks of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and appearing as Pyromancer Hallyne in an early episode of Game of Thrones. It is so cool that he was part of that phenomenon!
And so we say: RIP Roy Dotrice. He had a long and illustrious career and a long and love-filled life. We will miss him. heart
Miller’s Crossing makes the list
‘Gabriel Byrne got more attention for the Usual Suspects but for me this is so much more’: Steve Simpson, 50, Oxfordshire
Tom’s a classic noir antihero but funnier, more charming and a far bigger mess than Marlow ever was. The plot is entertainingly contrived, the minor characters both compelling and funny. Allegiances switch and no one can be trusted, apart from the two bosses, who are forces of nature but nothing if not predictable. Gabriel Byrne got more attention for the Usual Suspects but for me this is so much more.
Surviving, learning to be fierce, and speaking out
Harvey Weinstein has been making headlines lately, as you probably have noticed. More importantly, however, the people who have spoken out about him are making headlines, too. One example is Katherine Kendall, who appears in Gabriel’s new film, An L. A. Minute. It takes courage and resilience to talk about these issues, so we say kudos to Ms. Kendall and wish her all the best. To hear the stories of others, check out the hashtag #MeToo on Twitter.
Kendall spoke for an hour by phone from her Los Angeles home where her Chihuahua and a visiting friend’s parrot occasionally interrupted. Her voice quivered at times with emotion but she mostly spoke with resolution, gratitude for the other accusers and with a hard-earned sense of closure.
“I heard (attorney) Gloria Allred say the other day on CNN: ‘Sexual harassment harms people,’” said Kendall. “And it’s true. It does. Your body remembers the trauma. Your heart remembers the trauma. It changes you and makes you make decisions about life, like, I’m going to go in another direction. You don’t know the harm it can do.”
Kendall works as a photographer and sometimes teaches dance, but she has continued to sporadically act and appears in the upcoming celebrity satire “An L.A. Minute,” with Gabriel Byrne. Since first speaking out, she says she’s been inundated by women with their own stories of harassment and assault.
Katherine Kendall and Gabriel Byrne behind the scenes
on the set of An L. A. Minute
As alone as she felt in 1993, Kendall now feels a profound unity with the other women who have recounted their meetings with Weinstein.
“When I look back at myself, I see that girl feeling like the alien in the room,” said Kendall. “I’m a grown-up now. But let’s say 10 years ago, five years ago his name was brought up, my heart would beat. I would feel alone in the room.
“Now, I’m not going to feel that way.”
Gabriel has an opinion piece in the October 21 edition of The Irish Times that addresses the issue of Harvey Weinstein and men like him in Ireland, but it is behind a pay-wall. We may see it someday, but not today!
Ballyglunin Railway Station
You will remember this station, I’m sure, and the efforts of Gabriel, Liam Neeson, and many others to save it. They succeeded!
The crumbling railway station which featured in the opening scenes of classic movie “The Quiet Man” is on course to be opened up as a major tourist attraction by St. Patrick’s Day next year, following an unexpected $95,000 (€80,000) grant from the government.
Just over three months ago the iconic but abandoned station in Ballyglunin, County Galway, was saved from almost certain collapse when a community-led crowdfunding campaign raised $35,000 (€30,000) to secure the building.
Campaign chiefs, who were backed in their efforts by Hollywood heavyweights Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne, had faced a tense race against time as strict crowdfunding rules would have meant that all funds would have to have been returned to their donors had they not met their deadline.
We are gone now, but the train station lives on, and that’s a wonderful thing.
Traveling in Ireland in style
We knew Mr. Byrne and his family were in Ireland this summer. Here’s a little story about their visit to one hotel in particular.
Often, though, the guests will be familiar, as The Merrion has exceptionally high levels of repeat business. One such regular visitor is the actor Gabriel Byrne, who stayed earlier this year with his wife and baby daughter. “He is my special guest at the Merrion,” Kelly says. “We have had such a great relationship over the years. He never forgets my name and that’s just one lovely thing about that man. Once he comes through the doors of The Merrion, he always picks up my hand and says ‘Patrick, it’s nice to see you again’. It makes my day.
Just in case you want to make a reservation, here is the official website for the Merrion.
Elegant, yes, but fun too. Notice the sailboats in the water… wink
Who is YOUR favorite actor?
Currently guest-starring in the new Amazon series Lore, Irish-born actor Richie Stephens has appeared in tons of US television series, including Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, Roadies, and Major Crimes.
Richie Stephens is an Irish actor and writer who lives in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for playing cops and villains on movies and TV, his appearances in multiple “Florence + The Machine” music videos and his ability to do a broad range of accents. He has appeared in over 100 stage and screen productions.
M&C: Why do you think (or do you think) that of all the people from Ireland and Britain, that the Irish are so adept at prose and humor, oration and argument? Lawyers and writers! Which Irish artist or thinker is one you admire?
RS: Ireland has a great history of myth and folklore dating all the way back to the Celts. That, coupled with a culture of family, socializing and close-knitted communities led to some great storytelling and humor.
So I suppose it’s in my blood. My favorite Irish writers are Roddy Doyle and Martin McDonagh. My favorite actors are Gabriel Byrne and Fassbender.
Mine, too! smile
Halloween is looming, so beware the traditional Scary Byrne-ing Halloween posting, which should arrive soon. And lest I forget, here is your reward for reading to the end.