In a rare interview Hollywood actor Dermor Mulroney speaks to Richard Purden about his Irish background,film career and his role in Irish band The Cranky George Trio with Pogues accordion player James fearnley.
Meeting up with Irish American actor Dermot Mulroney backstage at The Pogues first NEW York show in over 15 years was surreal to say the least.
The My Best Friend's Wedding star is buzzing after just completing filming on David Fincher's new movie Zodiac about a real-life serial killer who terrorised San Francisco during the 1960s and '70s.
Among the throng in the VIP lounge is model Kate Moss and New York rock 'n' roll Jessie Malin but it's actor Dermot Mulroney who makes the most impact with The Pogues crowd.Why? Because he's also a member of Irish band The Cranky George Trio with James Fearnley of The Pogues.
For Mulroney his Irish identity is as important as his American one.
He Says: "My Irish roots go way back.I Come from an American Irish family.I'm not like the guys in Times Square with green hats.My family came over during the famine from Donegal and Mayo.They all married Irish Catholics right down from around 1848 to the present day.Except for one German grandmother that we don't talk about"
He laughs: "Like most Irish families over here we've got a German grandmother."My parents were not into drugs and going crazy like a lot of other parents in the '60s; they were deeply into the Irish thing.My two older brothers are Sean and Conor.My Younger brother is Kieran and my sister is Moira."All the other kids were like Todd,Sheryl or Stephanie or something so our names set us apart right from the start."
He's starred in a string hit movies over the years and maintains a strong American/Irish identity that he attributes to his success.He says: "I had good family influences growing up with museums and going to symphonies and so forth which helped a lot.I credit my parents for filling me in about where beauty lies."I think that is another Irish trait;you can find beauty anywhere.I got into movies beacause my mother did some acting and i knew i liked this kind of stuff when i was a kid.
"I pursued other things in college but then went back into acting.For a while i thought about being a cameraman or something like that but getting where i am now was really a case of being in the right place at the right time."
As with most new communities there's always a split among settlers and how they choose to display their culture explains Mulroney.
"There's a little divide over here between Irish American and American-Irish.
American-Irish feel like they have ownership on the Motherland.I'm going to stick with the States and let them be the newcomers as i feel both American and Irish -- you can be both.
"My heritage is all Irish and American; there were about six mothers after the Irish mother so it's an interesting mix."
Mulroney first made his name in Hollywood as dirty Steve Stephens in $43million box office smash Young Guns in 1988 alongside Charlie Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland.And he still retains fond memories of the experience.
He says "I was about 23 when i made Young Guns and i really had the time of my life; it still stands out because it was about six guys who were all looking for a good time.We shot it back in 1987 and it came out the next year.It really was a mind-expanding experience for me; i guess like a Pogues show."
Since then he's appeared in Friends and a variety of film genres.He's attracted legions of female fans for a number of romantic comedies including My Best Friends Wedding (1997) with Julia Roberts and The Wedding Date (2005) with Kat Ellis in which he played a male excort.
"A lot of people really got into My Best Friend's Wedding and The Wedding Date from last year which is great but the one i really liked is The Family Stone which i was with Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton.
"That was a great movie and i enjoyed working with Diane as she's a really fantastic person and a great actress."
The actor has gone through some real-life romantic upheavals in his personal life after separating from his wife and respected actress Catherine Keener.The Hollywood couple were married for 15 years after meeting during the shoot of Survival Quest back in 1987.
They have a young son Clyde and remain on good terms despite the split.
He says: Catherine is half-Irish and half-Lebanese.Things are going really well for her.She was Oscar-nominated for her role in Capote which was great.She's done a lot of really fantastic films like Being John Malkovich and Living In Oblivion -- Which is another favourite of mine which we starred in together.We always had a good time together and we always will,that's the plan."
Mulroney knows that if the acting parts ever dry up he can turn to his other passion in music.A keen singer,guitarist,cello and mandolin player he's appeared on Melissa Etheridge's 1992 album Never Enough as well as being a member of The Low & Sweet Orchestra.In America he's gained a niche following as part of The Cranky George Trio alongside James Fearnley of The Pogues and his brother Kieran -- who is also a actor/writer/director and record producer.
He says " The fans at the Pogues shows seem to know who i am because of that.I feel very much at home at a show like this.I've been to about 12 of their gigs over the last 10years.
"I'm good mates with James because we play in Cranky George together.The people here are really on my side."
Mulroney admits people usually recognise him from somewhere but they're never sure where.
"I've done about 45 movies ina bout 22years so people look at me and think that i'm a friend of their cousins or something like that.I have to explain it's because they stay up too late at night and watch cable TV."
(C) Irish Post
Done,just copyed everyword from the Irish post.Its afew weeks old,which i was meaning to get around to posting.Think i might also have this in the wrong place.It might get moved,lol.
Anyways enjoy it,cause its hurt my fingers and eyes.
I read that in the Irish Post , Dave. Did you see the page where they were talking about "things you can't say when you're drunk" ?
Great newspaper - much better than reading about John Prescott's repulsive capers on his desk.......and it must have been a bloody big desk too!!