“Oh, if I could talk to the animals – just imagine it!” Method acting is still much-debated, and every awards season, we end up hearing tales of the hardship endured by actors who fully immersed themselves to play tortured characters. But for Colin Farrell, who plays a 1920s Irish farmer in The Banshees of Inisherin, he prepared by saying hello to ducks, sheep, and donkeys that he saw on his afternoon and evening runs.
In an interview, Farrell said; “I ran the length and breadth of both the islands (Inishmore and Achill, both off the west coast of Ireland) that we shot on. Every single animal that I passed, I said hello to. There was a duck, a sheep, a cow, there were loads of donkeys – and every single one of them, on my own, whether it was at night or in the afternoon – ‘how are ya, lads? how are ya, fellas?'”
“I had this connection to the natural world, and connection to my own – not loneliness – but my own aloneness. It was very powerful.” There are some charming animals in the movie, not least of which is Jenny the miniature donkey.
In The Banshees of Inisherin, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Brendan Gleeson plays Colm and Farrell plays Padraic – and they have been best friends for years. One day, seemingly out of the blue, Colm tells Padraic that he doesn’t want to see him or speak to him anymore. Padraic is unable to let this lie, and things…escalate.
The film sees Gleeson and Farrell reunite after starring in McDonagh’s 2008 comedy movie In Bruges. Banshees of Inisherin also stars Kerry Condon, who plays Farrell’s sister, and Barry Keoghan as a young man who is regarded as the village (or island) idiot. Farrell is hotly tipped to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.
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