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Sinéad O’Connor was “perfect” for The Butcher Boy for this reason

Sinéad O'Connor played none other than the Virgin Mary in the drama movie The Butcher Boy, and director Neil Jordan knew she was ideal for one reason.

Sinéad O'Connor looking at the camera in the 'Nothing Compares 2 U' music video

Iconic musician, activist, and artist Sinéad O’Connor has passed away. Predominantly known for hits such as ‘Herself’ and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, she garnered the spotlight for her music and pointed criticism of the Catholic Church. Besides her singing career, you mightn’t know Sinéad O’Connor actually briefly acted too, in one of the best ’90s movies.

She appears in The Butcher Boy, Neil Jordan’s drama movie based on Patrick McCabe’s novel. In the story, a young boy gradually becomes violent as a result of trauma from his family and growing up in 1960s Ireland. At one point, he starts seeing the Virgin Mary, a delightfully foul-mouthed O’Connor who was the just ideal for the role.

Jordan reflected on her casting in the dark comedy movie once, and considered it a match made in hell. “She’s perfect,” he told Film Scouts. “She has the right kind of face for that kind of statue of the Virgin Mary. She’s just enough other-worldly.”

He adds that other megastars would’ve actually worried him if he was steered in their direction. “Now, casting Madonna would have bothered me. That would have scared me!” he says.

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We can only be glad, because it gave us a wonderful addition to O’Connor’s legacy. The scenes are very funny, tapping into the jet black humor McCabe was going for. O’Connor’s sincerity and prolific protests, most famously tearing up a picture of the pope on comedy series SNL, made her a controversial figure to some.

Thankfully, Jordan didn’t buy into any of that, and elevated O’Connor as the Irish star she was. She continued to make art and music and speak out right up to her passing, and she will be missed.

If you’d like to watch The Butcher Boy, you can buy it on Amazon in the UK and Apple TV in the US. Check out our best movies list for more of the greatest, and our new movies guide has all the hits of tomorrow.