Watch: Martin McDonagh talks about it with Yahoo The Banshees of Inisherin
Oscar-winning writer / director Martin McDonagh (Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) revealed a surprise link between his latest film The Banshees of Inisherin and iconic Irish comic series Father Ted.
Already in the spotlight for reuniting actors Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson 14 years after their darkly entertaining In Bruges double act, The Banshee Of Inisherin (in cinemas from Friday 21 October) is set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland.
There is an immediate echo of legendary comedy, Father Tedbut speaking to McDonagh he admitted there was another, more literal connection.
Read more: Colin Farrell says 14 minutes of standing ovation was “heartbreaking”
Several scenes from the film are set in the local pub and two of the regulars are familiar faces. “The guys who are in the pub – Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny – were both in season one of Father Ted”, McDonagh tells us.
He added that he is a huge fan of the show, even though he was never tempted to imitate his style of humor in the film, sticking to his darker style. He wrote and directed the dark tragicomedy.
Shortt appeared in four episodes of the first series, while Kenny also appeared in the first season, returning in the second for a role in one of the most popular episodes of the show, ‘Song for Europe ‘.
From 1995 to 1998, Father Ted followed the surreal misadventures of three priests – Ted (Dermot Morgan), Dougal (Ardal O’Hanlon) and Jack (Frank Kelly) – and their housekeeper whore Mrs Doyle (Pauline McLynn), who all lived on Craggy Island.
At the center of the The Banshee Of Inisherin they are lifelong friends and drinking buddies, Colm (Gleeson) and Padraic (Farrell). Out of the blue Colm decides that their friendship is over, something Padraic can neither understand nor accept. But his persistent efforts to repair the damage prompt his former friend to make a threat, a threat that no one believes will be able to carry out.
Read more: Dermot Morgan’s son opens on the anniversary of his father’s death
Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon star alongside Farrell and Gleeson, along with a cast of animals, including a pony, dogs and goats. “See the film through the innocent eyes of the animals,” explained McDonagh.
“They are watching this war taking place and innocence observes that it is the reason they are there. It’s not just because they’re cute. “
But it was Jenny the donkey who achieved some notoriety after it was widely reported that she had kicked Farrell during filming.
McDonagh explained exactly what happened. “It wasn’t Colin’s fault entirely,” says the director. “She just walked past her at the wrong time and Jenny didn’t like it.”
The film won the Best Screenplay award at this year’s Venice Film Festival, while the Best Actor trophy went to Farrell.
In 2018, McDonagh received both the Oscar and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Additionally, she won the BAFTA in 2009 for hers In Bruges film script. He is also an accomplished playwright, receiving three Olivier Awards.
The Banshee Of Inisherin opens in UK theaters on Friday 21st October. Watch a trailer below.