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IFTN Festive Q&A with IFTA-winning actor Jason O'Mara
21 Dec 2023 : Nathan Griffin
Actor Jason O'Mara
In the run up to Christmas, we have invited some of Ireland’s leading Film & TV talents to take part in IFTN’s festive Q&A.

Earlier this year, Jason O’Mara was nominated at the IFTA Film & Drama Awards for Best Actor in a Lead Role - Drama for his performance in Smother: Season 3, which debuted on RTÉ One in February/March. O’Mara joined the cast of the IFTA-winning series alongside Dervla Kirwan, Niamh Walsh, Gemma-Leah Devereux, and Eamma Hardwicke.

During 2023, O’Mara also voiced the character of Otto in Genndy Tartakovsky’s Unicorn: Warrior Eternal for Adult Swim and starred as Captain Rutledge in Dan Brown’s feature debut Your Lucky Day, lead by the late Angus Cloud who passed away earlier this year.

Jason O’Mara’s career spans film, television and theatre. Among his most well-known work is his IFTA-winning performance as Sgt. Jack Prendergast in The Siege of Jadotville in 2017 as well as key roles in both The Man In The High Castle and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. O’Mara has starred in the leading roles of several acclaimed productions at some of Britain and Ireland's great theaters, including The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Almeida, The Donmar, London's West End (Apollo and Comedy Theatres) and the Gate Theatre, Dublin.

IFTN: What was your highlight of 2023?

Jason: Ratifying the new SAG-AFTRA contract after a 118 day strike. We’ll need to keep a close eye on how AI develops over the next couple of years but at least we SAG-AFTRA actors can try and get back to work now.”

IFTN: What are you most looking forward to working on in the New Year?

Jason: “I’ll be going to Vancouver, Canada in January to work on the CBS TV drama ‘Fire Country’”.

IFTN: What was your favourite film of 2023?

Jason: “For the sake of being a little less obvious, there was a lovely French film I saw in 2023 called ‘One Fine Morning’. If you missed it, I highly recommend it. Such sensitive and subtle direction by Mia Hansen-Løve and Léa Seydoux is terrific in it.”

IFTN:  What Irish talent have you been impressed with over the past 12 months?

Jason: Hard to pick just one isn’t it? Ireland is having a moment where it seems we’re everywhere and in everything. It’s been a joy watching Éanna Hardwicke (with whom I worked in ‘Smother’), be brilliant in everything he’s done since.”

IFTN: What International talent would you most like to work with?

Jason: “I’d love to be directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Who wouldn’t?”

IFTN: What two film/television personalities would you most like to have dinner with and why? (invite over for Christmas dinner) (Dead/Alive)

Jason: David Bowie. Okay so his acting came a distant second to his music but he was a fascinating creative genius who always seemed to know more than he was letting on. I still find him genuinely inspirational in so many ways. Whenever I hit a creative block I always go back to Bowie to unlock it. The world hasn’t been the same since he left it.”

“I met Lauren Bacall once. She was so sassy and witty. Very entertaining. I’d be hoping for scandalous stories of Classic Hollywood and her adventures with Bogie. She’s the perfect dinner guest.”

IFTN: What’s your favourite movie to watch on Christmas day?

Jason: “I never get tired of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I’m a big fan of second chances.”

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