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Q&A: 'Mickybo & Me' Star Susan Lynch
22 Mar 2005 :

Susan Lynch in
Mickybo & Me

IFTN chatted to the Irish Film and Television Award winning actress Susan Lynch about her role in the new Irish movie ‘Mickybo & Me’, released across Ireland this weekend. 'Mickybo & Me' is the debut from director Terry Loane and also stars Ciaran Hinds, Gina McKee, Adrian Dunbar and Julie Walters.

Since graduating from The Central School of Speech and Drama at the age of 20, Susan Lynch has carved out a commendable acting career, working from theatre to the big and small screen. Her credits include the TV series ‘Cracker’ and ‘Any Time Now’ and she has starred in the feature films ‘Enduring Love’, ‘Waking Ned’, ‘From Hell’ and ‘Sixteen Years Of Alcohol’ (for which she picked up the Best Supporting Actress IFTA in 2004).

Mickybo & Me is a coming of age story that centres around the lives of two young Belfast boys, Johnjo and Mickybo. Set in 1970’s Belfast, with the emerging troubles as a backdrop, the film follows the boy’s adventures after they see the iconic western ‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid’.

Can you tell us about your latest feature ‘Mickybo & Me’?

‘Mickybo & Me’ is about two kids who find heroism in themselves. Because it’s not in any of the adults around them and it’s not in their society, they go to the cinema and find it somewhere else. For me, that’s what is really lovely about this film, that these boys make heroes out of each other.

Describe your character in this film?

I’m the baddie, I’m the very wayward usherette at the cinema who won’t let the boys in because she thinks they are too young, and she doesn’t like children anyway. She’s having an affair with the manager of the cinema and she works her way up to having an affair with Johnjo’s father. (played by Ciaran Hinds)

Her name is Torch Woman, we never know what her real name is because that’s her name as baptised by the children, and I loved playing it because it was such great fun. Me and Terry (Loane) decided that we should play it like she thinks she is a movie star, like a femme fatale from old movies, so that’s how we characterised her.

She is ultimately the baddie, Johnjo’s arch enemy. But I think what is really great about the film is that none of the adults are particularly heroic, Torch Woman is very extreme but I think sex is her escapism. You know what they say ‘when there’s a war on’, TorchWoman is relieving everybody of their tension. (laughs)

With Ciaran Hinds in
Mickybo & Me

Are you excited when you read a good Irish script?

Obviously when you see any good script, when you see any script at all, is good. And when you see an Irish good script; well basically, the more adjectives there are before script, the better.

Are Irish audiences becoming more supportive of Irish films?

I think there has always been that support here, I have never felt that it hasn’t been supported. I think financially it would be great if films generally could be supported a lot more. It’s always the same with independent films, it’s people working on very tight restrained budgets and very long hours, so there is always that money issue with independent film.

What’s the best thing about seeing ‘Mickybo & Me’?

I think it’s really lovely to revisit the psyche of what it was like when you used to go up the fields with your mate. The feeling of friendship, when you felt that you found a best friend when you were a child and sometimes you have this intense relationship with who you thought was your soulmate.

Mine was Catarina, Me and Catarina felt like we could take the world on and we always had such amazing fun and I think people should go to ‘Mickybo’ because of that. It’s about the imagination of escape and, as a child, how you can build your own world. I think we can lose that as we get older and grow up, you can lose that sense of what you had. It’s lovely as an adult to re-visit and if you are in your teens it’s lovely to go see this film and know what it was like to grow up with the background of the troubles.

As well as ‘Mickybo & Me’ you have also recently starred in the short film ‘Bye Child’, do you like coming home to support new directors?

I really hope to direct one day and I really hope that everybody supports me. It’s so important. For a start, I really like Bernard MacLaverty's work as a writer and Seamus Heaney as a poet, so ‘Bye Child’ was like killing two birds with one stone.

Mickybo & Me

How do you find working with first time directors like Terry Loane?

I really like it, I’ve worked with quite a few and Terry’s great. It’s his first feature and he made it so easy to support him. He’s so positive and so into the story and he worked so hard with the kids. To be honest that’s the main reason why everybody should go see this film, the two leads are just remarkable and its great fun to see it.

‘Mickybo & Me’ is released across Ireland through UIP on the 25th of March 2005.

Read IFTN's interview with 'Mickybo & Me' director Terry Loane |click here|

View the 'Mickby & Me' Trailer in the IFTN Preview Theatre |click here|

By Tanya Warren.


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