9 June 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
Five Minutes with ‘An Klondike’ lead actors Dara Devaney, Owen McDonnell and Sean T O Meallaigh
08 Sep 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Dara Devaney, Owen McDonnell and Sean T O Meallaigh
With much anticipated four part TG4 series ‘An Klondike’ premiering tonight (September 8th), IFTN caught up with lead actors Dara Devaney, Owen McDonnell and Sean T O Meallaigh to talk about the show.

Abú Media’s ‘An Klondike’ tells the story of the Connolly’s — three Irish brothers who journey from the silver mines of Montana to the Klondike Valley in the hope of striking it rich. They seek their fortune in Dominion Creek, a town built on greed, where the Connolly’s become embroiled in a deadly feud with Jacob Hopkins, the man who runs Dominion.

Portraying three very different brothers who share nothing but looks and bad tempers, we talk to Dara, Owen and Sean who play Seamus, Tom and Padraig respectively.

IFTN: First off, what was the initial pull for each of you to ‘An Klondike’

Dara Devaney: ‘Initially, it was two months’ work for me! Apart from that, I had been talking to Dathaí Keane (the director) and I felt like I would have a lot of freedom with this character. He mentioned something like Mel Gibson in ‘Lethal Weapon’ – not like for like but just in terms of the character being able to do anything – you don’t know what way Seamus is going to turn. Playing Seamus was very liberating as was Dathaí’s approach and that’s always fun for an actor.’

Owen McDonnell: ‘It wasn’t a question of what drew me to it really. Dathaí had seen some of my work and was a couple of years behind me in school so he had been aware of my career so he thought of me for the role of Tom – the older more responsible brother with the deep, dark secrets! I was really excited by the script because of the quality of the writing and because it was a western and being from Galway you never think you are going to land in a Western!’

Sean T O Meallaigh: ‘I had worked with Dathaí before on a series called ‘1916 Seachtar Dearmadta’ and I really enjoyed working on that – Abú Media had produced that too. About four years ago, I met Dathaí at the Galway Film Fleadh and he was talking to me about this series – he said the scripts weren’t quite ready yet but he would send them on when they were done. Then I kind of forgot about it for a while and it was the start of 2014 when I heard from Dathaí about the series again. The scripts were amazing – real page-turners.’

An element that was praised from the screenings of the film version of the series was your three performances – in particular the very naturalistic brotherly chemistry between you….

Dara Devaney: ‘I would know Owen and Sean quite well. I had worked with Owen last year in ‘An Bronntanas’. I had never worked with Sean on anything like this before but I don’t know - I can’t really explain it. We just got along very well. We lived with each other during the two month shoot and our dynamic is not a million miles away from our characters actually! Owen is that little bit older and more responsible; Sean doesn’t drink while I like a tipple every now and again! So, we weren’t a million miles away from our characters or the way in which they related to each other.’

Owen McDonnell: ‘Yeah I think we did kind of revert to type! There certainly were aspects of the character there in our domestic situation. We really were living in each other’s pockets for two months so I think that probably contributed to any believability or chemistry we had on screen.’

Sean T O Meallaigh: ‘I have known Dara for 15 years and I have worked with Owen before in 2008 on a TG4 series ‘Rasai na Gaillimhe’ so it was great to work with them again as well as the rest of the cast. They really did get together a wonderful cast – actors like Robert O’Mahoney did a great job. The extras too were just fantastic – they completely bought into the idea and showed real passion for the series which helped us so much.’

All three of you have worked extensively on Irish language productions in the past – just how proud are you of ‘An Klondike’ – certainly a very original series that bears no similarities to anything on Irish screens before?

Owen McDonnell: ‘Really proud. I think TG4 are very clever in what they do. Because of the language, I think the stories have to be quite localized but they go for universal themes too. I hate watching an Irish language drama and everyone in that world is speaking Irish. It’s just not believable but what I like about the series is the way people who you would not expect to speak Irish won’t speak Irish. The Americans here speak English, the Native Americans speak their own language and the Irish speak Irish to each other. The language isn’t forced into it in any way. It is how a group of Galway lads would speak to each other in America.’

Sean T O Meallaigh: I’m delighted with ‘An Klondike’ – it was a really enjoyable project I have to say. At that point, it was the biggest purpose built set I had ever worked on. All of the elements really came together – the script was great and the casting was fantastic as were the sets, costumes and make-up. Everything has to be right for it to work. For something like make-up in particular – you would not notice the make-up unless it was wrong so you don’t notice or question the make-up here which means the team did a fantastic job!’

Dara Devaney: ‘Yeah I would be proud – I mean I liked the script and was certain I wanted to do it after talking to Dathaí but I still didn’t know a year ago how it would turn out. Watching the film version at the IFTA screening – I realised that it has got very high production values for something that was made for much less than it looks like.’

What would be your hopes then for ‘An Klondike’ – I know four more episodes have been written but not yet given the greenlight…

Sean T O Meallaigh: ‘My great hope for ‘An Klondike’ would be that it would get viewed by lots of people outside of Ireland. I think we are so used to watching subtitled drama of high quality these days so it wouldn’t be something that would be an obstacle. I would love to see this series get picked up by Netflix or something so it can get an international audience. It would be great for the Irish language too – there’s so much to be said for what TG4 are doing for the Irish language as well as the industry.’

Dara Devaney: ‘Sometimes you might work on something and there is talk about a second series but you are not really sure where it can go. This is different – there is a lot of scope for more stories here.’

Owen McDonnell: ‘We are waiting to hear about BAI funding. TG4 are very much behind another series and I would love to do another series – we really did have a ball. Growing up watching Westerns and then getting to shoot one in Oughterard is just fantastic!’

Aside from ‘An Klondike’ – what else can we expect from you?

Owen McDonnell: ‘I have taken the summer off because of a new baby. Other than that, I have a film coming out called ‘Swung’ which we shot last year. It’s a romantic comedy set against the backdrop of Glasgow’s swinger scene so that’s kind of different [laughs].’

Sean T O Meallaigh: ‘I was lucky enough to get a part in a series called ‘Vikings’ which is shooting its’ fourth season in Wicklow at the moment. It’s amazing to be involved in such a large production – I play a monk in it that kind of pops in every now and again and have been shooting that for a few days every month for the last few months.’

Dara Devaney: ‘Well I have been acting for about 15 years now and I am slowly starting to reap the benefits a little. I actually didn’t get a lot of work the last couple of years but the work I did get were lead roles in productions that were shoots for two or three months at a time and I learned so much. So, I would just hope to get more work and keep doing better things.’

‘An Klondike’ airs on TG4 tonight (September 8th) at 9.30pm.

“It was such an unlikely path,” John C. Reilly discusses career and craft at IFTA Masterclass
First look at Galway Film Fleadh programme 35th Edition
Free Industry Newsletter
Subscribe to IFTN's industry newsletter - it's free and e-mailed directly to your inbox every week.
Click here to sign up.

 the Website  Directory List  Festivals  Who's Who  Locations  Filmography  News  Crew  Actors

Contact Us | Advertise | Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Security & Privacy | RSS Feed | Twitter



onwin yeni giris canli bahis rulet siteleri