13 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
IFTN talks to 'A Date For Mad Mary' Actresses Seána Kerslake & Charleigh Bailey
2016-09-01 10;30;00 : Katie McNeice
The Irish feature directed by Darren Thornton is set to release to cinemas at home this Friday, September 2nd.

Irish feature film ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ directed by Darren Thornton is set to release to cinemas at home this Friday, September 2nd.

IFTN chats with leading actresses Seána Kerslake (Mary) and Charleigh Bailey about how they became involved in the project and their experience of playing such strong female leads.

We also touch upon the successes of ‘A Date for Mad Mary’ with its screenings at both Karlovy Vary and Galway Film Fleadh, and what to expect from Kerslake and Baileigh’s next projects.

IFTN: How did each of you first get involved in the project?

Both Kerslake and Bailey were put forward for auditions by Louise Keily for the part of Mary. Bailey reread the script after her audition however, and became more drawn to the character of Charlene.

IFTN: Have you both worked with Louise Keily before?

Kerslake describes her upcoming TV drama ‘Cant Cope, Won’t Cope’, for which Louise Keily also put her forward. Both actresses can’t praise her enough.  

Bailey: “If you send her an email or a self-tape, she’s always very receptive and she’ll always reply, whereas some casting directors don’t. She was an actor herself before…she’s very approachable.”

Kerslake: “I think the team of people she works with do try to have a positive environment when you walk into an audition.”

IFTN: What has it been like to play such a central role for a woman?

Kerslake: “It was brilliant. I’m so thankful that I got to play such a well-rounded female; she’s so complex and she’s got so much going on. It was actually difficult for me to carry Mary around with me because she is very lonely and she is very angry. Like that, when I was around family or out in a nightclub trying to get into character, I couldn’t really…you can’t go there all the time or else you’d be in trouble.”

IFTN: There’s been such a buzz around the film since it premiered

Bailey: “We had our world premiere at Karlovy Vary and we didn’t how know that would go because they’re Czech. It had to be subtitled but there were some parts of it we couldn’t actually hear the dialogue because they were laughing so much.”

Kerslake: “They were so responsive and we were shocked at that initially because we hadn’t had it in front of an audience, especially and international audience…It’s an international story but with such Irish-ness as well, which is fantastic. When we went to Galway [Film Fleadh] we were blown away.”

On their upcoming projects, both actresses are excited to be part of the film and television scene as Irish professionals. Kerslake describes the sector in Ireland as “blossoming”, while Bailey says, “We are such a talented country, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be at the forefront of filmmaking.”

‘Mad Mary’ releases to Irish cinemas on Friday, September 2nd and is distributed by Element Pictures Distribution.

IFTA Q&A Series: Patricia Kelly on Directing
IFTA Q&A Series: Damien Lynch on Sound Design
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