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Damien Molony Star of Sky's New Comedy Series 'Brassic' Talks with IFTN
01 Mar 2019 : Nathan Griffin
Irish actor Damien Moloney
IFTN caught up with Irish actor Damien Molony to discuss his new Sky Comedy Series ‘Brassic’, how he got started in the industry and the buzz of coming back to Ireland.

An actor of stage, TV, and film, Damien Molony is best known for his television roles as Hal in BBC’s 'Being Human', DC Albert Flight in BBC’s 'Ripper Street' and DS Jack Weston in 'Suspects'. Born and raised in Johnstown Bridge in Kildare, Molony attended Trinity College from 2003 to 2007 where he obtained a degree in Business and Political Science. He began his acting career in 2007 touring Ireland with the Balally Players in 'Riders to the Sea', for which he was nominated as best actor in the One Act Drama Festival.

Damien attended Drama Centre London from 2008-2011, graduating with a BA in acting. While at drama school he performed in several theatre productions and played the male lead in award-winning short film 'When The Hurlyburly's Done'. After being spotted in his drama showcase, he was offered the part of Giovanni in John Ford play ''Tis Pity She's a Whore', which ran at the Yorkshire Playhouse. While appearing in the play, he auditioned for and landed his first leading television role in BBC supernatural drama 'Being Human'. Molony appeared in every episode of series 4 in 2012 and series 5 in 2013 as Hal Yorke, an over 500-year-old vampire.

Molony recently attended Sky’s 2019 Content Showcase at The Westbury in Dublin which previewed some of the up and coming series to watch out for this year, including Riviera, Chernobyl, and Temple (written by Mark O’Rowe). IFTN also caught up with Chernobyl star Jessie Buckley. The series follows a group of working-class friends finding unconventional ways to win at life in northern suburbia. Vinnie (Joseph Gilgun), a Lancashire lad with bipolar disorder, and Dylan (Molony), his razor-smart best mate, are inseparable and utterly co-dependent. They've hardly spent a day apart since birth. But Dylan's girlfriend Erin (Michelle Keegan) might just shake things up for good with her plans to leave town and start a new life for herself and her kid, Tyler.

IFTN journalist Nathan Griffin caught up with Damien to find out more about the upcoming series.

IFTN: Can you give me a little bit of background into how you first got started in the industry?

Damien:Well, I guess it’s the usual story – I always wanted to be an actor. I went to Trinity College and got involved with players there. A lot of my mates were actually applying for drama schools in London. At that stage, I didn't really know how to become an actor. I generally thought if you turned up at the stage door at the Abbey, and you just said, "Listen I'm here for a job," that you might become an actor. The friends of mine who were applying for drama schools said that I should apply and I did. I got into the Drama Center where Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, and Colin Firth trained. I did three years of pretty intense training there and have been lucky enough to be working ever since. That was my route in.”

IFTN: How did you get your first major break – Was it an Irish or UK show?

Damien: “It was a show in the UK. I've been based in the UK ever since. I've been in the UK since 2008 and I've been working since 2011. My very first job was ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore, which is a play by John Ford. Off the back of that, I took over from Aidan Turner in the Vampire role of Being Human. I did two series of Being Human. I suppose that was probably what brought me to a larger audience certainly in the UK. Most of my work really has been in the UK with UK productions. I was lucky obviously to be in Ripper Street, which films in Dublin, so I got to spend five months in Dublin when I was doing that. Then I also shot a TV show called Clean Break for RTE, which was in Dublin and Wexford. That was the only two times I've really been lucky enough to work in Ireland. Fingers crossed they'll be lots of opportunities to do it again.”

IFTN: I'd say you always relish the opportunity to come back and work locally?

Damien:Yes. I love coming home. For whatever reason, the last few times that I have been home has either been a rugby weekend in Dublin or a festival or something and the buzz in Ireland, it's electric. I always wonder, "Why aren't I moving home?" because it's always such good craic.”

IFTN: How did the opportunity to get involved with Brassic come about?

Damien: “I had worked with an Irish director actually, Daniel O'Hara on Being Human. I jumped at the opportunity really to work with him again. Then, obviously, Joe Gilgun, he has created the show. I've been such a massive fan of his since This is England. Danny Brocklehurst has written the script and then there's a whole sequence in the show that takes places in a sewer. Once I had gone and read that I was pretty much on board.”

IFTN: For people who might not know much about Brassic right now, what could you tell us about it?

Damien:The term brassic is rhyming slang. The stuff that’s in your pocket, the fluff. It's called lint, obviously, and there's a type of lint called brassic lint. If the only thing that you have in your pocket is lint, it means that you're skint, it means you're penniless, it means you're broke. So brassic lint is brassic equals skint. That's what the name comes from. Then the show itself is about a group of mates in the North of England getting into mischief. Fairly harmless mischief, but they're tearing around having the absolute time of their lives. The show is about friendship and it's about having a laugh with your mates and trying to make a quick buck along the way.”

“I said this at the Sky event, but I think a lot of small town shows, whether they're based in the UK or in Ireland or anywhere are usually about characters who want to get out of town and want to improve themselves in some way. Brassic is not about that. Brassic is about mates who are having such good craic that they have absolutely no interest in leaving. In a way, they're probably avoiding real life in a way and probably avoiding growing up, but they're not really too worried about that.”

IFTN: The show looks incredibly funny. I imagine it was quite a fun set to work on?

Damien:Massively. We just laughed and laughed. I've never really been on a show before with so many regular cast. All being in together every day, for four months in Manchester was just great craic. The stuff that we would get up to-- I did something on this show for the first time every single day. When I'd be in the trailer in the morning and I'd facetime with my parents, they'd say, ‘What are you doing today?’ and I'd say, ‘Today we're being shot at by a local farmer while we try to still his Shetland pony.’ Or ‘I'm getting sprayed on by an exploding ‘fat bird’ in a sewer.’ There was lots of great craic to be had.”

IFTN: One ‘Brassic’ scene shown by Sky at the launch saw your character, Dylan, share an unflattering romantic scene in a port-a-loo with his love interest Erin, played by Michelle Keegan. How do you prepare for a scene like that, especially when you had only met Michelle for the first time early that same day?

Damien:I've done a few of them at this stage. Sex scenes are just so bizarre because you're surrounded by 30 people of a film crew who kind of aren't really too interested in what you’re doing. First and foremost, there's absolutely nothing sexy about a Brassic sex scene. For the people involved, you just get on with it and you just try to have a good laugh really because you both understand the complete ridiculousness of the situation.”

IFTN: What other projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about?

Damien:I'm shooting a short film this weekend coming, which is called, Keep Breathing. Then we're all really hoping for a second series of Brassic, so we're waiting hopefully to hear about that.”

‘Brassic’ airs on Sky One and NOW TV later this year.

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