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Impressive cast for Donnellan’s debut film


Robert Sheenan
?Love/Hate heartthrob Robert Sheehan will star alongside Brian Gleeson in Ballinrobe writer Mick Donnellan's debut film, which will be shot in Morocco.

Star cast for Donnellan’s debut film

Ciara Galvin

IT’S all go for Ballinrobe playwright-turned-screenwriter Mick Donnellan. Between flying over to London ahead of filming his first film in Morocco this August, he is also busy working on a new novel and throwing around ideas for a second film deal he has just signed.
And who can we expect to see taking the leading roles in his debut black comedy ‘Tiger Raid’? Oh, just celebrated Irish actors Robert Sheehan and Brian Gleeson…
‘Love/Hate’ star Sheehan and Brendan Gleeson’s son Brian read the scripts earlier this year and signed up to take the lead roles as two rogue Black Ops for the US army who decide to take an oil Sheikh’s daughter, played by Sofia Boutella, hostage in Iraq.
“The company over there has contacts with a lot of agents and passed on the script to people who might want to do it and who were free. The two lads auditioned – they’re happy, they liked it and were happy to do it,” explained Donnellan.
Donnellan is thrilled with the casting choices, with both actors matching his idea for both characters. He describes Gleeson as ‘rough and dishevelled’ and, in contrast, Sheehan as ‘clean cut’.
“It’s hard to get the balance right, because there is an older rougher-edged character and younger clean-cut character, and there has to be a good dynamic and a good difference between them, so it was important to get the right two. They came [to the audition] and they balanced really well off each other.”
For Donnellan, it’s important that Sheehan and Gleeson understand their characters, and he will be flying to London next month for rehearsals.  
“We’ll be just sitting in a room talking about the characters, the story and how they want to do certain things and develop certain things and make sure they understand the script as I wrote it and that I understand what they are trying to be,” explained Donnellan.
Impressed by the script for ‘Tiger Raid’, production company Story has signed the Ballinrobe man up for a second film, which he hopes to begin writing soon after filming ends in Morocco.
“We’re going to go to London and bang a few ideas around. There’s already some interesting ideas, mostly along the same kind of routes – comedy, dark.... I’d like to bring in a new version of contemporary Irish cinema and be a part of the development of something better.”
And in his spare time? Donnellan has written a play about rural isolation, which is currently being considered by Druid Theatre Company, and he’s working on a new novel. Along with this, there’s a possibility of his first book El Niño being turned into a screen play. It’s all go.

‘Tiger Raid’ is expected to be released in the latter part of this year.