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Role reversal Fair City's Tommy O'Neill had to put on an American accent for Wild Mountain Thyme


Tommy O'Neill

Tommy O'Neill

Tommy O'Neill

FAIR City’s Tommy O’Neill has said he was surprised to be cast as an American in the twee Irish rom-comWild Mountain Thyme. 

The romantic comedy that centres around a family row over land, has a stellar cast that includes Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in the lead.

Also part of the stellar line-up are Christopher Walken, John Hamm, Dearbhla Molloy and Danielle Ryan.

However, it is the accents and not the cast that has been grabbing headlines of late.

Tommy stars as Christopher Walken’s brother in the film who lands home from America after 40 years in New York.

The Dubliner, who plays Detective John Deegan in Carrigstown, admits that he just discovered that the movie has been panned over the cast’s dreadful Irish accents.

But he said he was surprised at the time to learn that he would be playing an American while Christopher Walken was forced to mangle an Irish accent.

“I play an American in it,” he told RTE's Liveline.

“I know, my character has been living in America for like 40 years or something like that.

“I taught myself my American accent and I haven't heard the trailer but a lot of people are calling me about it.

“Having just heard it now, he (Chrispopher) sounds better in the trailer than he did on the day.

“Because I was there (wondering why) and I am the Paddy speaking with an American accent and Christopher is the brother who has never left Ireland speaking with an Irish accent.

“It was great craic and the people in Mayo were amazing they made us feel so welcome.”

Filming began in Crossmolina, County Mayo, in September and it’s due for a US release in September.

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The trailer was dropped online yesterday and since then the accents of the entire cast, including Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan, have been resolutely panned.

But Tommy says that the accents don’t really bother him as he got to achieve a lifelong dream by working with Christopher Walken.

“I had about four days and to work with Christopher Walken and Jamie was a dream come true,” he added.

“Christopher was lovely.

“They had me in a different hotel before I got to (the set in) Mount Falcon.

“And the day I pulled up to Mount Falcon, I couldn’t have done it better had I been on set.

“I pulled up, got out of my car, was getting my bag and I bumped smack into Christopher.

“So I shook his hand but I hurt him and he asked me to stop because of his arthritis.

“He is quite old now and they did well to get him to travel, but I would have done it for nothing.”

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