The Snapper's Tina Kellegher recalls she 'got quite emotional' during the film's birth scenes

"But then when I actually turned around in the take and there was the baby, like they had brought a baby, there was a real baby"

Tina Kellegher loves the movie

Eugene Masterson

Actress Tina Kellegher has revealed that she suffered real-life agony during Sharon Curley's birth scenes in The Snapper as she had to endure a large prosthetic pregnant belly crushing her midriff for several hours during its filming.

"My bump was moulded to fit my body, so that it would be actually be glued to your tummy," recalls Tina. "So the bump itself was actually solid, so it looked like part of you, you know.

"So I remember the actual body of it digging right into my diaphragm for I don't know how many hours, doing a lot of those scenes in the labour ward. So that was physically very hard."

She adds: "It was quite emotional because the exertion was full on, in doing that.

"But then when I actually turned around in the take and there was the baby, like they had brought a baby, there was a real baby. It was really emotional, I actually got quite emotional."

Tina and Colm in The Snapper

Tina, who's currently starring as publican Ger Lynch in Fair City, can remember well her infamous car park sex scene in The Snapper in which a teenage Sharon has sex on the bonnet of a car by middle-aged dad Georgie Burgess, who ends up fathering her child from the one-night-0stand.

Georgie was played by the late Pat Laffan in the 1993 film, penned by Roddy Doyle, and which is the subject tonight of RTÉ series Return to Barrytown.

"The reason why I think he works as a comic character was because he could have been a brute," reflects Doyle.

"Going back to the night where they had sex, there was definitely something brutish about that. It's a pretty sordid kind of scene."

Colm Meaney played Sharon’s dad in the film

Colm Meaney, who played Sharon's father Dessie Curley, stresses that Laffan, who died two years ago aged 79, was an icon amongst the acting trade.

"He was a mentor to me," admits Meaney (67). "When I was first going into the school of acting in the Abbey Pat had just come back from England. He was a star in the Abbey, he was the leading man at that time. He was so generous and so supportive of young actors, not just me. He was a mentor to me, so getting to work with Pat 20 years later was a joy, and he was so, so good as Georgie Burgess."

A core cast of 10 people spent 10 days shooting scenes around Kilbarrack in north Dublin, where Doyle taught in the local Greendale Community School.

The author was keen to show the growing separation between Church and State, as well as Ireland's treatment of unmarried mothers.

The Curley family from The Snapper

The film was initially made for TV to be shown on the BBC in April 1993, but it got a cinema release and was warmly received internationally.

Tina admits she still treasures the role.

"People say 'are you sick of people mentioning The Snapper?'. I'll never get sick of people mentioning The Snapper you know. I'll never be weary of being identified as Sharon, I would hope that I always will be."

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