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streets ahead Irish Sing Street star's new movie CODA heading for the Oscars

'We never expected it to go this far. The awards just kept getting bigger and bigger and it was the cherry on top'


Ferdia would love to attend the Academy Awards

Ferdia would love to attend the Academy Awards

Ferdia would love to attend the Academy Awards

He won us over as a love-struck young musician in Irish hit movie Sing Street.

Now Ferdia Walsh-Peelo is charming film fans again in a movie that's going all the way to the Oscars.

CODA stars Emilia Jones - daughter of Welsh choir legend Aled - as Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family. She works with them on a fishing trawler to make a living but dreams of pursuing her passion as a singer. Ferdia shines as Miles, the fellow student she falls for when they're asked to duet on a show.

The moving US indie has been winning rave reviews and gathering awards momentum in recent months. Last week it became the little movie that could after landing three Oscar nominations including for Best Picture.

The Irish actor - who also collaborated in some of the musical arrangements for the film - was thrilled.

"It was fantastic news," he told Sunday World. "We never expected it to go this far. The awards just kept getting bigger and bigger and it was the cherry on top. I'm just delighted especially for Troy (Kotsur) who got the Best Supporting Actor nominee. He's just fantastic, and you see in the film he's hilarious as well. It's just a beautiful integrally human story."


Ferdia with Lucy Boynton in Sing Street

Ferdia with Lucy Boynton in Sing Street

Ferdia with Lucy Boynton in Sing Street

Ferdia was part of the ensemble cast nominated for a Screen Actors Guild later this month. And he's keeping his fingers crossed that he'll be able to join his co-stars on Oscar night.

"I would love to be there. I don't know what is happening yet and what the capacity is. Throughout this whole pandemic, I've had the film coming out.

"I've had next to no experience of getting to be with my fellow cast members to celebrate this. And also just give them a hug and congratulate them. I'd love to be there for that more than anything else. To be able to experience it together would be amazing. We'll see, it's all early days."

He and Emilia Jones were cast in the roles and were able to bring their love of music to the story. "It seemed like quite a clear fit. Emilia and I got together, did some music together, and that started to really work as well.

"Music is something that people who've seen Sing Street will get, it's a very big love of mine. It's my other passion. I spent the last few years playing music and writing a lot of music. So when it came to doing this, it was really lovely to be able to collaborate and come up with different guitar parts and different arrangements."

Ferdia has been steeped in music since he was a child, following in the footsteps of mum Toni. "My mother's a singer as well, so she kind of threw a line and I bit and she was able to show me the ropes.

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"That was something I got into but then as I grew older, I ended up doing Sing Street. Around the time I got that I was doing a lot of busking and a lot of playing in different groups and bands. I've been writing for many years since then. Most recently I've been playing in my new band called The Fynches where we've just released our first single, a double A-side."


Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

Following the huge success of Sing Street the 22-year-old from Co Wicklow is building a career following his two passions of acting and music. After a period on hit series Vikings he has had a busy year. He will soon be on our screens in the Spanish-set drama Love Gets a Room.

Later this year we will see him in Danny Boyle's highly anticipated TV series, Pistol. Set in the 1970s, it tells the story of Britain's biggest and most notorious punk-rock band, and is based on a memoir from The Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

While details of the series from Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director Boyle are being kept under wraps, Ferdia revealed that he is playing Nick Kent. The top British rock critic and musician is best known for his writing for music mag NME.

Ferdia says he spent much of last year filming the series in the UK, and loved working with director Boyle.

"He's great. He's full of energy. He loves his job. You know, he's just a joy to be around. He's really passionate about this project. When you see someone who is in their element that's incredible to work with. It's very easy."

He loved working in and around London on the series last year and has decided to make it his home, and he is in the process of moving into a new flat at the moment.

"This period of time, I feel with the world opening back up again, at the point where I am in my career, it's the right time to do the London thing," he said. "There's a lot going on here. I spent most of last year over here working on Pistol. I just fell in love with being in the city after that."

Ferdia hopes to be able to combine his loves for music and acting again in the future. "It took a little while to be able to figure out a rhythm, hopping between the two," he said. "The more I've developed as a musician, and as an actor, and the more I've done them both simultaneously over a period of time, the more I've realised how similar they are."

l CODA is now on Apple TV+. The Fynches first single, Absent Words/The Popular Art of Bed-Making is available on all streaming platforms.

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