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McSorley Departs Scorsese’s ‘Departed’

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: McSorley Departs Scorsese’s ‘Departed’ Reply with quote

McSorley Departs Scorsese’s ‘Departed’
By Sean O' Driscoll [irish Abroad .com]

An award-winning Irish actor has been sent home after four days of shooting on Martin Scorsese’s new Irish American gangster movie The Departed.

Gerard McSorley, who starred in major Irish movies including In The Name of the Father, Veronica Guerin, Bloody Sunday and Omagh, expressed surprise this week after he was told that he was no longer down to play a senior police officer in the movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson.

McSorley was sent home to Dublin after four days of filming while speculation mounts that he may be replaced by Martin Sheen.

McSorley told the Irish Voice he had “very, very interesting, very creative” conversations with Scorsese. He had been filming in Brooklyn and had travelled to Boston to meet with members of the Boston Police Department as part of his research into the role.

“I just don’t know and I don’t even know what I’m going to do right now,” McSorley said.

He said that his own obsession with promoting a film about the 1998 Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland, in which he played the leader of the victim’s group, may have cut into his preparation for the Scorsese movie.

“For Omagh, I had about two months, for Veronica Guerin, I had about three months, but here I was rushed over in a week to get my visa in Toronto, go to Boston on the train, come back and start filming,” he said.

While in Boston, McSorley taped and took photographs of senior police officers in preparation for his role. He also spoke with the film’s script writer, Bill Monahan, about expanding the character’s profile.

McSorley believed that the character could be a Northern Ireland cop who became disillusioned during the Troubles and left for the U.S. about 1974.

They had yet to decide whether his character should be captain or similar rank, but he was to be a “good guy” who becomes a foil in the movie’s plot.

The Departed explores the lives of two police officers in south Boston. One, played by DiCaprio, goes undercover in an Irish American gang, while another, played by Damon, is a highway officer who gets corrupted by the same gang.

McSorley said that he had been treated “spectacularly well” by Scorsese, but felt that having an assistant on set would have been a great help.

“Scorsese is amazing, he lives for film, for art, and he is so literate. He knows his Joyce and Irish literature and it was a joy to talk to him,” he added.

McSorley said he believed that Scorsese was familiar with his work as the director spent so much timing watching films and learning about technique. “It’s what he lives for,” McSorley said.

McSorley stayed at Manhattan accommodation the film company arranged for him and enjoyed his spare time cycling through Central Park.

He only heard that he had to go home through his agent. “They didn’t put anything in writing and I can’t understand it. I’m just very tired at the moment,” he said.

McSorley, who is originally from Omagh in Co. Tyrone, said that filming the movie Omagh was such an intense experience that it may have overshadowed projects that followed.

He said that, before The Departed, he had taken a car to France to promote Omagh and had given “everything” to the movie because he felt an obligation to tell the story of the victims of the Real IRA bombing, which killed 29 people and injured over 200.

McSorley has much experience playing crime and police roles in Irish movies. He is known to many from In The Name of the Father, in which he played a corrupt cop who interrogated Daniel Day Lewis’s Gerry Conlon and threatened to kill his father.

He also played a good cop who questioned the actions of the British Army in Bloody Sunday, and was highly praised for his role as crime boss John Gilligan in another biopic, Veronica Guerin, about the murdered Dublin journalist.

He also played Michael Gallagher, head of the Omagh Victims’ Group, in the movie about the bombing and its aftermath. The film won the press award at the Toronto Film Festival last year.

The Irish Voice was unable to reach the film’s publicist at the time of going to press.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks sylvie, wonder what made them decide to drop him?
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