Colin Farrell just popped around, and it became a regular thing then, he might drop in and watch a movie with Simon, stuff like that... they just became mates
discovered that Simon was entitled to a ventilator on his medical card.
When Simon lost his voice, and the use of his hands, technology again came to the rescue. Using an eye-gaze computer, Simon now moves his pupils to write, draw and electronically talk. He used it to produce his beautifully-written 2014 memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark. Then he announced his intention to direct a film idea he’d been working on for years.
“Leading up to the shoot,” Ruth remembers, “there was this momentum building about whether or not he’d be able to do it, and your emotions went from anxiety about whether or not he could do it to the absolute delight of oh my God, he’s doing it, and then some. As he was making it, he lost loads of weight, and he had these blazing eyes, it was so exciting to watch.”
Simon got to know Colin Farrell after asking the Hollywood A-lister to star in his film. He couldn’t, but the two men began an email friendship. “Then there was one St Patrick’s Day I got this call to say that Colin would be calling out. He just popped around, and it became a regular thing then. He might drop in and watch a movie with Simon, stuff like that, they just became mates. He did such a great job on the voice-over, and then there was also that eerie thing that he sounded quite like Simon’s old voice.”
When we speak, Simon had been admitted to hospital with an infection. “We had a screening of the documentary at the Light House Cinema (in Dublin) the other night and he couldn’t go, which was really weird timing in a way, or typical timing, you might say, given the way Simon does things. He would have loved to be in the thick of it.” Does he still talk about making more films?
“He thinks about doing more everything,” Ruth says, “he’s constantly wondering what he’ll do next, those aspirations never go. Physically, whether he can do another film, I don’t know. But then, I was worried he couldn’t do it the last time, so what the hell do I know.”
It’s Not Yet Dark is out now in selected cinemas