To the your drum

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - CINEMA -

and Dublin, he grins in­vol­un­tar­ily and goes all coy about what he is do­ing next. “I don’t know if I’m al­lowed talk about it or what? ” he asks Mc­carthy. They do some mut­ter­ing, I haz­ard a guess, suf­fice to say it’s good. It’s ironic that al­though just turned 24, Mc­carthy was hav­ing doubts of his own about his ca­reer choice, even though he too had wanted noth­ing but to be an ac­tor since child­hood. His in­ter­est is very much in theatre but this big break has rein­vig­o­rated his pas­sion.

Straight af­ter his Leav­ing Cert Mc­carthy spent three years at the London Academy of Mu­sic and Dra­matic Art. He rather as­tutely got him­self a US Green Card and in early 2015 moved to LA. Not an aw­ful lot hap­pened for him from the many au­di­tions he went to in that first 18 months. When he got a break it was in Dublin. “I came back here and I filmed this and then I went back to LA and did an­other nine-month stint, but it was very dis­heart­en­ing,” he says. “I was plan­ning on mov­ing back here when very serendip­i­tously the call came through for AP Bio.”

A new NBC Com­edy se­ries writ­ten by Satur­day Night Live’s Seth Mey­ers, AP Bio is set in a high school (“I’ve only ever played 17 year olds!”) which has started shoot­ing. “It’s not a sit­com, there is no laugh­ter track, it’s a sin­gle cam­era, a lot more in the vein of The Of­fice or Parks and Rec.”

Both agree that some­thing in­ter­est­ing hap­pened when they let go a lit­tle. Mur­phy nods as Mc­carthy says: “I spent so long push­ing, try­ing to force some­thing to hap­pen then as soon as I got to a point where I thought I can’t do this any­more, put my hands up and walked away just to re-eval­u­ate, it hap­pened.”

They also bri­dle at the bad rep mil­len­ni­als, for whom they are surely poster boys, have for not be­ing able to stick at things. “It in­fu­ri­ates me!” says Mc­carthy, point­ing out that “mil­len­ni­als aren’t a prod­uct of them­selves, we’re a prod­uct of our par­ents, you cre­ated us so if you have a prob­lem with us you have to look at your­selves is how I feel per­son­ally.” Mur­phy adds: “It’s also a ridicu­lous gen­er­al­i­sa­tion.”

They point out how dis­en­fran­chised it can feel to be young when so many ma­jor de­ci­sions that will af­fect the rest of their lives are made by much older gen­er­a­tions. Mc­carthy, who lived in the US dur­ing the last elec­tion, points to the de­mo­graph­ics that voted for Trump. “There was only one state where the 18-25 de­mo­graphic voted Repub­li­can.” Mur­phy lived through Brexit in London. “That was the same, young peo­ple and old peo­ple wanted dif­fer­ent things.”

One gen­er­a­tional gen­er­al­i­sa­tion they do ac­cept is that theirs is an emo­tion­ally richer one.

The Drum­mer and the Keeper is a story of friend­ship and good friend­ship sto­ries of­ten pack a more pow­er­ful emo­tional punch than any ro­mance. “I was raised by women so I think that in­flu­enced me,” says Mur­phy. “But as a gen­er­a­tion I think we’re re­defin­ing the no­tion of mas­culin­ity and I think it’s im­por­tant to do that.”

And they see a change in the Ire­land they were keen to leave. “When I moved away orig­i­nally I was dis­il­lu­sioned with Dublin,” says Mc­carthy. “I felt trapped and I moved to London and I had an amaz­ing time but now, I don’t know if I’m see­ing it through rose-tinted glasses, but it feels like it’s hav­ing a cul­tural, artis­tic re­nais­sance.”

As for most peo­ple dis­tance teaches you that Dublin or Ire­land isn’t that bad. Mc­carthy was re­cently called a Dubliner in print for the first time and he was de­lighted. “When I had these child­hood dreams of be­ing an ac­tor I thought no­body in Ire­land does that, but now I have friends pop­ping up all over the world.”

Mur­phy is happy that his first big break has, de­spite his trav­els, hap­pened in Ire­land. “All you want to do as an ac­tor com­ing through is be part of some­thing that means some­thing. And I was so de­lighted that it was here.”

‘It all sounds rather se­ri­ous, but the film has a very light touch’

The Drum­mer and the Keeper, now show­ing, Cert 15A

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