“By the time we made it back to Holy­head it was like some­thing from Jeremy Kyle. I felt like I had come back from com­bat”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

shows up in our stuff,” says Maloney. “But it’s a lot of things. It’s the mid-life cri­sis of Top Gear – ex­cept th­ese guys are in their 20s.”

In com­mon with a great many clas­sic Bri­tish sit­coms, Hardy Bucks plays up the con­fine­ment of its set­ting. The characters may be id­iots but there’s some­thing tragic about the way they think of Gal­way as “the big schmoke”, a place that lies be­yond their col­lec­tive reach: “Gal­way? Sure how would ye even get up there, man?”

“I feel sorry for the poor bas­tard,” Maloney says of his char­ac­ter Ed­die. “He just wants to bet­ter him­self but he’s too afraid to do any­thing about it. And he doesn’t have a lot of op­tions. And when you have that kind of time on your hands, of course you start recre­ation­ally drink­ing and smok­ing hash and driv­ing around town all day.”

In this spirit, Maloney in­sists that Hardy Bucks func­tions as le­git­i­mate so­cial cri­tique: “It was al­ways in my mind that we were talk­ing for those who don’t have a voice, be­cause liv­ing in the coun­try­side, you really don’t have a voice. There are no cul­tural cen­tres around Swin­ford. There’s no skate park or place to learn an in­stru­ment. I played foot­ball with guys in Mayo who could eas­ily have played in the Pre­mier League. But no one was ever go­ing to see them. When I was a kid I al­ways had grandiose dreams like be­ing a race-car driver or foot­baller. And the re­sponse was al­ways the same: ‘Where you go­ing to do that around here?’”

Hap­pily, Hardy Bucks The Movie fi­nally sees the tit­u­lar vagabonds make it past the Swin­ford round­about. Shot on lo­ca­tion in Hol­land and Poland, the new ma­jor mo­tion pic­ture sees the Bucks hit the road on the Euro 2012 trail. It does not take long for the group to get way­laid in Amsterdam’s Red Light District and em­broiled in a drug-smug­gling ca­per.

It was tricky shoot­ing there and even trick­ier film­ing out­side the Ire­land-Italy match: “We had 20 min­utes to do an en­tire scene from two dif­fer­ent an­gles with ev­ery­body shout­ing be­hind us,” says Maloney. “I could see the stress etched into the pro­ducer’s face. I don’t know how he stayed pos­i­tive.”

Shot “al­most guer­rilla style” for ¤300,000, the pro­duc­tion re­quired the cast to travel to­gether in a van across Europe. That went as well as could be ex­pected.

“It was five lads in a car­a­van,” says Maloney. “It was cosy and we got on, but no beds were made and noth­ing was put away prop­erly. And then when ev­ery­thing started pil­ing up, you ended up with some­one else’s feet in your face at night. By the time we made it back to Holy­head – where it was lash­ing ob­vi­ously – it was like some­thing from Jeremy Kyle. I felt like I had come back from com­bat. I did. You weren’t there, man. You weren’t there.” ❙❙❙ Hardy Bucks The Movie pre­mieres at JDIFF 2013 on Fe­bru­ary 18th, and is on gen­eral re­lease from Fe­bru­ary 22nd

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