The Irish Mail on Sunday
EoinMackenjiltedHollywoodonce but he’s back as its latest hot doctor
As he sips his first coffee of the day on his sundrenched roof terrace overlooking the Venice Beach boardwalk and the twinkling ocean beyond, Eoin Macken, – who grew up by the sea in Howth, Co. Dublin – feels perfectly at home.
He’s so laid back, in fact, that you’d never guess the 31 year old is on the verge of superstardom. On Tuesday he will explode onto millions of TV screens across America and around the world, playing heart-throb adrenaline junkie doctor TC Callahan on NBC’s latest medical drama series,
The programme screens on NBC primetime, straight after
and Eoin is the Irish answer to ER’s hunk George Clooney and the famousMcDreamyfrom played by Patrick Dempsey.
But this doesn’t faze him in the slightest. For there is another reason, aside from the sea, that Eoin feels so at home on Venice Beach after just a few months living here; he’s been here before.
Nine years ago, fresh out of university, he was right here, in Los Angeles, on the brink of the big-time.
‘I got a great agent who looked after Aidan Quinn and Lucy Liu and I was going in to meet Disney and Warner Bros and it was all great and it seemed like I was going on this path,’ reveals Eoin, who headed Stateside after graduating from UCD with a BSc in Psychology. He studied the Meisner Technique in New York, secured a hot-shot agent, and re-located to Los Angeles.
‘But then my dad got sick and I came home,’ Eoin says.
His father, James Macken, a highly regarded barrister and linguist, was first diagnosed with cancer in late 2004.
‘My dad was sick for about a year-anda-half to two years, but then he had lots of operations and we thought he was going to be okay so I came back to LA and set myself up here,’ Eoin says.
‘I was only back in LA six or seven weeks and was on to do a big jeans modelling campaign and a really great movie but then dad got sick again. We knew he was going to die about seven or eight months before he did, so I came home.
‘Dad getting sick really put everything in perspective for me, especially being in LA of all places. It’s a cool place but strange in that it’s all centred around yourself, doing what you want to do, trying to become an actor – so when you have a family situation it’s very stark compared with the life here. It was a very jarring experience.’
Back home in Howth, Eoin spent time with his sick father and sisters Freya – now a 26-year-old banker and Niamh, 22, an art student – while allowing his mother Maeve to do the same. He took over her role teaching childcare at an all-girls school for six months.