Donkey double of Inisherin!
Film’s hunt for lookalike in an unlikely leading role
THEY’RE usually the preserve of Hollywood A-listers doing dangerous stunts.
But in The Banshees of Inisherin, finding one body double in particular required a lot of, well, donkey work.
Jenny the donkey plays a pivotal role alongside Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in Martin McDonagh’s nine times Oscar-nominated tragi-comedy.
But Jenny’s handler Rita Maloney was asked to find an identical match for filming on the isolated island of Inishmore in 2021. ‘It was very difficult because she, even for a miniature donkey, was really very petite,’ said Ms Maloney, 69, who works for Fircroft Animal Actors in County Kildare.
She spent weeks searching for the perfect match across Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Belgium. ‘Eventually we sourced as near a double as we could in northern England. She dwarfed Jenny in many ways,’ she said.
After all that, the second donkey – Nosy Rosie – wasn’t even used in the final edit. ‘It was always going to be impossible to match her,’ said Ms Maloney, who has also worked on Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan. She said McDonagh was ‘besotted’ with Jenny – even though she kicked Farrell during one scene.
Playing the sidekick of Farrell’s Pádraic, she has since retired to an undisclosed location with the help of the filmmaker.
Farrell, Gleeson, co-stars Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, and director McDonagh are all in contention for Oscars at tomorrow’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles.