I recently got the chance to talk to Kevin Marron about his role in ‘Trapped’. Here, Kevin talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and who he would invite to dinner…
Hey Kevin. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Trapped’ is currently on DVD right now!
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The story follows Anton O’Neill, a young man from near the Northern Ireland border who returns from years at sea with the merchant navy and walks straight into ‘the troubles’ in the early 1970s. Angered by rough treatment by British soldiers who patrol the border, he enlists in the IRA, but soon finds that a dangerous and violent life isn’t for him, so he goes on the run – from the IRA and the authorities.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I’m Cpl. Watts in the movie, the British soldier that Anton first encounters. I’m a bit hard on him and his family and I force his elderly Dad to get out of their car and I empty the car boot out onto the road. Then just tell him to pick it up and get going. I’m not meant to be that nice but later in the movie my commanding officer and I come to the aid of Anton’s wife when she’s being unnecessarily hassled by a couple of other soldiers…which is really a testament to my good soldiering and ability to spot a troublemaker – she’s no threat, but Anton does go on to run guns and build bombs!
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I knew the director, Graham, and a few of the production team from the film scene in Dublin. They’d already shot part of the film before I got involved; they’d done a lot of the bigger sequences and Gerry McSorley’s scenes for a sizzle reel, and then I came on board when they’d secured the remainder of the financing.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
The film is a story about Northern Ireland in the seventies, but it’s approached from a very different angle to the usual films on the subject. Showing Anton’s perspective of the Ireland he returns to and how it affects his daily life and family, it shows his tipping point and foolhardy embrace of violence, which quickly gets out of his control. He makes a lot of bad choices, he’s hard to like, and he puts a lot of people in danger and brings a lot of hardship on himself and his family. Neither he nor his antagonists in the film are innocent, nor do any of them elicit our sympathy, but we do see the damage they’re causing and how they’re hurting those around them.
The film stars Gerard McSorley, Anthony Fox, Laura Way, Andy Smith, Cillian Roche, Vincent Fegan and Griet Van Damme – with Graham Cantwell onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
The cast and crew were great. There was a real camaraderie on the set and it was a lot of fun. My scenes were with Anthony and Laura, who I hadn’t worked with before so it was great to get to perform with them, and I was the “bad guy” in those scenes so that’s always fun. Working with Graham was a pleasure; he’s a great director and works really well with actors and crew alike so he runs a tight ship. I’ve worked with him a few times, on this and two shorts, ‘An Racán’ and ‘One Careful Owner’, which I produced and starred in and Graham directed.
Let’s talk a bit about you Kevin. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?…
I started out acting when I was a kid. When I was eight, I got involved in regional theatre; I did a couple of shows a year in both youth productions and playing child roles in adult productions. Then by the time I was 13 or so I had no intention of doing anything else – before that I thought I’d be a carpenter… I still do a lot of woodwork; carpentry has been in my family for a few generations so I’ve an inherent compulsion to build things in my downtime. In school, my teachers wanted me to study English and other academic subjects, but I couldn’t do it, the idea of a back-up plan just seemed like admitting defeat before getting started – so I went to acting school and got stuck in.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
I’d just say go for it. Know what you want and work on it every day. This is essentially a simple industry and despite all of the countless books that have been written on how to get into it and how to do it, the business aspects and the practical elements of performance are quite straightforward – that’s not to say it’s easy, but the stumbling blocks are more a matter of personal fear than real-world difficulties. Just get out there and start knocking on doors and you’ll find they open quicker than most people say they do.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Jessica Tandy – I absolutely love her. I wish I could have worked with her. Whether she’s Miss Daisy, Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes or Faye Riley in Batteries Not Included, she gets me every time – there’s no one like her today. I’d have her bring Hume Cronyn with her too…
Richard Pryor – The man was just too funny, and his life was fascinating. I’ve read his biography and have all his shows that I can get my hands on – it’d be great to sit down with him and just shoot the shit.
After that I’d probably go way back. I’m really interested in history, more so as I get older. I didn’t study history in school so I’ve had to supplement my education as I’ve gone along. I’d like to talk to maybe one of the pre-christian Irish kings, get an insight into that world. I’ve read quite a bit about the society and laws back then and it’s fascinating.
I’m not quite sure how well my guests would get on with each other but I’m sure they’d be sociably polite at the very least.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’ve got a couple of Rage Against The Machine albums, some Metallica, Iron Maiden and a couple of punk compilations. I listen to it when I’m out running or working out. I only listen to music when I’m working out or driving. I like the quiet the rest of the time, just listening to the sounds around me.
What’s the most interesting/funniest piece of news you’ve heard in the last month or so?
I try to stay clear of the news most of the time, it’s rarely good and tends only to annoy me. I get snippets in the gym though. There’s no sound on most of the TVs, but in the changing rooms there is and it usually sparks a good scene in the mornings. I try to block out the report itself, but it’s great to see how the other guys react to whatever is being talked about. Interestingly, no one challenges the voiced opinions; whoever speaks first gets to have the soapbox for the day, their opponents just slip out quietly. I’m still waiting for a good story that I can weigh in on… but it’ll come!
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’ve a good year coming up by the looks of things. I’ve got a theatre show here in LA in March; it’s the second year we’re doing it. Last year Pierce Brosnan and Roma Downey were in it along with a full orchestra and a lot of other familiar faces. This year’s show is being packaged at the minute and the scripts are being finalized. I’ve got a couple of films pencilled in for the summer, one in Ireland mid-summer and then one here in LA later in August. I also write, and have three feature scripts lined up for submission during the year. Apart from that it’ll be auditioning as usual and seeing what comes my way. I love that openness in this business, the unpredictability, the potential for anything and everything.
Thanks for the interview!