Shooting Star 2009 – Ireland
by Naman Ramachandran
After debuting in A Love Divided (1999), Sarah Bolger burst upon the international scene with her performance in Jim Sheridan’s In America (2002). The film won her plaudits the world over and paved the way for starring roles like Stormbreaker [+see also:
film profile], The Spiderwick Chronicles and the acclaimed television historical drama The Tudors. She is one of the leads in the upcoming Iron Cross.
Cineuropa: Was it a childhood desire to become an actor?
Sarah Bolger: Not really, it was never an ambition of mine to become an actor, I always enjoyed the business and had a lot of fun on set, but at the tender age of six (while filming A Love Divided) I looked on it as more of a hobby than a career choice!
In America really marked your explosion onto the international cinema scene. At the time, were you and your sister Emma, who also starred in the film, aware of Jim Sheridan’s stature as a director?
Absolutely not. When filming In America I had no idea what an honour it was to get to work with Jim. I absolutely love him and to us he was almost like our on-set dad. He used to run through the lines before filming and he would always listen to out input (however ludicrous at the ages of 6 and 10). We had such an amazing four months working on this project with “Jimbo”!
Stormbreaker must have been a very different, fun experience. How was it like working with the likes of Ewan McGregor and Mickey Rourke?
Stormbreaker was very different to anything I had worked on prior to that. I had to learn how to horse ride in the short space of two weeks. I was amazed to see the cast list when starting the production, with such critically acclaimed names. Ewan McGregor, well probably the only time I’ve been star-struck. Sitting on set waiting to start filming when out walks Mr McGregor. I loved Moulin Rouge, it has to be my favourite film in the world, and so you can imagine my reacting to seeing him. Thunderstruck comes to mind! Mickey was great; I am so thrilled he received the Golden Globe this year (he very much deserves it). He was an absolute gentleman!
Tell us about your role in your forthcoming film Iron Cross?
I play a Polish girl (Kashka) who falls in love with a Jewish boy (the young Roy Scheider) during World War Two. My character is interrogated, tortured and killed to save the person she loves. I spent some time in Warsaw when filming this, which I really enjoyed.
Irish cinema is enjoying a renaissance. Your thoughts on current Irish cinema?
I feel with things coming out of Ireland like The Tudors and Once [+see also:
film profile] (one of my favourite films/soundtracks) – we have some amazing projects coming off this small island. Ireland is absolutely bursting with creativity and talent. Thankfully, we have people like Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan and Morgan O’Sullivan in our corner. I am so proud to be able to work on Irish productions and of course to be IRISH!!
You have been chosen as Ireland’s Shooting Star for Berlin 2009. How does it feel?
I was in complete shock, to be honest, when they told me. I had of course heard of this award but never in my dreams would I have thought I would be chosen. I found out that the Irish Film board had submitted my name whilst filming in Poland, but it was only about a month or so ago that I realised I was actually going to Berlin to represent Ireland. I’m telling you... “Humble” and “honoured” doesn’t even begin to cover it. To read the list of nominees and winners of the Shooting Stars Award in the past decade is like reading a Who’s Who of A-list stars, I can’t believe I am a part of that!
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