Most of you know I’m Northern Irish. I either told you or you guessed from my sexy accent and propensity for sudden acts of violence. So I thought I would introduce you to a few of my countrymen. Bear in mind Northern Ireland is a country with a population of 1.5 million people so there isn’t an abundance of famous actors. But the ones we did produce are some supercool sons of bitches! I’ve also provided a guide to common Northern Irish phrases with translations in the captions. Let’s begin.
5. Stephen Rea
Not the highest profile actor in the world but !a good character actor who’s been in some great films over the years. How could you forget his oscar nominated role in The Crying Game where he falls in love with a woman with a big secret. Or as a vampire in Interview with the Vampire. Probably the Belfast boy’s biggest role of late is as the detective tracking down V in V for Vendetta.
4. Kenneth Branagh
He might not have the trademark indecipherable accent but Kenneth Branagh is actually from Belfast. Famous for directing loads of Shakespeare plays and the first Thor film, Branagh is like the sensible son who left home and did well for himself with a truly respectable career. Well apart from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and casting Keanu Reeves in a Shakespeare movie.
3. Sam Neill
Neill is one of Australia’s best loved actors. Or he would be if he wasn’t technically Northern Irish. The star of Jurassic Park and the so bad its amazing Omen 3 was born in Omagh meaning we can claim him as one of ours. Neill’s family left Ulster when he was young managing to travel to the only country more backwards than Ireland. Give him back Aussies!
2. Ciaran Hinds
Big Ciaran is a character actor who has been slowly making a name for himself over the years. He’s acted in some absolutely huge film such as Munich, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, The Phantom of the Opera and There Will Be Blood among many more. Right now audience may recognise him as Manse Rayder, leader of the Wildlings, in Game of Thrones. Which is a great role for a Belfast boy as it’s an incredibly violent place with political backstabbing and a big wall to keep everyone apart.
1. Liam Neeson
Big Liam is the man. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. He’s from the cosmopolitan playground of the stars – Ballymena. What’s that? It’s a grim hellscape with two shopping centres? OK that’s more accurate. Liam is as comfortable playing Oscar Schindler as he is cracking eastern European skulls in the Taken films. Liam is the go to actor for playing a wise mentor as seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins and Kingdom of Heaven. Fun fact: Helen Mirren taught him to drive.
That’s my list. Are you fans of any of these guys? Have you been to Northern Ireland? Did you survive it? Let me know below. And if you’d like to take part in the SK Olympics and do a list like this for your home get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to reading what you’ve all done.