The Banshees of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh 'wrote the film for Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson'

Virgin Radio

21 Oct 2022, 09:36

Colin Farrell, Martin McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson

Credit: Getty

Dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin is out in cinemas now, and according to its director, Martin McDonagh, the movie was the perfect way to reunite Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

Colin and Brendan previously starred in Martin’s 2008 comedy. In Bruges, where the pair won over fans with their impeccable chemistry.

Banshees is set in 1923, where the duo play life-long friends Padraic (Farrell) and Colm (Gleeson), who end up on different sides of the Civil War ravaging the country.

It’s been 16 years since they last shared the big screen together, and director Martin admitted to that he immediately thought of bringing the acting icons together the moment the idea for Banshees came into his head. 

Speaking at the London Film Festival UK premiere of The Banshees of Inisherin earlier this month (13th October), we asked Martin if Colin and Brendan were always his top choice while writing the film, to which he replied: “It was completely written for them. I always wanted to get them back together. It was also written for Kerry [Condon] and Barry Keoghan, too. 

“They were all available and cheap at the time, so I went with it,” Martin joked. 

Banshees also reunites the Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri director with his Irish roots.

While the isle of Inisherin is fictional, it was based on and filmed on the real Irish Island of Inishmore - a location used in Martin’s 2001 play, The Lieutenant of Inishmore. 

When quizzed about what makes the rural destination so inspiring, Martin added: “It's a place of great spirituality. I think the people were so welcoming to us. There are places in Irish literature that have always been like, and at the heart of what Irish literature is about. 

“I know [John] Synge went there to write and research, and My Playboy of the Western World is an amazing play, and Yeats went there too, I think in some ways it is the beating heart of Irish literature. So I wanted to get a bit of that too.”

Batman star Colin and Harry Potter actor Brendan were just as on board with their reunion as Martin, as the pair said they “clicked right back into it” when they arrived on day one of filming. 

For both Irish actors, learning Martin wanted to reunite them on the big screen was an “automatic yes”, and it didn’t take too long from the friends to get back into working together.

Brendan told “We clicked right back into it,” Brendan explained. “But the setting was different. Bruges was very obviously a character in what we did over there, and the west of Ireland, the Ireland community and the topography. I mean, it just blows through your head in a different way. So that was immediately… the context was slightly different and that was it really.”

The Banshees of Inisherin is out in cinemas now.