AN eight-year-old Cork boy has stolen the hearts of the nation for his performance in SuperValu's emotive Christmas advert.
Cian Kearney, from Douglas, stars as a young boy called Conor who is preparing for Christmas amid Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Speaking toCian's father Ger explained that the story of the ad, which has been lauded for its poignant twist, had a personal meaning for Cian.
"It did make Cian think of his grandparents, he did mention that a few times and especially Grandad Mackey who passed away a couple of years ago, who Cian would have been really close to.
"He felt that message too... it had a personal feel for him," Ger said.
Ger, who has previous acting experience, heard about the part when speaking to a casting director and when Cian expressed interest in it he helped him film a self-tape, which went down a storm with the director and producer.
A couple of days later, after a Zoom call with the director and producer, Cian landed the part.
"Because of the new age that we’re in, the procedures were different – everything was done via Zoom," said Ger, explaining the preparations before filming began.
"With wardrobe, it was funny because they were onto us [via Zoom] the day before Level 5 lockdown, which meant that wardrobe had to go out and buy all the clothes that were required for Cian within that time - imagine the queues for Penneys and Dunnes!"
Filming took place in Dublin, where Ger was on set at all times as Cian's chaperone.
Despite being a novice at acting, Cian took to the filming process like a duck to water and "loved every minute".
Ger, who says he is immensely proud of his son, said the "most emotional" part of the whole process was Cian's three-year-old sister's reaction to seeing her brother on television.
"Her reaction was so lovely. She gave him a hug and kiss – they’re never like that, they’re normally fighting," he laughed.