SuperValu Christmas ad had personal meaning for the Cork boy who starred in it

SuperValu Christmas ad had personal meaning for the Cork boy who starred in it

Cian Kearney from Douglas stars in SuperValu's Christmas advert. Picture credit: Still from SuperValu ad.

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 to The Echo Cian'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.

Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Picture credit: Ger Kearney.
Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Picture credit: Ger Kearney.

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".

Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Picture credit: Ger Kearney.
Behind the scenes of the SuperValu Christmas ad. Picture credit: Ger Kearney.

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. 

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