Schull actor seeks funding for film written with Jim Sheridan

He co-wrote The Boy’s School with Mr Sheridan, who is known for classics such as My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father
Schull actor seeks funding for film written with Jim Sheridan

Schull native Michael Farrell (right) with renowned director Jim Sheridan who he is collaborating with for a short film called The Boys' School

A WEST Cork actor who co-wrote a movie script with renowned director Jim Sheridan is seeking the public’s support to bring the project to the big screen.

Schull native Michael Farrell, who lived in Sydney for 12 years and recently moved back to Ireland, co-wrote The Boy’s School with Mr Sheridan, who is known for classics such as My Left Foot and In the Name of the Father. The pair connected through Michael’s family, before developing a working relationship. Now, Michael has set up a GoFundMe in the hope of getting financing. The collaboration is set to feature Love Hate star John Connors as a school principal forced to confront his own bully in order to help a student. Michael said he thought of John after the star voiced concern about having to fit a certain stereotype when acting.

“John is playing the lead of the headmaster dealing with his own bully and a kid in the school who is dealing with a bully,” Mr Farrell said. “We are used to always seeing John Connors using his fist in roles, but I saw him in a much softer, more inward role, which I think he will be really suited to.”

Michael recalled how his collaboration with Sheridan began.

“When we first started off, he said that he couldn’t help me if I was no good. Luckily, when he saw my stuff he said he would be able to help me and I couldn’t think of a better person to be able to learn from.”

He described the director as down-to-earth.

“Working with Jim Sheridan is nothing like I thought it would be,” he said. “He has worked with everyone from Daniel Day-Lewis to Jake Gyllenhaal, but still doesn’t view himself as superior. Everyone in the industry worries about what they are going to do next and Jim is no different. He taught me that the difference between succeeding and not succeeding is doing. It’s not about being the best. You just have to get going and do it.”

Michael said he is grateful to have such support. “Jim Sheridan’s work ethic is unbelievable. He has shown me stuff he is writing to see what I think. His view is that nobody is better than anybody else and he really values your opinion. He is also very generous with his time. When I told him that I had an audition, he invited me over to his house to read with him.”

The actor is passionate about the film’s strong anti-bullying message.

“I can remember knowing a bully when I was a child, who for years had been going through so much. We were all very surprised after realising why he behaved the way he did. It’s similar to what happens in this film, because we realise what is happening in the bully’s life to make him the way he is.”

  • To donate to Michael’s Go Fund Me for the short film The Boy’s School, visit gofund.me/d2be519e.

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