‘Amazing’ coincidence as two young actors from East Cork cast in new Netflix thriller series

Finnian Burke, 14, and Max F O’Dwyer, 12, who are both based in Barcelona, have both been cast in an upcoming thriller series for the streaming giant.
‘Amazing’ coincidence as two young actors from East Cork cast in new Netflix thriller series

Finnian Burke (14) with his mother Jennifer who hails from Ballinacurra. The pair is celebrating after Finnian landed a role in a Netflix show filmed in Barcelona

A PAIR of young actors have captured the attention of Netflix producers in a twist that has all the makings of an Irish expat’s fairytale.

Finnian Burke, 14, and Max F O’Dwyer, 12, who are both based in Barcelona, have both been cast in an upcoming thriller series for the streaming giant.

Casting directors had identified talent from all over Europe for the project. However, what was most incredible about the casting decision is that their families both hail from Ballinacurra, Midleton.

The yet-to-be-titled eight-part production from the team behind The Crown is being described as a female-led thriller series. Filming for the programme began last year with confirmed reports of the show’s production emerging in February 2022.

It will be a television debut for both Finnian and Max. Finnian’s mother Jennifer said they couldn’t believe the host of coincidences that came with their big break.

“What’s amazing is they both have grandparents who live just 500m away from each other in Ballinacurra,” she said. 

“Max plays the ukulele and drums and is really theatrical and talented.”

She described the excitement in Cork around the boy’s casting.

“They are so excited,” she said of her parents Evelyn and Noel.

“Dad is already thinking about the Oscars,” she joked.

Max’s grandparents Rosemary and Gerard are also waiting in eager anticipation for the show’s debut.

Jennifer recalled Finnian’s first day on set: “We knew it was big when we saw Finn had his own trailer with the character’s name in it.”

She spoke of the professionalism shown by her son during the process.

Finnian Burke (14), who lives in Spain, at his trailer after landing a part in a Netflix show in Barcelona
Finnian Burke (14), who lives in Spain, at his trailer after landing a part in a Netflix show in Barcelona

“When it came to wardrobe, there were a lot of days where Finn had little to no say. However, he would always make sure to be as polite about it as possible. He has always been really picky about his clothes and they were putting him in things like Birkenstocks and flip flops.

“He was very polite and said: ‘No problem’ to anything he was asked to wear. However, as soon as the trailer door closed it was: ‘Mum, do I really have to wear these?’.”

She said the film crew couldn’t have been nicer.

“Everyone was so nice and sweet to him. It was so exciting just to be around all these lights and cameras.”

Spending time on a film set was a dream come true for both boys.

“Finnian got to wear a tuxedo for the first time. Max had his curly hair flicked back with gel. They loved getting dressed up and riding around in fancy cars. Max got to do a fight scene, so he really enjoyed the fake blood and everything that came with it.”

Max O'Dwyer on set while filming for a new Netflix show set to screeen in the coming months.
Max O'Dwyer on set while filming for a new Netflix show set to screeen in the coming months.

Finnian, who plays the son of a “bad guy” in the production, remains humble about his achievements.

“He’s excited about it but he’s also at an age where he is a bit critical of himself, so he’s cautious about who he tells,” said Jennifer.

The 14-year-old has been the subject of banter from friends.

“His rugby friends found out he is going to be on Netflix and have nicknamed him ‘Hollywood’,” she laughed.

Finnian and Max are both keen to secure a future in acting.

“I don’t think they understand how difficult it really is, because on this occasion it just happened for them,” said Jennifer. “Castings are exciting, but for every one success, there are 100 rejections, and that’s something they’ll come to find out.”

Both families have made an impact in their own communities.

“I think the great thing about our lives is we don’t live an expat bubble. This is what ends up happening to a lot of people, so I suppose we are lucky in that sense.”

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