The Navan born comedian talks exclusively to Movies.ie about his new movie ‘A Film With Me In it’.
There is something terrifying about Dylan Moran – maybe it’s that natural association between the Navan born comedian and his ‘Black Books’ character – maybe it’s the simple fact that you know immediately – this man is smarter than you. Either way, this was an interview I approached with trepidation. Thankfully, Moran seems relatively relaxed and affable when Movies.ie met up with the man in Dublin’s Cineworld for the premiere of his new comedy farce ‘A Film With Me In It’.
Directed by Ian FitzGibbon (Showbands), ‘A Film With Me In It’ sees struggling actor Mark having one hell of a day. Bodies keep accidentally mounting up in his basement flat. First there’s the dog, then his wheelchair-bound brother with many more to come… Enter Dylan as Mark’s friend and upstairs neighbour Pierce – another shiftless aspirant who doesn’t have two nickels. Together the two of the most hapless, misguided characters onscreen this year set off to solve a myriad of problems…
Taking a break from his sell-out tour, Moran tells us about the comedy farce, ‘Black Books’ and when we’ll finally get to see him return to Dublin for his latest standup sensation.
Q: So Mr Moran, what brought you to ‘AFWMII’ – simply a chance to work with your mate (and fellow comedian) Mark Doherty?
A: (Laughs) Well that and a bit more too… Mark told me he had a film for me and I said fine. Things carried on as normal and a few years later he came back with a draft. I read it and, along with tremendously feelings of jealously and anger, immediately knew I wanted to do it. That was that really. I mean the thing about this industry is – everyone says they have a film but Mark put the work in and delivered an extremely polished story – nothing felt vague, everything was nicely honed.
Q: As a stand up comedian, do you find that difficult – that lost of control when working from another person’s material?
A:I was brought on as an actor- that was my role. You just have to be confident in what you’ve committing to. Mark’s work was very much defined but the script was so strong. Plus, we did have fun on set – messing around with lines but keeping to his narrative.
Q: Between this film, Michael Winterbottom’s ‘A Cock And Bull Story,’ even ‘Run Fat Boy Run’, you’ve always gone for those “this is Dylan Moran/Bernard Black roles” – How do I put this delicately… have you any woes about being typecast?
A: How delicately put…(Smiles). I do see what you are saying and yeah, maybe that’s something I need to work on. I seriously would like to try new things – maybe I could go off and play middle-aged soviet nurse in the next thing I do… At the same time though, I know my own limitations and I know what I can actually work with.
Q: You’ve been to the Toronto film festival and Edinburgh with this film and the early reviews have all been positive – comparisons to ‘Withnail and I’, Simon Pegg/Nick Frost- do you get caught up in reviews?
A: Well I know that’s the job of a journalist – to shorthand a film with comparisons but honestly that’s not my gig. We’re too close to the film to approach it like that. Ok yes, the story primarily focuses on two men but I see it as a unique film. That said, if I come across a review, I’d read it because I do want to know something about how something is going. It can be a useful gauge.
Q: Your currently touring the UK with your own stand-up – “What It Is” – how’s that going?
A: Again it’s so close to me, it’s very hard to review your own work or even give a little blurb about it. It’s still something I’m trying to work out myself – things are constantly changing and developing on tour. So far there seems to be a lot mentioned of polarities and prejudices but it’s too early to tell where it will go. It usually takes a few weeks before you know what a show is and, in fact, I try to delay that for as long as possible – cause otherwise you get bored.
Q: There are no Irish dates for the tour – will we have to wait for the DVD?
A: Yeah the current tour is UK only but I think there’s a high probability that we’ll be coming to Dublin during the next batch of dates, which will be in February sometime.
Q: So between stand-up and film, you seem pretty busy. Have you any interest in returning to the small screen?
A: It’s quite nice being off television and I’m always so surprised when people bring up ‘Black Books’. I’ve no plans to return to either. I do think television is in need of a shake-up, particularly in terms of what’s coming out of Britain. I’ve had my fill of this sort of “comedy of embarrassment” – where everything is dependent on one character’s fuck-ups. It’s a very strict sitcom style and I think it’s very samey.
Q: What do you think of those hybrid shows – part stand-up, part television, e.g. ‘The Mighty Boosh’ or’ Flight of the Conchords’
A: I’ve never seen ‘Flight of the Conchords’; I’ve seen five minutes of the ‘The Mighty Boosh’, which made me laugh. You’re right the formats are changing slowly and that can only be a good thing.
Q: The Independent mentioned you were hard at work on your novel – how is that coming along?
A:It hasn’t happened yet but believe me, when it does, you’ll know, I’ll be shouting it from the roof top. I haven’t an clue when I’ll get to it. I haven’t the time or the drive at the moment; suffice to say, I will write a novel – sometime before I die…
‘A Film With Me In It’ is in Irish cinemas from Friday, October 17th.