Mrs Brown’s Boys star tells critics they will always be “a donkey telling a horse how to win a race”.
It’s a crazy life for star of BBC show Mrs. Brown’s Boys, Danny O’Carroll. Propelled, along with his co-stars and family, to worldwide notoriety thanks to his role as ‘Buster’ on the hit TV series, the O’Carroll family are loved by the public and despised by the critics. Dublin-born O’Carroll recently played in a charity football match for Irish Autism Action and I got the chance to talk with him after the game.
“It’s brilliant. I love playing [football]. I’ve idolised them [the Irish Legends] for years and it’s great to get down and play ball with them. You had Niall Quinn, John Aldridge, I’ve been a big fan of John’s all my life, Steve Staunton. It’s great to see them all, they’re all Irish legends and deservedly so!” He said, talking to me post-match.
In June this year a much-anticipated film adaptation of the comedy show was released; Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie, which made a whopping £14,290,707, more than triple the film’s original budget. It recently also had a record-breaking DVD release. “It’s great. We’re enjoying the ride. The way things are going, it has gone way beyond what we expected and everything seems to be going that way. We don’t know what it is. If we knew what it was we’d keep doing it! But we’re just enjoying the ride at the moment.”
Not many could have imagined how successful the show has been. O’Carroll’s father, Brendan has been working on stories about the show’s main character since the early 1990s. “Not a chance [that they could have foreseen the show’s success]! We thought we had a little bit of a fan base with the live shows that we did so we thought we might get some viewers, but not even a quarter of what we’re getting. It’s just unheard of.”
Unfortunately for the cast and crew, who are made up of the extended family members of Brendan O’Carroll, the show’s viewing figures don’t match up with the critical reception, with the Guardian rating the recent film a meagre one star and branding it ‘a flatly indifferent cash in’. But this doesn’t faze the 30-year-old, who finds it easy to shrug off the harsh comments. “Yeah, the critics hate it!” He laughs. “It’s probably a good thing. I think that’s why it’s working. People just like to go against them. We’re used to it now at this stage.”
In fact, the father of two is quite vocal in his opinion. When asked if his response to the critics would be a “‘Thank you’”, he replied “Abso-****ing-lutely! Listen, critics, they have a job to do. So they do what they think they have to do. There’ll always be a donkey trying to tell a horse how to win a race.”
So what’s next for the surprise star? The headline of an article regarding one of the cast of Mrs. Brown’s Boys is never going to read ‘Next stop: Hollywood’, but could he see himself working in more highbrow comedy? Or possibly drama beckons; his CV already boasts roles in Angela’s Ashes and When the Sky Falls. He admits that his acting dream didn’t involve following his drag-wearing father around a soundstage in front a live studio audience. “Of course not! There’s loads in the pipeline at the moment. Especially with myself and Paddy [Houlihan], who plays Dermo. There’s comedy stuff that we’ve written ourselves and there’s other stuff that we’re writing that is not so much comedy. But we’re enjoying it and there’s a lot of stuff coming up. I’m looking forward to it all!”
Image: Amanda Wood & Danny O’Carroll © UPI Media – Universal Pictures.
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