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The Banshees of Inisherin star Colin Farrell calls 14-minute standing ovation ‘embarrassing’ and ‘amazing’

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Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson have reflected on the 14-minute standing ovation that their new film, The Banshees of Inisherin, received at the Venice Film Festival in September.

The black comedy, which sees the two actors reunite with their In Bruges writer-director Martin McDonagh, follows two men whose life-long friendship is abruptly ended.

Speaking on tonight’s episode of The Graham Norton Show (14 October), Farrell said of the standing ovation: “It was a long time and I’ve never experienced anything like it in 20 years of doing this racket. You stand there like a pillock as it was a bit embarrassing, but it was amazing.”

Gleeson added: “It was excruciating but it really was an appreciative thing from the heart, there was real love of the film in the room. The audience wasn’t remotely embarrassed and they were having a great time so we had a great time with them.”

McDonagh’s other credits include 2017’s Three Billboards Outside Missouri, and 2012’s Seven Psychopaths, in which Farrell also starred.

It was speculated that the crowd’s response to the film at Venice might have been related to the fact that, according to Variety, Farrell “broke with tradition by wading into the crowd to take selfies with fans and sign autographs, which only made the cheering grow louder and more sustained”.

The film also stars Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, and is set in 1923 on the fictional island of Inisherin, with the Irish Civil War as a backdrop.

Earlier at the festival, Brendan Fraser was moved to tears when he too received a standing ovation for his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale.

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’

(Searchlight Pictures)

Read The Independent’s four-star of The Whale here, in which Geoffrey Macnab wrote: “Fraser was the star of films like The Mummy and George of the Jungle in the days when he was a more conventionally shaped leading man.

“Now, covered in layers of prosthetics, he gives one of those sad-eyed performances, like a dog with an injured paw begging for a bone, that many audiences will find very hard to resist.”

The Banshees of Inisherin premieres in cinemas on 21 October.


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