Boyle over? Never, says Chris O'Dowd
O’Dowd is a self-deprecating sort. He’s clearly respected by the US comedy king Judd Apatow (who produced Bridesmaids and This is Forty, the soon to be released sequel to Knocked Up in which O’Dowd also features) but he prefers to characterise himself as “that loser masturbating at the window of the house of Apatow”. (“Sorry for giving you that image,” he adds.)
When I tell him I hadn’t known he was in Bridesmaids until I went to see it and was pleasantly surprised when he appeared onscreen, he laughs and says: “I felt a bit like that myself!”
As things stand, newly married O’Dowd (he married journalist Dawn Porter in August) has appeared in Girls (Lena Dunham’s excellent comedy drama launching on Sky Atlantic in October) and a musical Australian indie movie, The Sapphires, and he’s to be the lead in Family Tree, a new HBO show by Christopher Guest.
He’s also writing a sitcom for NBC and is eager to author a good Irish boom-and-bust film.
“I think we’ll never move on in Ireland unless we learn to laugh at it,” he says. “I definitely want to keep working in Ireland, and without being too worthy about it, if it’s possible to bring work into the country, that’s no harm. I’ve never been as proud of the place as I was when showing the crew Boyle. It’s like when you introduce your girlfriend to your friends and they’re like, ‘Oh my god, she’s really hot and I love that funny thing that she does!’ and you’d forgotten about that funny thing that she does.
“And I think people in the town have loved it too. I’ll be having a pint somewhere in Boyle and I’ll see a member of the crew and somebody local having a pint together, because at some stage they’ve got to know each other.”
He talks about the challenges of writing and being on the other side of the camera, and says he learned a lot from observing Graham Linehan, writer of The IT Crowd. Luckily, he says, there are children on set, which stops him from having massive tantrums (“Seriously though, our main kid, David Rawle, is the most prepared actor on set,” he says).
And then he has to go. “Talk to you in another three years!” he says, and there’s a pause during which I think he’s hung up. “Can you imagine what mobile phones will be like then?” Then he hangs up.
It’s hard to say these kinds of things without coming across like a dickhead, but I think they’re proud of me