Fine Gael TD makes his feature film debut

Tom Neville to appear alongside his actor girlfriend, Fair City’s Jenny Dixon

Actors Joe McKinney, Tom Neville,  Michael Bates and Gerry Shanahan in a scene from Full Circle.

Actors Joe McKinney, Tom Neville, Michael Bates and Gerry Shanahan in a scene from Full Circle.

 

What does a busy TD do in the little spare time they have after looking after their constituents, and honouring their commitments in the Dáil?

Hill walking? Golf? Stamp collecting?

For Tom Neville his hobby, acting, has taken a whole new turn.

The Limerick TD will have his feature film debut with his girlfriend, Fair City actor Jenny Dixon, in the movie Full Circle, also her feature debut.

He plays a TV producer and floor manager and is friend to a documentary film maker Malcolm Walker, played by Michael Bates, who suffers from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after his documentary in Gaza goes horribly wrong.

Ms Dixon, the high profile Keri-Ann in Fair City, plays the production manager in the film written, produced and directed by Irish film maker Noel Brady.

The TD has a masters degree in music, media and technology from University of Limerick and: “I’m a trained actor in the Meisner method, an adaptation of the Stanislavski method” he said. A Wikipedia search states that the approach of the Meisner method is for the actor to “get out of their head”, such that “the actor is behaving instinctively to the surrounding environment”.

The Fine Gael TD filmed his role in the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin over the summer.

Release

The last scenes are currently being filmed “and then it will go into post production for release at the end of the year”, he said.

And he previously had a role in a short film Sleeping Dogs by producer Paddy Moynan, in which he played what he describes as a “slightly villainous character”.

Is all this acting taking his eye off the political ball?

“Absolutely not. I’m 110 per cent a politician,” he insists. “Politics is my full-time job and first priority. I was elected by the people of Co Limerick and am very privileged and humbled to have that role and will continue to work for them and represent them.”

The son of former Fine Gael TD and party chairman Dan Neville, he said he did not get as much time for acting these days as he had before but it was an important hobby.

But he believes there should be more synergy between politics and the arts, which he said was good for communities and good for mental health and there should be more emphasis and funding for community arts and sport.

Cultural experiences

The 41-year-old has been involved in acting throughout his career as well as other cultural experiences including six years as a part-time volunteer DJ for West Limerick 102FM where he had a dance music show.

The politician-actor also has a graduate diploma in business and digital marketing which may help when a group of friends set up a film production company he will have an involvement in: “A group of us work together on initiating short films.”

He will be involved in aspects of it including creating sets, dialogue, “getting into the specifics of a plot and even scene choreography”.

An exciting interwoven life - the world of politics and acting.