Chris O’Dowd: Roscommon water crisis is ‘extraordinary’

‘If it was in the greater Dublin area it would have been fixed,’ actor tells Roisin Ingle podcast

Nick Murphy, Roisin Ingle and Chris O’Dowd after recording the ‘Roisin Meets’ podcast.

Nick Murphy, Roisin Ingle and Chris O’Dowd after recording the ‘Roisin Meets’ podcast.

 

When Chris O’Dowd was awarded the Freedom of Roscommon, he spoke proudly of the county as being its own place, not just a Dublin satellite. It may be that the county is a little too far away from the capital to be remembered at times. Take for example its ongoing water supply problem, a situation Chris describes as “extraordinary”.

“It’s been going on now for 18 months. If it was any kind of reservoir in the greater Dublin area it would have been fixed 17 months ago. It is just a kind of outside the pale, forgotten about thing” he says on this week’s ‘Roisin Meets…’ podcast. “To be fair, it affects me very little, but you can see all of these people who are constantly complaining about it and nothing happens”.

Forgotten Co Roscommon is the setting of Moone Boy, the Sky comedy O’Dowd stars in and writes with his longtime friend Nick Murphy. After three successful seasons, they have now released a book, Moone Boy: The Blunder Years, further exploring the world of young Martin Moone and his imaginary friends.

O’Dowd and Murphy tell Roisin about the creative freedom permitted by the switch in format. “With the book, we liked the idea that we could go a bit bigger with the story, go wider, and kind of really explore the imaginary world,” says Murphy. “We like the idea that these imaginary friends are pre-existing. They have their own world, and when a kid gets one, they’re essentially hiring one”.

Podcast: Roisin Meets....

“It’s nice to write stuff where you feel that you don’t have to film it at the end,” says O’Dowd. “We can have talking trees and chocolate fish and whatever.”

The pair have known each other since their university drama days. “It was rage at first sight,” says Murphy. Since then, O’Dowd has become a household name as a comic actor, while Murphy has honed his writing on productions such as TG4 drama series The Running Mate and his first feature Hideaway.

“I think we have similar taste, and we have a very good writing chemistry,” says O’Dowd of their new productive partnership. “I don’t think either of us are very precious about our work,” says Murphy. “We’re just searching for the best way, so we’re very comfortable reworking each other’s scripts and that kind of thing.”

The stories in Moone Boy draw from O’Dowd’s family background, particularly his relationship with his three sisters. They are fans of the show, says Chris, although they are not always pleased with how they are depicted.

“Every now and again they’ll go ‘I didn’t… how dare you! What, I was so nice… you said on television that one of us held you down and the other spat on in your mouth!’ And I’ll be like, did it happen? ‘That’s not the point!’