Northern Ireland news

Hollywood actress Bridget Moynahan signs up to star in Paperboy movie set in Troubles

US actress Bridget Moynahan has signed up to play a lead role in Paperboy: The Movie, which will tell the story of a music-loving paperboy at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland
Marie Louise McConville

A leading Hollywood actress has signed up to star in a movie about a music-loving paperboy at the height of the Troubles in Belfast.

Bridget Moynahan, whose films include I Robot, Coyote Ugly, John Wick and The Sum of All Fears, is to play a lead role in Paperboy: The Movie, based on a book by Shankill author Tony Macaulay.

Dubliner Colm Meaney is already on board for the film which tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who starts a newspaper round in the Shankill area of Belfast in 1975.

Moynahan, an Academy Award nominee who currently stars in US police drama Blue Bloods, will play the paperboy's mother.

It has also been revealed that Francis Rossi of Status Quo fame will make a cameo appearance as a guitar teacher.

Donald Petrie, whose directing credits include Mystic Pizza, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Miss Congeniality, will be behind the camera.

Speaking to The Irish News, Kevin Byron-Murphy, producer at Titian Red Pictures, said Moynahan was sent the script and "loved it".

"It's fantastic," he said.

"They came back and said she loved it and what we are doing now is we are trying to schedule her in.

"We can't start filming until September and we are shooting for seven weeks. We have to try and get her there for two weeks before she goes back to the States."

Mr Byron-Murphy said the team also had to rethink plans for an open casting for the star role of the paperboy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The producer said he now wanted budding young male actors aged 11-16 to send in clips, lasting no longer than two minutes, saying their name, age and giving a reason why they want to do the role.

He added that girls of the same age are also needed and asked them to also send in similar clips, as there are other roles available.

"Down the line when we start casting, we will use them with the casting director," he said.

"She will go through them and see who is there.

"For some people it is going to be life changing. There's not just the part of Tony - there are some other lovely parts in this and somebody who gets one of these parts, they will go on."

On Covid-19 restrictions, he added: "What the protocols are going to be on set, that is something the government hasn't come out with yet. The industry is putting stuff together but certainly, we will be up-and-running by September."

Audition clips can be sent to www.titianredpictures@gmail.com.

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