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'I didn't make this film for the Irish people', says director of Wild Mountain Thyme movie


Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt in a scene from the new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme

Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt in a scene from the new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme

Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt in a scene from the new rom-com Wild Mountain Thyme

The Oscar-winning director of Wild Mountain Thyme has addressed the furore around the 'Oirish' accents in the film, insisting he doesn't care what Irish people think.

A trailer of the blockbuster romance film was met with widespread derision due to some of the imagery and accents of stars Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan.

But director John Patrick Shanley has taken the criticism in his stride.

In an interview with Variety, Mr Shanley said "no good will come from" trying to get the Irish to love you.


He compared himself to John Millington Synge and Frank McCourt, whose works drew criticism for their depiction of Ireland as impoverished and its people as primitive and violent.

"I told Emily (Blunt) when we first talked about this project, 'I'm not making this movie for the Irish'.

"If you try to get the Irish to love you, no good will come of it.

"I'm making this movie for everybody else and all the people who want to go to Ireland.

"The Irish reaction to things written about Ireland has been tumultuous from the time of John Millington Synge, when Playboy of the Western World was disrupted because people thought that it was pornographic.

"Frank McCourt was a friend of mine and he took a lot of guff for Angela's Ashes.

"You bring up The Quiet Man to people there and it's like Jesus Christ, it's an abomination.

"That's about as much as I can say about it," he said.

Mr Shanley went on to suggest the dialogue which saw Emily Blunt scream in a fierce pitched brogue - "It was HE that kissed ME" - was "how farmers talk".

"The language of Ireland is akin to the soil of Ireland. It is absolutely central to the identity of the Irish people.

"It's very much appropriate to celebrate the fabulous way that these farmers talk."

In the interview, Mr Shanley spoke about filming in "beautiful' Mayo with its unpredictable weather.

"It's always a fluid thing when you direct a film. You're dealing with the facts on the ground on a daily basis and, of course, there was the changeable weather of County Mayo, and I was working with a lot of animals," he said.

"The audience wants to be taken somewhere they've never been before. Most of us don't get to live on a farm in western Ireland."


Mr Shanley firmly stated his own Irish credentials and recalled his aunts dancing around the living room to the accordion.

"My father didn't come to America until he was 24. He grew up on a farm in central Ireland that's still in my family to this day," he said.

"When I sat down in the Shanley family kitchen and listened to people talk.

"I couldn't believe the level of conversation. It was gorgeous.

"My father played the accordion in the living room and sang and my aunts danced in the living room.

"Both of my mother's parents were from Ireland. So, I'm pretty freaking Irish."