John Michael McDonagh, noted screenwriter (Ned Kelly) and brother to playwright Martin McDonagh, makes his directorial debut today with the action-comedy The Guard. On surface, The Guard could easily be viewed as just a fun-rollicking buddy action comedy but delving deeper the film ably tackles issues of xenophobia – in particular: how a little joshing around can affix seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides. Each character within the film is quick to decry and mock another’s nationality, ethnicity, appearance, accent, language… But instead of becoming a source of tension between characters, these insults unite and at times help bond the wayward inhabits of County Galway. See the burgeoning friendship of Brendan Gleeson’s fiercely Irish Sgt. Boyle and Don Cheadle’s city-boy American Agent Everett as proof.
In the following interview with McDonagh, he discusses developing The Guard for the big screen, basing the character of Sgt. Gerry Boyle on himself and tackling xenophobia in the film. For more on The Guard (opening in select cities today), see (i.e. click) on the previous interviews with Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson. For McDonagh’s full interview, hit the jump.
John Michael McDonagh
- Does he usually develop scripts based on a single character. Talks about how he got inspired to tell this story
- Says the character is based on himself
- How the film has conflicted feelings about Ireland and what were his experiences there
- 2:00 – The fear of outsiders
- 2:30 – Race and ethnicity are parts of the film
- 3:40 – What is he doing next