Strandhill locals to star in Calvary movie

‘Calvary’ is a dark comedy from ‘The Guard’ director John Michael McDonagh, starring Brendan Gleeson as a Sligo priest who is tormented by his parishioners after he is threatened during confession. The crew have been seen filming around the county over the past few weeks and some Strandhill is proud to have some involvement in the movie too. A few locals have been cast as surfing extras, and we caught up with one of them, Barry Mottershead, for his take on things…

“Recently myself, Allan Mulrooney, Steven Kilfeather, his brother Andy, Elizabeth Clyne and Cian Logue got asked to be surfing extras for the much anticipated feature film, Calvary. The movie stars Brendan Gleeson and Chris O’Dowd and has been filmed all over the country, but mostly in Co. Sligo

Our week on set was very exciting, getting to meet the stars, go surfing and also advise the crew on the best locations for a surf. It was great fun hanging out at the beach all day, even if it was a rainy week. The Autumn light didn’t disappoint and the director was loving every minute of the sunsets, with beautiful pastel colours cast over Ben Bulben and the beaches of Streedagh and Easkey.

Lunches were my favourite time of the day, as the onsite caterers were serving top notch food to the hungry cast and crew. Over the space of 4 days I gradually felt my wetsuit getting tighter and tighter on my ever increasing belly! But with lunchtime meals like Pork Medallions, Fish cakes, stews and curries I couldn’t say no.

We had some challenging times like where we had to paddle out at Easkey for a helicopter shot of us surfing, but the conditions were so rough we struggled and snapped two boards in the process. In the end it was worth it as the helicopter above got some dramatic shots of us and the surrounding areas like Easkey village, castle and river.

Brendan and Chris thought we were mad going surfing in the rain and made more than one comment about how cold we must be, but it was all good fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We hope to star as extras again in the future, some of us might even give Chris and Brendan a run for their money!”