Middletown Interviews

Middletown: Eva Birthistle Interview

Sunday Times

October 29, 2006

Interview: Dye another day

Eva Birthistle's steely determination has taken her from Glenroe to her role in the ‘intense' film Middletown. But she doesn't always want to be serious, discovers Paul Byrne


It was the kind of part that most young actresses would jump at, a regular role in Ireland's longest-running drama. Yet scarcely had Eva Birthistle, then barely in her twenties, made her screen debut in Glenroe than she began to feel restless.

Belfast Telegraph: Middletown

Daragh Carville: The priest, his brother and a big screen debut


Could Middletown be the first film to come out of Northern Ireland that's not about the Troubles? Lucy Gollogly spoke to its writer, Daragh Carville, about broadening our horizons - and landing hot property Matthew Macfadyen
27 October 2006

Northern Ireland's history of political conflict has provided a wealth of material for filmmakers and featured in some great movies, such as Some Mother's Son, In the Name of the Father and The Crying Game.

But while Co Armagh writer Daragh Carville, whose debut feature film Middletown is gaining praise at film festivals worldwide, wanted to explore what happens when extreme ideologies explode into violence, he was determined not to churn out yet another Troubles movie.

Middletown: Brian Kirk Interview



It's grim up north

There's a touch of the gothic about Middletown, which follows the disturbing machinations of a demented minister in Northern Ireland as he turns against his family. Director Brian Kirk tells Donald Clarke what drove him to this robust take on fundamentalism Read More>>





Mr Darcy comes to town (Dec 2005)

Mr Darcy comes to town

The News Letter (Belfast, N. Ireland) December 23, 2005

MATTHEW MacFadyen plays Keira Knightley's prospective husband Mr Darcy in this autumn's movie version of Pride and Prejudice.

The hard-working English actor, who got his mainstream break in MI5 TV drama Spooks, is happy to be filming in Ulster for new feature film Middletown, as another boost is given to the local movie industry, supported by Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission.

Matthew's keen to get finished today and get home for Christmas, with a top present for wife Keeley Hawes:

"Yes, I've adored being in Northern Ireland, but I can't wait to see Keeley.

"I need to give her something really lovely this year because I bought her a disgusting necklace last year, which I thought was ok, but I never saw it again after Christmas Day."

And baby Maggie, born in November 2004, is looking forward to her first 'real' Christmas too, according to Matthew.

"Maggie will be playing with all the boxes that everything comes in and she might even take her first steps over Christmas.

"She's doing that swaying thing on her feet now, just ready to go - It'll be lovely to see them both."

The 31-year-old star met Keeley on the set of Spooks in 2002.

Now Middletown, the first feature film by Armagh playwright Daragh Carville, is Matthew's new challenge.

"I play a Protestant minister, Gabriel Hunter, who comes back to a little Bible-belt village to take over the parish.

"My character is a little over zealous, but he's convinced that he was chosen by God to do His work. There may be some echoes of famous Ulster- Scots preachers, but I'll leave that up to others to judge.

"My father in Middletown is played by Tyrone actor Gerry McSorley. Everything seems great at first but then it all starts falling apart, with a bit of rivalry with my brother."

Although Middletown may make us think of the Co Armagh village, no filming has been done in the Orchard County location on the border.

Filming has been ongoing at the Ulster Folk Museum, Maysfield, Black Mountain and Glaslough in the Republic.

Matthew won't give away too much, but runs a few lines in an excellent Ulster accent, before revealing a little of the plot.

"I do some ad hoc preaching while my father's garage is going up in flames in this small village with a pub, a shop and a garage."

I learn that there is also a tragedy, which I won't reveal, but I have to ask Matthew how he feels about the international acclaim that Pride and Prejudice brought.

He sounds absolutely honest when he says: "Mercifully, it's over! It was a sweet film but we had to do a huge amount of publicity for it and that's always tiring."

And as for the New Year, he jokes that it's completely free: "No, I don't have a job. "Obviously, I'm now being thrown onto the scrapheap! Like any actor, I'm just waiting to see what turns up."

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