The Cast and Crew Of Mum Speak To The Blog About The Film!


Good Afternoon Lovelies,

A few weeks ago, I was kindly asked if I would like to speak to the cast and crew behind one of this year’s starring films at the Galway Film Fleadh! And of course, I just had to say yes!

Mum is a brand-new drama feature created by writer and director Anne-Marie O’Connor’s, telling the story of Kate, a transgender actress who comes home to look after her mother who is seriously ill. Having planned a day out, Kate finds herself facing things she never imagined, causing her plans to change to do something she needs to do.

Speaking to the blog O’Connor and leading actress Kate O’Donnell spoke to the blog about the film’s message, their favourite scenes and what they have coming up next.

Firstly, congratulations on the film being shown at the Galway Film Fleadh Film Festival! How did it feel to be selected?
Great! I went to university college Galway on an exchange years ago, so to come back with a film was lovely. It’s such a prestigious festival and the programming was excellent, Ireland’s not short of great story tellers (I’m clearly not the first person to make this observation!)

Could you explain to those who may not know what the film is about - what the story is?
Kate goes home to see her mum after some time away. We get the sense that all is not well in her relationship with her stepdad, but that it’s just normal family niggle. When Kate gets home she realises that her mum is very ill and no one has told her. She feels set up by her step dad, that he has let her walk into this in order to punish her for her absence. He, in turn, feels that her absence in self-imposed and that he is there, day in, day out, caring for Kate’s mother. There is an argument and then Kate, who had gone over to take her mum out for a spa day, realises that she needs to do what she can with her mum at home. Ultimately both get the day they needed if not necessarily the day they wanted.

What was it like working on the film? What was the most inspiring thing that happened during that time?
I’m always slightly suspicious when I see a film junket and everyone’s talking about what a fantastic time they had working on a film but I have to say it was a total pleasure working on MUM, (we filmed a year ago, maybe it’s like child birth and I’ve just forgotten!) The one thing that really stands out to me as inspiring was the casting of little Andrew. Andrew is played by Joe Pearson who is a trans gender actor and who was only nine at the time of filming. We decided that Kate and Kate before she transitioned (we see her as Andrew as a boy and as a young man) should be played by trans actors. We met a number of young trans boys and their parents. To see the love and support of the families for their children – when the world seems to want to offer an opinion on how they raise them – was hugely inspiring. Joe’s MUM is one of the most inspiring people I’ve met. She faces each issue that arises with strength, love and determination and a much-needed sense of humour.

There are some incredible performances in the film, what was it about the actors in the film that stood out to you in the pre-production process?
Lee Boardman is a good friend of mine and one of my favourite actors. In playing Carl, he was playing against type – as someone who sits on the fence and doesn’t want an argument – and I really wanted to see him play that type of character. Margot is one of the best-loved theatre actresses in the country and we’ve worked together before and I knew that she would bring love and warmth to the role of MUM. Ken Colley is also a hugely experienced actor who has worked on some of the biggest films in the world. (He was in the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi!) Ken brought an edge to Graham that was needed. I didn’t want to be a) mean or b) a push over. Graham is a decent man but his main flaw is that he wants his wife to himself without giving room to her daughter.  He covers this up by telling himself that he’s angry because he is the main carer. We had a couple of days rehearsal before which was hugely helpful for me to get the dynamics right between the characters and the actors also really appreciated as when they are working in TV and film it’s usually a case of turn up and perform.

Is there a scene that you are most proud of or one that you would like audiences to look out for? Why this one?
I love the bathroom scene where Kate washes her mum’s hair. It mirrors the earlier scene where Mum washes Little Andrew’s hair and in both scenes, they sing the song Black Velvet Band.  I am very proud of this scene. It captures for me how arguments in families are dealt with in the real world: without digging over the bones of the argument but by putting it behind you and getting on with life. It is a gentle, intimate moment between mum and daughter and Kate is now clearly the one doing the looking after which is what her mum needs in this moment.

Finally, can you tell us anything about what you are both working on next?
Kate: I have just finished playing the role of Feste in Twelfth Night at the Royal Exchange, Manchester and I am about to premier my new one woman show You’ve Changed at the Edinburgh International Festival which I am then touring nationally.

Anne-Marie: I am currently working on a project for AMC. I’m working with Warp Films on a returning drama and with Big Talk and ITV on a comedy series. I’ve written a feature film which I will also direct.

Keep a look out for Mum very soon lovelies!

Blog Soon,

Joey X

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