Actor James Martin, who stars in An Irish Goodbye, has revealed which Hollywood stars he wants to meet when he attends the Oscars next month.
Set in Northern Ireland and following two estranged brothers who come together to fulfill her bucket list after their mother’s death, the film was nominated in the Best Short Film category at the 95th Academy Awards.
Martin, 30, whose birthday coincides with the awards ceremony in March, said he hopes to meet Northern Irish actor Liam Neeson and other big names such as Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro and Jennifer Aniston.
The actor, who has Down syndrome, told BBC Breakfast on Thursday: “Well it’s not every day you go to America, and an Oscar could be a nice birthday present because it’s actually on March 12, my birthday , so the timing is fantastic.”
He added: “I would love to meet Tom Cruise, of course I would, Top Gun is a fantastic movie. I’d like to meet Liam Neeson because we have something in common.
“I would really like to meet Robert De Niro, because we also have something in common.”
Set on a rural farm and filmed on location in Londonderry, Templepatrick and Saintfield, the black comedy is directed and written by Tom Berkeley and Ross White.
Berkeley said, “We’re probably going to lose our heads.”
White also said it was “fantastic” and “enough for us” to be considered for the Oscar longlist, before being nominated for their short film.
When asked how they knew they had created something special, Berkeley mentioned the relationship between Game Of Thrones and The Northman star Seamus O’Hara, who plays Turlough, and Martin, who plays Lorcan.
Berkeley added: “(When we heard) they facetime each other at night to originally walk their lines, and then they just did it because they just became really fast friends, so I think we realized they had something special together.”
In the film, when the brothers are reunited, Turlough must make new care arrangements for Lorcan and plans to send him to live with his aunt on the other side of Ireland.
Lorcan tells Turlough that he won’t leave the farm until they complete the 100 items on the list of things their mother, played by Game Of Thrones actress Michelle Fairley, wanted to do before she died.
Martin, who previously starred in the BBC film Ups And Downs and works in hospitality at Scalini Italian restaurant in Belfast and Starbucks, called his friendship with O’Hara “a special bond” and it was important that he make people laugh made when they saw it.
He added: “Because I made An Irish Goodbye in lockdown you just want to make people laugh and because you don’t want to see the same thing on TV over and over again.
“So we need to look at something new and I like that.”
An Irish Goodbye is also nominated for the British Short Film Award at the 76th Baftas, which takes place on February 19.
The film has already won awards at the British Short Film Awards, the Indy Shorts International Film Festival and the Irish Film Festa.