It’s a Saturday night in Hollywood, CA at the Arclight Cinemas for the ‘Hollywood Film Festival’ screening of ‘Songs for Amy’ a romantic comedy and musical drama filmed in the gorgeous backdrop of Galway, Ireland. The story follows the relationship between Sean O’Malley (Sean Maguire) and Amy (Lorna Anderson). As I walk down the streets of Hollywood on the way to the after party at The Sayer Club with Fiona Graham (writer) & Konrad Begg (director) talking about how great the movie was and what’s next for them. I am preparing to talk to Sean Maguire whose real life story is as interesting as the storyline of the movie. As the after party kicks off were treated to live music from the movie with Ultan Conlon and Alabama 3 (A3). Great vibes in the club when I start off talking to Sean Maguire!
Aprilyn: How did you get involved with this project?
Sean: I was sent the script and I liked it but I had a few questions about it. Fiona and her sister who is a Co-Producer on the movie flew out to LA and we met up and we had a conversation about it. And I just got along really well with them and it felt close to my home roots of Ireland and family and stuff like that. I am playing a character called Sean and I have a sister called Katie, which I do.
Aprilyn: Oh wow, that’s very interesting!
Sean: And even though it’s obviously not my life story it just felt like something I felt I could do. With the exception that I don’t sing very well and couldn’t play the guitar, but I thought it would be an interesting challenge and I thought it was the kind of movie I would like to be involved with and it was nice to be asked. So I signed off and once Konrad Begg the director signed off, um I booked the role.
Aprilyn: So you say you don’t sing very well?
Sean: Well, I was a singer for about three years when I was in my early 20’s, but it was more of a byproduct of being on a popular TV show in England. It’s not because I had any musical talent, it’s just because that came along with the role. So I’m not scared of singing but I’m just aware of where I sit in the pantheon of singers, you know.
Aprilyn: Do you do any dancing?
Sean: Ah well, yea my mum and dad are Irish Dancing teachers and all 5 of my siblings are dancing teachers. So I was an Irish dancer from birth to age 15 or 16. I was the Great Britain Champion and American Champion and things like that.
Aprilyn: Oh wow how interesting! Do you still do any dancing?
Sean: Naw, naw. I leave that to the professionals now, I leave that to my Mum, Dad and my siblings.
Aprilyn: So would you ever consider doing a show like Dancing with the Stars?
Sean: You know what, I think those shows are great and I know the public really enjoys them but I don’t know if that’s really for me. I didn’t really feel like a dancer in a dancing family, I felt more prone to wanting to act and write and direct. But it’s nice to have the skill set to be able to try to adapt to it if asked.
Aprilyn: If a part comes along it will be nice to have dancing in your pocket?
Sean: Yes! Plus, to be on Dancing with the Stars you have to be a celebrity.
Aprilyn: Oh stop it, you are a star. I remember you back when you were on the show Eve. I had the biggest crush on you for years.
Sean: Oh wow, that is so very nice of you. Thank you so much!
Aprilyn: This movie was very personal. Do you think you can take something so personal from your life and write about it and put it on the big screen?
Sean: You know, funny enough, I kind of have. I haven’t done anything with it yet. I wrote a movie that is very, very sort of personal and autobiographical about growing up as one of many children in an Irish Dancing family because it’s what I was immersed in from naught to 15 or 16. So I’ve written a film about that, but I just haven’t gotten it where I want it because I’m not a good writer yet. I know when a film is good or when it’s not by the script. It’s just not where it needs to be yet. But there is a great desire in me to write something, a memoir if you would, about that life, it’s funny incidents and there’s tragic moments and there’s the gambit of human emotions. Um, but I just haven’t accomplished myself enough as a writer to give it a good enough version yet. But it is something that I do want to do. I would change names, characters and places and it would be fictional, but based on really my experience growing up in an Irish Dancing Family.
Aprilyn: In this movie it was kind of a personal heart felt performance that you gave. Do you find yourself getting caught up in the story when you’re doing these types of movies?
Sean: You know that’s a very good question! I have, and I did and on this particular movie. We became a very fast family and we’re all drinking together and hanging out together and we’re on an island and we’re making a film and all feels great and exciting and you become in a bubble and the rest of the world doesn’t really matter so much. And I was in love with a girl when I was shooting this film who is now my wife. In fact today is our first anniversary. We got married a year ago today. This movie taught me an awful lot about learning the lines between keeping your professional life and your personal life in sort of somewhat separate boxes. It’s difficult to do because they tend to bleed into each other but out of an extraordinarily fantastic experience on this film. Sometimes you know when you get in that bubble with everybody else and you’re doing this thing, you’re thinking great, having a wonderful time, and making a great movie. You can sometimes forget about phoning home and phoning your girlfriend and I just learned a little bit more about keeping my lines a bit more separated, you know about showing up at work and work and then go home. It’s a very difficult balance to get it right. Because you want to bond with your cast and your mates, but at the same time you can’t do that at the expense of your real loved ones that are there before and after every job, you know. I’ve learned a little bit more about keeping my work and my personal life a little bit more separate from this point onward.
Aprilyn: It seemed to be a party atmosphere vibe to the movie. Did that vibe continue on after the cameras stopped rolling?
Sean: We had a very professional set on a kind of 9 to 5 basis but we did all hang out together when we finished filming. We were in a tiny town that had three pubs. So we all hung out and drank together, we sang and we played music. That’s why it was such a fun experience. I think it does show right onto the screen. So either people will like it or they won’t ,but I think it feels very authentic you don’t feel like everyone is faking it. It feels like its more documentary than a fictional movie and I think that’s to the testament to some of the play actors and some of the lovely moments of direction in the movie. I just had a blast and it was an enjoyable process to be with all the guys, especially the band we all really bonded together and we all remained pretty close. We just had a real ball. Part of me would want to do this again, but I think I’d want to be, I don’t know, this movie lends itself to just jump in and get involved with it and when it’s done, it’s done. We enjoyed ourselves lot, a bit too much at times.
Aprilyn: I can kind of tell everyone had a lot of fun! Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun but on screen you all seemed professional. Are you working on anything new?
Sean: Yes, I am working on Once Upon A Time on ABC and I’m playing Robin Hood. I’m going back to Vancouver.
Thank you for helping to promote our film.
Aprilyn: Thank you so much Sean for talking with Movie Vine.
Below is the trailer for Songs for Amy: