The Short Game – Our Interview With John Connors
Eagle-eared listeners to the PLAY Podcast might have heard a familiar voice as the winner of the Virgin Media Discovers short film competition – the one and only John Connors! Well, the most recent issue of PLAY Magazine, we sat down with the actor, writer and director for a more thorough chat – where we discussed his winning film Innocent Boy, but also forthcoming projects, press attention, and more…
There’s a saying that you should never work with children or animals – but Innocent Boy is a film about a small boy and his horse…
I think that’s a load of rubbish – the children are better than most adults! Their imagination is off the charts, and their level of creativity; I had a blast working with them. We had a really great cast – maybe the first ever all-traveller cast – and we reckon we found some future superstars. The whole thing was a really gratifying experience. Everyone came together, there was a great vibe on set, and I think we bottled something special.
The film will appear at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, then on Virgin Media Television. How important is that platform?
It’s great. The festival has always been good to me; they gave me a Discovery Award in 2017, and I’m a big fan of Grainne Humphreys and some of the other great people involved. That it will go on TV, and on the Virgin Media Player, is another nice stepping stone. It’s great exposure, and it’s cool for everyone involved. The kids are going to be like little stars within the community, as well.
You’re one of the most recognisable faces on the box yourself – how does that sit with you?
To be honest, the first week was kind of exciting, but I got sick of it pretty quickly. I’m actually a very private person, but no matter where I go, someone will spot me; I guess I’m pretty distinctive! It’s all a by-product of the work, but it’s not a good one for me. I did debate, about 18 months ago, whether I’d quit it all – it was all getting a bit much for me. But then I wrote my play, Ireland’s Call, and it made me fall back in love with acting.
Do you want to tell more of your own stories?
Absolutely. Every traveller film I’ve been in has been told from a settled perspective, with their own attitudes and biases, and a superficial understanding of who we are. I definitely want to make more traveller films; that’s why Innocent Boy was so important for me. I’d love to inspire more people to get into acting, and to tell our own stories.
Would you fancy doing the story of your life?
I wouldn’t like to do a biopic, but I could definitely write a fictional story with a lot of me in it. In fact, I’m working on a project right now that has a lot of me. But The John Connors Story? I don’t think I’d ever do that one!
Enjoyed this interview? You’ll find loads more in PLAY Magazine – check it out right here!