Interview of the Month – Donal Courtney

Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 4:00 pm | News & Events

Donal Courtney graduated from The Gaiety School of Acting in 1991. He is currently starring in ‘Waiting for Godot’ at Smock Alley Theatre–1662 running until 23rd August. Donal has been working as an actor and a tutor for almost 25 years. In this time he has performed in over 30 Stage Productions as well on Television. He has directed more than 20 plays and written three plays. Donal is highly regarded within the acting community having taught and mentored the Oscar nominated actor Michael Fassbender when he was a teenager in Killarney. More recently, his one man play ‘God has no Country’ – The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has been published as part of New English Junior cycle and will be performed at theatre’s around the country in coming months. 

1. Did you always want to work in the film/acting business?
Not growing up. When I left school I developed an interest in drama. I wanted to write plays, I still do! Everything else compliments that

2. How did you start off in the business?
I was advised to study acting first as a way to understand playwriting, I trained at the Gaiety School and quickly realised I loved acting. Since then I’ve been in the business

3. Any tips for aspiring actors/film makers?
Train. Learn your craft. Take nothing for granted.

4. What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?
The discipline it instilled in me. It gave me a work ethic which has never left me

5. Favourite actor?
Too many. I always loved Steve McQueen . Of the current crop it has to be Michael Fassbender (of course!)

6. Favourite writer?
Again so many. Friel and Wilde were the first to excite me. I love and can relate to John b Keane. Arthur Miller, Woody Allen the list goes on…. Not to forget Beckett of course

7. Favourite film?
This changes all the time so I’ll pick the first one that amazed me as a kid and still does
‘Ben Hur’. I saw it four times in the cinema by the time I was nine. That’s 18 hours. A lot of time to commit for a nine year old!

8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far?
My wife Adeline, my children Jonah and Lila. They are a constant support and joy
My parents. My mother instilled a love of film in me. My father encouraged individuality
Professionally it is Michael Fassbender. He is an inspiration to me as I know the journey he has been on.

9. Earliest memory?
Sitting by Dundag beach on the Lakes of Killarney with my family.

10. What would be your idea of the perfect day?
Sitting by Dundag beach on the lakes of Killarney with my family! Again.


Check out our other Alumni interviews here

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