Chris O’Dowd Among Quartet of Names Vying for Irish Film And Television Awards Rising Star Nod

Chris O'Dowd Dawn Porter - P 2011
Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Chris O'Dowd Dawn Porter - P 2011

LONDON – Chris O’Dowd, the Irish comedian and actor who gave an arresting turn in Bridesmaids as a love struck cop, is among the four names nominated for this year’s Rising Star Award, dished out during the Irish Film And Television Academy nods.

O’Dowd joins a list including writer/director Rebecca Daly (The Other Side Of Sleep), actor Emmett Scanlan (Charlie Casanova) and writer/director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard).

The winner will be crowned at the 2012 Irish Film and Television Awards shindig on Feb. 11 in Dublin. The victorious name is decided on by a jury hand-picked by the Irish Academy and the Irish Film Board.

Selected by a special jury and sponsored by the Irish Film Board, the Rising Star Award is a unique IFTA Award in that it aims to highlight exceptional new and breakthrough talent working in all areas of the Irish film industry.

The 2011 Rising Star Award was won by actor Domhnall Gleeson, who has worked on movies Shadow Dancer, Anna Karenina and Dredd in 2011.

Irish Film and Television Academy chief executive Áine Moriarty said:?“This important Award puts the spotlight on great Irish talent making a significant mark in the film industry at large. These four exciting Irish stars have shown themselves to be world class talents in their respective fields and I have no doubt that they will be counted among the wealth of leading Irish talents over the coming years. IFTA is proud to put the international spotlight on Ireland's rising stars and acknowledges the Irish Film Board’s on-going support of new Irish industry talent.”

Daly made her first short film Joyriders. In 2008 she was selected for the Cannes Cinefondation Residence du Festival in Paris where she developed and co-wrote The Other Side of Sleep, her debut feature film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011.

McDonagh wrote the screenplay for Ned Kelly (2003), starring Heath Ledger, for which he was nominated for AFI and Australian Film Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay.

He also wrote and directed The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, which was released in 2011 and became the highest grossing Irish independent film of all time at the Irish box office.

McDonagh said: “I'm very pleased to be nominated for this year's Rising Star Award. However, given that I am pathologically competitive, this nomination will mean nothing to me if I don't win. All opposition must be crushed. Especially Chris O'Dowd, who will be starring with Brendan Gleeson in my next film later this year. If he wins, his role with have to be recast. I'm that vindictive.”?

O’Dowd made his TV debut in the RTÉ drama series The Clinic followed by a role in U.K. broadcaster Channel 4’s cult comedy series The IT Crowd. His other screen credits include The Boat That Rocked, Gulliver’s Travels, Dinner for Schmucks, Festival and Showbands.

O’Dowd said: “Thank you so much people of IFTA for including this shy country boy in your glorious shindig in the big schmoke. Can't wait for the night. Can I meet Bosco?”

Scanlan is best known for his role as Brendan Brady in British television’s youth drama Hollyoaks. He recently picked up the best actor award for his turn in Charlie Casanova at the 2011 European Independent Film Festival Awards in Paris.

“I’m utterly shocked. When I heard the news I thought it was a wind up  at first… This is stuff of fairy tales,” Scanlan said. “Walt Disney couldn't have written it, Mystic Meg couldn't have predicted it… I just wanted to make a movie and now I find myself in a category of folk more deserving of the recognition...the fact that it's my own home country makes this very special for me. I am massively humbled and grateful.”

The 9th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards ceremony will broadcast on RTÉ One.