The Wished for Co-Star: Ned Dennehy
Yet another “wished for” co-star for Patrick Malahide to work alongside. This time it focuses on one actor exclusively.
What is so special about him? Ned Dennehy is good-looking, talented, quirky and a guaranteed scene stealer. Oh, and he’s Irish 😉 He came to our attention during his brilliant performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in the ambitious and delightful BBC1 series Dickensian, a role for which was given an Irish Film and Television Award nomination. Initially, I thought he was perhaps too young and even too glam to be playing Scrooge. However, it didn’t take very long for him to grow on me with his dry and wry sense of humour. And, of course, it was alright for Scrooge to be young since this imagining predated the events in a Christmas Carol. I even learned to appreciate just how gosh darn glam he was for a miser. 😉
RF: I was absolutely floored by how good he was in “Dickensian”. I also initially thought he was too young for the role, but he proved me wrong. He struck exactly the right balance between sarcasm, dry humour, and being outright terrifying at times. You do not want to end up owing his Scrooge money! I’m a little less convinced on “glam”, though; I mean, how many pairs of fingerless gloves did he own? 😉
Admin: And of course Patrick Malahide excels equally with “sarcasm, dry humour, and being outright terrifying,” so it would be tremendous fun to see them playing off one another onscreen. As for glam, I’m reasonably sure he only has the one pair of fingerless gloves and they are just hanging on. So, perhaps he isn’t the most sartorially glamorous Victorian gentleman of all time. But, I still contend he was pretty darn glam for a miser named Scrooge. To quote Madonna: “Scrooge, Brando, Jimmy Dean On the cover of a magazine” 😉
RF: I don’t remember that version of “Vogue“… O.o
Admin: Scrooge quickly became my favorite character in the drama by far. I think the moment that truly clinched it was when Inspector Bucket put out his back removing a floorboard while investigating Jacob Marley’s death. Scrooge, who just stood casually watching, had the perfect combination of amusement and bemusement in his expression. After that I had to search out more projects involving Mr. Dennehy.
RF: That was a classic. 😀 My personal favourite scene was when that urchin brought him a message and waited, expecting a tip. Instead, Scrooge just gave him a look that must have frozen the poor little kid’s soul, and sent him away with nothing.
Admin: And there have been plenty of projects. Ned Dennehy is a very prolific actor. He’s been in such fantastic productions as An Klondike (an Irish Western) in which he played the intriguing and dangerous Capt. “Irish” Pat Galvin. He dominated every scene he was in by slinking about and constantly showing a keen awareness of his surroundings. Irish Pat is a villain, no doubt, but he’s such a compelling character that I found myself rooting for him when I know I ought not have.
RF: Totally agreed, Irish Pat was a very compelling villain. I just remember suddenly noticing that he either slinked or lurked in every scene he was in, regardless of whether he had dialogue or not. And even if he didn’t have any dialogue, he still commanded your attention. I was kind of hoping he might do just one or two *teensy-eensy* good deeds in that series, but alas, it was not to be. Also, very interesting to hear Mr. Dennehy (and many of the other cast members) speaking Gaelic, too. It would’ve been fun to see him doing a little more gunslinging.
Admin: He doesn’t just play villainous (or near villainous as in Scrooge’s case) characters. Mr. Dennehy has played the warm-hearted Letters Malloy in the BBC2 series Banished and the sardonic but incredibly human and stable Charlie Strong in the brilliant BBC2 drama Peaky Blinders.
RF: I’d really like to see a lot more of Charlie Strong. He’s the strong, silent type (pun intended). 😉 I don’t think he subsists on solid food, just cigarettes and alcohol of various types. But he’s got a great sense of humour (seems to be a characteristic of Mr. Dennehy’s characters) and an unswerving sense of family loyalty. He’s the sort of guy you’d want watching your back in a bad situation.
Admin: Strong, silent type indeed. Charlie Strong doesn’t always get a massive amount of dialogue, so he has to convey a lot through his expressions. I find his on-screen presence incredible. He often looks grimly amused at what is going on around him showing how completely aware he is. That is another way in which he reminds me of Patrick Malahide.
RF: I totally agree that Mr. Dennehy is great with non-verbal acting. He’s a very solid presence even when he doesn’t have any dialogue, but he’s so much better with dialogue that I do wish they’d give him a lot more to do in “Peaky”.
Admin: But my favorite character so far is the charming rogue Patrick “Paddy” Fitzgerald in the Australian series Glitch. Dead for 150 years, Paddy rises from his grave for reasons unknown. He’s not particularly special in that regard since the small town of Yoorana has been suddenly over-run with revenants, but he is special in that he is the single most compelling one. Forming a close bond with a young local named Beau Cooper (Aaron L. McGrath), Paddy is determined to understand what happened to him in his past life and how best to right the future. He is a character with warmth, determination and purpose. Watching his relationship with Beau develop and grow makes Glitch genuine worthwhile viewing.
And is Paddy ever charming! He’s easily one of the most charming (albeit in a roguish way) characters I’ve ever seen. With his keen sense of independence and a determined spirit seeking justice he is the sort of character you wish would get his own spin-off series.
RF: Oh, Paddy was wonderful. I loved that his first goal, after digging himself out of his own grave(!), was go to find his local – which, fortunately, was still in the same location as 150 years ago. Then he immediately began the process of assimilation by downing a pint. 😀 Paddy’s another character with his own set of ethics and priorities, but I also really liked the relationship that developed between him and Beau – and Beau’s mother and grandmother, for that matter. Paddy stood out from the other revenants in that he was far more interested in pursuing his own agenda than finding out how or why he was suddenly alive again after 150 years; that was the least interesting part of what was going on, for him. Priorities! But we also got to see some of his (and Mr. Dennehy’s) softer side when Paddy began to remember his previous life.
What sort of project? Something incredibly adventurous and outdoorsy. Perhaps a western? Ned Dennehy more than proved he is perfect for westerns with An Klondike, and even his Glitch character has a slightly “old west” feel in that Mayor Paddy was an important part of Yoorana’s early development. And I just know that Patrick Malahide would be perfect in a western. He hasn’t appeared in one yet, and I’d love for that to be changed.
RF: I would love to see Mr. Malahide and Mr. Dennehy in some sort of a western. Even better, make it a steampunk one. 😉 They’ve both done genre work, so why not? And steampunk is very hot right now.
Admin: Yeah, a steampunk, gothic or even a Lovecraftian bent western would suit me just fine. I love the idea of crossing imaginative genres. Patrick Malahide has more than proven his mettle with genre work through his incredible Game of Thrones performance as Lord Balon Greyjoy. And Ned Dennehy is more than suited for steampunk imaginings.
Admin: And I feel they have a slight resemblance to one another. You’d never mistake one for the other, but they are both incredibly attractive, lean and fair complected with intense pale blue eyes. I could easily see Patrick and Ned as uncle and nephew. And they’d clearly have to play roguish characters, but well-meaning ones. 🙂RF: Or just plain roguish, I could go for that. 😉 We’ve seen a lot of Mr. Dennehy in period crime drama just lately (“Peaky Blinders”), but I wouldn’t mind seeing him and Mr. Malahide in their own period crime drama – not necessarily 1920s Birmingham as in “Peaky”, but along similar lines. There are lots of possibilities! They’ve both played characters with their own “situational ethics” too, so if they were family, it might be interesting to see how those ethics might clash.
Admin: Nothing wrong with a good rogue. I think a crime drama would be fantastic, perhaps something far less bleak than Peaky Blinders, but certainly something where their intimidating energy levels would be put to great use.
Admin: And there you have it. Hopefully a very compelling case to get these two dynamic and versatile actors on the same screen together. I would love to see them play off of one another in a high energy, dark humoured, adventurous project. Fingers are duly crossed that it will some day happen.
RF: It would be a very interesting contest of sarcastic wit, dry humour, and piercing blue eyes, if it were to happen. Or if they teamed up, they’d be a formidable force for any enemies they might happen to have in common. And there could be duelling Irish accents! 😉 I’d love to see it happen, too.