Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Director apologises for Rose McGowan's IRA comments

Rose McGowan says 'her heart just broke for the cause'

A director has distanced herself from comments about supporting the IRA made by an actress who stars in her latest film.

Rose McGowan sparked controversy with comments made at the world premiere of Fifty Dead Men Walking, a film based on the memoirs of Martin McGartland, an RUC Special Branch agent who infiltrated the IRA in the 1980s.

The 35-year-old American actress, whose father is Irish, said at a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival last week: ``I imagine, had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100% have been in the IRA.

"My heart just broke for the cause," she told a news conference before the film's world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. "I imagine, had I grown up in Belfast, I would 100 per cent have been in the IRA," she said. "Violence is not to be played out daily and provide an answer to problems, but I understand it."

McGowan plays an IRA operative in the film, which stars Sir Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess.

The producers and director of the film attempted to limit the damage caused by her comments by publicly expressing their disapproval.

There are concerns that the comments could damage the film, presently being sold around the world and to be released in the UK next month.

In a statement, they said they regret any ``distress that this (the comments) may have caused to people of Northern Ireland and particularly those who were victims of or caught up in the shocking events that existed during the Troubles.''

The comments ``were not shared, nor endorsed, by anybody associated with the production or creative elements of the film'', they said.

Director Kari Skogland said: "Rose's personal opinions of Northern Ireland do not reflect the perspective of the film in any way.

"Our goal was to present an even, non-judgmental point of view so the audience could follow the path of an informer with empathy no matter what the politics.

"We are all very proud of this thought-provoking film and are deeply indebted to the city of Belfast and Northern Ireland for giving us such a warm welcome whilst filming."

Unionist politicians have criticised McGowan for her ``foolish and offensive'' comments.

McGowan has appeared in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof and the horror film Scream, and was previously engaged to Marilyn Manson.

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