Belfast Telegraph

O'Dowd admits piano-playing pain

Chris O'Dowd has revealed that playing the piano was tougher than singing in his new film, The Sapphires.

The Bridesmaids star had to teach himself to tinkle the ivories and belt out soul tracks such as The Temptations' I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) for his role as band manager Dave Lovelace in Wayne Blair's musical drama.

"I didn't have a clue how to do it beforehand, so I had to learn it pretty quickly. And far from the romance of the ballrooms in the 1960s, I was teaching myself while I was working on another job at the time," he recalled.

"So I was flying from Sydney to LA and teaching myself how to play the piano on an iPad app, which didn't really feel in keeping with the beautiful nature of soul music."

The 33-year-old didn't have to take singing lessons.

"I feel like with soul music, it's not necessarily about being pitch perfect or being ideal. As long as you mean it and it's from the heart, it's OK. At least that's what I keep telling myself," he joked.

Chris - who is married to TV presenter Dawn Porter, who changed her surname to O'Porter to reflect their recent union - was already a fan of soul music: "I'm big into soul music and coincidentally at the time, I had been listening to a lot of soul music and gospel music - a lot of early Sam Cooke, Al Green and that sort of stuff," he said.

:: The Sapphires opens in cinemas on November 7.

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