Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

O'Dowd relishes his musical role

Chris O'Dowd and wife Dawn Porter arriving for the premiere of The Sapphires
Chris O'Dowd and wife Dawn Porter arriving for the premiere of The Sapphires

Chris O'Dowd has revealed how he felt "comfortable" being outnumbered by his female co-stars in Aboriginal musical The Sapphires, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.

The 33-year-old Irish actor, who married TV presenter Dawn Porter in August, starred alongside Australian actresses Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell in his role as the sassy girl group's manager in Wayne Blair's big-screen adaptation of the real-life story.

"Four beautiful women is my go-to place. I grew up with a house full of women so I felt very comfortable," he said at the film's Nintendo Gala UK premiere.

"They're very fun and very giving. There was no ego on this film, which was nice."

Chris also joked about wanting to sing opera after showing off his vocal chops in Blair's directorial debut, where he belts out soul songs like The Temptations' I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).

"It's exciting. It'll be mostly opera from now on in - I want to use more of my gut in my performance," he quipped.

The Sapphires, which started off as a stage play, follows the three sisters and their cousin as they become the first all-Aboriginal girl group to perform to American troops fighting in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s.

"This is massive for us. This film has changed the perception of how Aboriginal women are seen in the world," said Miranda Tapsell.

Shari Sebbens added: "Australia is still as racist as it was in the 1960s but we are moving forward. We still experience racism today. The film brings the topic to the table."

The Sapphires opens in cinemas on Friday, November 2.

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Your dry humour will be very popular. It's always difficult bringing a large group of people together. Everybody feels like they are walking on eggshells. After cracking a few jokes, you'll put the group at ease. Resist the temptation to make fun of relatives, especially the more sensitive members of the group. Nobody likes feeling singled out. Watching a light hearted comedy can also be a great way to generate a festive atmosphere. This is a time when people can put their differences aside.More