Prolific Northern Irish actor Michael Smiley will be the subject of this year’s Actors Masterclass at the 29th Galway Film Fleadh. The class, which takes place on Saturday, July 15th, will be hold in association with Screen Training Ireland.

Irish actor and comedian Michael Smiley began his performing career in the early ’90s on a whim when he took the stage during an open-mic night in London after participating in a bet with a friend. He is best known for his collaborations with past roommates Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on the cult British sitcom Spaced, (directed by a young Edgar Wright), in which Smiley played the role of Tyres O’Flaherty, before later popping up in Wright, Pegg, and Frost’s 2004 zombie parody Shaun of the Dead as a zombified take on his Spaced character.

The early-to-mid-2000s saw him landing several supporting roles on series such as Time Gentlemen Please, police procedural Murder Prevention, and con-artist drama Hustle. In 2006, Smiley was cast as a Porter in Tom Tykwer’s stylishly twisted drama Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, starring Dustin Hoffman and Ben Whishaw. After a small role in the high-profile period drama, The Other Boleyn Girl, Smiley portrayed Dr. Liam Kerwin during a seven-episode stint on the popular British crime drama, Wire in the Blood, during the show’s sixth season.

Smiley went on to play increasingly diverse characters over the next few years, landing a recurring role as computer expert Benny, in BBC 1’s multi-award-winning Luther, a reunion with Pegg in John Landis’ creepy comedy Burke & Hare, and a leading role, as hit man Gal, in the horror film Kill List, for which he won Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards and Best Actor at the Total Film Frightfest. Other roles include the devilish O’Neill in A Field In England, George Lusk in the BBC’s Ripper Street, Baxter in Channel 4’s Black Mirror and more recently, the role of Dr. Evazan in Star Wars: Rogue One. His most recent credits include My Name is Emily (which played the Fleadh in 2015), JawboneFree Fire, The Belly of the Whale, and Birthmarked.

A successful stand-up for 20 years, Michael was an award-winning international headliner, and his trilogy of self-penned one man plays brought him acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe. His play, The Immigrant, premiered at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast in May 2012. His BBC series, Something to Ride Home About, about him cycling around his native Northern Ireland, screened in 2014.

The masterclass will be facilitated by Maureen Hughes of Bow Street. Hughes trained as artistic assistant under Garry Hynes at Druid Theatre Company in the ’80s and went on in 1992 to work in the Abbey Theatre for two-and-a-half years as Head of Casting. She moved into Film & TV working with Susie Figgis on casting The Butcher Boy and subsequently went out on her own to cast several major screen productions, including the Oscar®-winning films Six Shooter and Once, and recent award-winning RTE productions Love/Hate, Charlie, Clean Break, and Rebellion. Film Credits include Agnes Browne, Borstal Boy, Disco Pigs, Noble, and This Must Be The Place. In 2014 she established Bow Street with Shimmy Marcus.

The masterclass costs €25 and will take place on Saturday, July 15th of July from 10am – 1pm in the Radisson Hotel, Galway. For further information or to apply for a place, contact Brónagh Keys by email masterclasses@filmfleadh.ie

Some scenes may be inappropriate for a young audience – viewer discretion advised.
The closing date for applications is: 1pm Friday, July 7th.

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