Colm Meaney explained why he took on the role of homeless Fred Daly in Parked, plus what made Star Trek: Deep Space Nine special.
In Parked, Meaney portrays Fred Daly, a homeless Irish man who ends up living in his car after returning from England only to find that jobs are non-existent back home in Dublin.
When deciding whether to take on a role or not, Meaney reads the script twice, from two different perspectives. “Well, firstly I try to read a script from an audience’s perspective first,” he said. “I thought it was a beautifully written story and they were beautiful characters. Then, I would re-read it again from the point of view of the character. For me, the real clincher for Parked was that Fred was a kind of character that I hadn’t played before. It was going to be a challenge. I tend to be quite a ‘big’ actor – my performance can be a bit out there! And I admire actors who really go for it with their performances – [Al] Pacino is my hero!
“But, I knew this role would require something very different. It is a subdued and internal kind of performance. I discussed the role with Darragh a lot and I asked him to keep an eye on me and to not let me go too far. So if he saw any acting that was too external for Fred’s character, he would sit on me.
“Fred is eccentric in many ways, but it is all internal. Playing Fred was a challenge for me. This is the main reason why I wanted to take on the role.”
Shot mostly in a car park on the Dublin coast, filming conditions were difficult. “It was tough,” said Meaney. “I think it is probably one of the toughest I’ve been through. It was really, really fucking cold. It was wet. We had the snow, we had sleet, we had hail, we had rain, we had everything! And working on this kind of budget, we had very minimal creature comforts and we were lucky to have an old moldy trailer to hide in when you could.”
Parked will be released in Ireland on October 14 and will make its way to the U.S. in March of 2012.
Meaney also spoke about his other past projects, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Meaney’s first foray into sci-fi. “Before I did it, I never really understood the whole genre to be honest with you,” he said. “But, I grew to appreciate it as we were doing the Deep Space Nine show because we got to deal with a lot of subjects that they wouldn’t let you deal with in a contemporary show – episodes about homelessness, genetic engineering, and about racism. Racism between intergalactic species of course, but it is still about how to understand someone who is different than you. They might have three heads or a tail, it’s a bit odd, but it is basically about relating to someone who is different than you. Issues like that were dealt with.
“If you go into the future you can deal with these issues or if you go into the past,” said Meaney. “If you are working on a contemporary script, people can be very wary of tackling these issues in case they offend their audiences.”