- 20 Apr 18
Irish star Moe Dunford’s latest film, Michael Inside, is a powerful exploration of the failings of the Irish prison system.
Anyone who has seen Michael Inside, Frank Berry’s stunning, emotional and gritty tale of class and incarceration in Ireland, would not be blamed for finding Moe Dunford somewhat intimidating. In Michael Inside, Dunford, also known for his roles in Vikings, Handsome Devil and Patrick’s Day, plays David, a hulking and feared prisoner who becomes a terrifying force in the life of Michael (Dafhyd Flynn), a naïve 18-year-old who is sent to prison for three months. Like many of his roles, Dunford embodies a breathcatching volatility, veering from protective and paternal to utterly vicious.
The fear Dunford can evoke onscreen is a testament to his acting skills, as in person he’s warm, thoughtful, and naturally good-humoured. Chatting to him in Ryan’s in Parkgate Street, he knows all the bartenders by name, and occasionally draws them into our interview as character witnesses. “Lads, do I have any time to have fun?” he calls to them, when I remark on his busy schedule.
“Jesus no, he’s a very busy man,” says our bartender with a conspiratorial wink. “He’s never here. What’s your name, again?” However, any time off he spends in Ryan’s is well deserved. Dunford has six movies out this year, including Michael Inside, Brian O’Malley’s horror film The Lodgers, and Lance Daly’s Famine film Black 47. He’s also mourning a death – his own. Earlier this year, Irish fans of global TV hit Vikings saw his character, Aethelwulf, meet a shock demise after more than four years on the series.