They are pragmatic hairdressers who dare to face a criminal thug who terrorizes their community. And if Rachel Carey is successful, the women of new Irish comedy Deadly Cuts will soon be following The Young Offenders on the small screen.
Cork’s Jock and Conor’s exploits began life as a feature film before being turned into a hit TV series, and Carey is hoping it’s a role model she can adopt for her characters. A television pilot and a pitch are already in the works, she said.
“This is the plan. And it was kind of always in our heads. Everyone refers to Young Offenders as the ultimate role model for this. Peter (Foott) obviously did an amazing job translating this from such a brilliant movie. And so I guess there are some similarities in what we’ve done with Piglinstown and the Girls, which is to create a world that has so much gold to mine.
“We wrote the pilot and the pitch for the show, and we’re ready to go see the broadcasters with that after the movie is out for a little while.”
Set in the fictional suburb of Dublin, Deadly Cuts sees a group of young hairdressers fighting for their livelihood and future. Supervised by their boss Michelle (Angeline Ball), they face a local gang that threatens the future of their small business. They also aim to make a name for themselves by entering an elite hairstyling competition called “Ahh Hair”.
It is embellished with crass jokes and a sense of fun. The directors even used the slogan “No Time To Dye” on the posters in reference to a certain other movie currently in theaters.
For writer / director Carey, it came as a surprise when she initially researched her screenplay to find out how few filmmakers were telling comedic Dublin stories.
“I couldn’t believe my luck. I was like, ‘How did no one else do that? It is an open objective ”. Even when I was doing the casting, I was watching stuff and I had to go back to the Barrytown trilogy to get these Dublin movies, real comedy.
“There just hasn’t been much and we’re good at it as a nation. I think it’s our way of communicating, it’s the Irish way. It’s risky I guess – when you fail at acting, you fail. It just hasn’t been done and there is a tendency to have to see to do it.
Carey has long thought that a barbershop would be the perfect setting for a comedy. A stint as a receptionist in a Peter Mark salon years ago convinced her. As a client in another salon, she remembers bursting into laughter when another client walked in with a cigarette in her mouth and said, “Just stick a few fucking diapers on the front, for that. ‘love shit’.
“Authenticity was so important to me in the casting because I find it quite boring when there are bad Dublin accents in Irish shows,” says the Dubliner.
“It shocks me and I think it’s honestly because there are a lot of people out there who don’t really know what a real Dublin accent looks like. Others said: “It was good, it sounded good”. And I was like, ‘She looked like she was from Wales’. ”
Although Deadly Cuts is Carey’s first feature film, she is an experienced storyteller, having worked in advertising before pursuing a film career. She already has another element in development – also a female-directed ensemble comedy.
“I went through the sneaky side door of advertising – there’s a bigger intersection than people think. I have always loved acting and writing, then I worked as a copywriter. I’m still paddling. The more I got into doing TV commercials the more I fell in love with the end of the movies and that’s when I started writing my own skits and short films and trying to make things that way, ”she said.
“Eventually I started making my own shorts. And then I finally got funding from the Film Board (now Screen Ireland). And from there, I kind of ramped it up in my first feature film, and that’s when I stepped away from the commercials a little bit.
“I think training when you work in advertising is really about you because you are just good at coming up with solutions and ideas. Then you are also very used to selling and I think that is a skill that you really need in the world of cinema, being able to present your work and adapt it if necessary. It’s a really good training ground, I think.
- Deadly Cuts is in theaters Friday, October 8
Deadly Cuts is dotted with young Irish stars who are standing up to seasoned talents like Angeline Ball and Victoria Smurfit.
Among them is Ericka Roe, who shines as Stacey, a pragmatic stylist who stands up to the local criminal who is wreaking havoc in her community.
It’s been a busy few years for the young star, whose other credits include the hit TV series Taken Down and The Dublin Murders, as well as the acclaimed Irish drama film Herself.
Growing up in Ballyfermot, a western suburb of Dublin, Angeline Ball’s hilarious turn in The Commitments was one of Ericka’s favorites at a time when working-class female voices were scarce, she says.
“Angeline was one of the first women I saw on screen with the same accent as me in Les Engagements. Me and the girls couldn’t believe we were going to be working with Imelda Quirke. Seeing that she came from Cabra to where she is now and the things she’s done is just amazing.
She was also happy with the comedic tone of the film, not least because many of the Dublin stories focus on crime, she says. “Don’t get me wrong, there is crime in the Dublin working class and I think it needs to be portrayed on TV as well.
“But that’s just a refreshing take. The last comedy I can remember through the female working class voice is The Snapper. Plus, the sense of community in the script – these people have such big characters, big dreams, big hearts, really. “
After studying drama at the National Performing Arts School, Roe perfected his craft by starting a theater company with Thommas Kane-Byrne, who also stars in the film.
She will then be seen in the feature film Sunlight, described by the producers as “a compassionate comedy”, directed by Claire Dix from a screenplay by Kerry Ailbhe Keogan’s screenwriter.
Judging by her performance in Deadly Cuts, more comedic roles are on the way.
“I feel like Stacey is quite like me in a way and when I read the script I just remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, I have to be in it. “I couldn’t believe my luck.