Stars hit the road for shooting of Binchy novel

A HOST of top actors will begin shooting a multi-million-euro Irish production of Maeve Binchy’s Tara Road today.

Hollywood star Andie MacDowell joins the strong cast, including American television presenter Ruby Wax, Stephen Rea, singer Maria Doyle Kennedy and Olivia Williams, for the big budget film.

The film, which is being produced by Noel Pearson, will be shot on the streets of Dublin during the next five weeks.

A spokesperson for Pearson’s production company said: “They will be doing a little bit tomorrow, introducing people and reading through scripts, probably in Ardmore Studios. Then next week they will be filming in or around Dublin.”

Most of the film will be shot around the Kenilworth Square area in Dublin’s Rathgar, which has been chosen as the location of Tara Road, the crew will then film in South Africa for another three weeks.

Author Maeve Binchy penned the intricate tale about Ria and Marilyn, who are brought together through a chance phone call and then decide to exchange homes for the summer to try and overcome personal problems.

The pair find themselves delving into one another’s lives and, by the time they meet, they have formed a strong and lasting friendship. Ms Binchy, who is now in her mid-60s and has written more than a dozen novels and short story collections, said: “I hope the people who liked Tara Road as a book will like it as a movie.”

The Dublin-born author, whose book, Circle of Friends, was made into a movie starring Minnie Driver, said she was delighted with her latest film adaptation.

“I was very flattered and pleased. It’s a real sign that people think your work will entertain people in cinemas all over the world,” the author, who published her first novel when she was 43, said.

Ms Binchy, who has more than five million copies of her paperbacks in print, said she loved the film script.

“Shane Connaughton and Cynthia Cidre have done a great job. My book was 600 pages long, the script is 109 pages, it’s a bit of a difference,” she said.

The semi-retired author said she would love to visit the Dublin film set.

“They have been very nice and kept me involved,” she said. “I said I’d love a tiny silent part, just someone chomping in a restaurant, no words or anything. We’ll see.”

MacDowell will take on the role of Marilyn, an independent woman who swaps a college town in Connecticut for Tara Road while Stephen Rea will play Colm.

“I am enthralled by the thought of Ruby Wax as Carlotta and dying to meet them all briefly on the set,” the Belfast-born actor said.

Binchy, who lives in Dalkey, Dublin, said the publishers believed it would mean another print of her novel.

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