Nights In

From the “moone” to the “sea”: an interview with david rawle

The worries and woes of a fourteen year old boy usually extend to preparing for the dreaded Junior Cert or deciding on which pair of Jack and Jones chinos to don at the next summer social, but for up and coming Irish actor David Rawle, things are a little more complex. 
The Leitrim legend rose to fame in 2012, when he was cast as Martin Moone, an Irish lad with an extraordinary imagination in the hit Sky1 comedy, “Moone Boy”.  
Rawle quickly stole the hearts of the nation with his witty sense of humour and wacky antics involving his imaginary partner in crime, portrayed by Chris O’Dowd. But just how did he land the pivotal role that would ultimately kick-start his career?
“They (speaking of the young theatre group he attended in his hometown of Carrigallen) told me there was this audition for a thing called “Moone Boy” and so I just went over to it for a bit of craic. You know, a bit of experience, and they were like ‘Would you like to come back for the next audition?’ and I was like ‘okay’ and then I went over to the next one, and then I got the part! It was just kind of a big shock because I wasn’t going to be an actor at all until then, so it kind of fell into my lap in a way.”
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Following the overwhelming success of “Moone Boy”, Rawle was approached regarding another project which would ultimately put his name on the map, the now Oscar nominated Irish animation, “Song of the Sea”. 
While the Celtic fantasy film is both critically acclaimed in Ireland and abroad, Rawle admits that he wasn’t expecting the astounding buzz that the film generated while recording:
“I did the recording for it; we had just finished the second series of “Moone Boy” and literally the recording took five days and it was at the end. It was in the same studio as “Moone Boy” which was very convenient for me, less so for them! 
“It was great, I got to meet Brendan Gleeson and Fionnula Flanagan. I didn’t actually get to meet Pat Shortt but I got to work with John Kelly and that was brilliant. It was just mad because at the time it wasn’t an Oscar nominated movie, it’s kind of crazy seeing it now you know!”
An Oscar nomination was one thing, but actually getting to attend the star studded event was a dream come true for the adolescent actor. From metal detectors to Facebook faux pas, David gave us the lowdown on what is without a doubt the first of many Academy Awards for him:
“When you’re going in there was like a metal detector and you had to give them your passport, it was crazy! It was totally bonkers, the whole thing, it was like going to a big concert and you were kind of watching all these people, because I was sitting in the back.
“There was one guy in front of me and the whole time he was on Facebook and it was just like, ‘c’mon man there’s Lady Gaga!’ I only got the word that I was going the day before; I didn’t even bring a tux or anything. It was very kind of like, “here’s your ticket, now go!”
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At the tender age of just fourteen, David has already achieved more than many of us could even dream of. With an award winning comedy series and an array of award nominations under his belt, you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that David’s career is very much on the rise. With all of this and more accomplished in the space of four years, one can’t help but wonder what else David has in the pipeworks:
“At the time, “Moone Boy” was the only thing, and “Song of the Sea” is the only other thing that I’ve done, and it’s only really taken off now.”
“(Discussing his work as a comedian) I don’t know if that’s something I’d want to go into, I’m only fourteen, and I’m not going to become the youngest comedian you know? But no, it’s something that I’d like to go into, I’m really enjoying it.”
With such a comically gifted team working on “Moone Boy”, the antics on and off set were bound to raise as many laughs as the show itself.  From chaos among the Moone clan to banter with the Boyle boys, it’s clear that the jokes kept going even when the cameras weren’t:
“We did this thing where we would get clothes pegs and put them onto people’s clothes, which could get very amusing after a while! But it totally backfired when someone put one directly beneath my armpit, but it was in such a way that whatever way I turned I couldn’t see it! 
“Everyone who was sitting in a row watching me, including the cameras, could see it clearly. So I was like alright yeah there’s nothing there, and they were kind of laughing at me. I was turning around in circles just like ‘I don’t see anything, guys there’s nothing there!’ and they were like ‘Has he still not realised it?’ I think it was a pink one as well so it’s really embarrassing!”
As the interview drew to a close and as David prepared to brave the abundance of film fanatics lining the lobby of the Radisson Hotel, all awaiting the release of “Song of the Sea” with great anticipation, he left me with a piece of advice for every young person who happens across this article:
“Just go for it,” he says with an evangelical zeal that I can only imagine comes from a love for what he does and an excitement for what lies ahead. 
Back in 2012, David took that very piece of advice when auditioning for “Moone boy” and look at how far it has gotten him. 
You can catch David in the captivating and beautiful “Song of the Sea”, showing in cinemas nationwide until mid-August.