Irish actor Jason OíMara plays Katherine Heiglís ex-lover on the lam and sheís the bounty hunter out to get him in One for the Money, a comedy drama about relationships, fresh starts, family Ė and guns.
Heigl is Stephanie Plum, the heroine in Janet Evanovichí worldwide best-selling eighteen-book action mystery series and the film One for the Money available on Blu-ray Disc (plus Digital Copy), DVD, Digital Download and On Demand just in time for Motherís Day.
Not only might mums enjoy Hunterís take-charge, upbeat attitude, no doubt sheíll also enjoy watching OíMara. Monsters and Critics spoke with the classically trained OíMara who is hot off TVís Terra Nova, a theatrical run in London and One for the Money.
M&C: Did you have fun on One for the Money? Did you manage to meet Debbie Reynolds?
OíMara: Yes and she is a spitfire! Iím not sure about this but I think she gave me a bit of wink and I thought ďYou go, girl!Ē
M&C: Thereís a lot of physical work and fighting with Katherine Heigl. Did you pull your fake punches because sheís a woman?
OíMara: I didnít change a thing! Sheís physical and in great shape we did some of our own stunts but at the same time the stunt doubles were terrific. I donít do a stunt unless itís 100% safe and Iím committed to it, otherwise, it wonít look good and Iíll look like an idiot. Thatís what doubles are for. Iím happy to do some of them but if Iím about to be run over by car, Iím out of there. Iím not Tom Cruise!
M&C: Is comedy as hard as they say?
OíMara: Yes, they say dying is easy, comedy is hard. I would agree. I think itís hard to make people laugh especially in an action comedy. There are dark moments in One for the Money that are pretty gruesome moments. And to turn that around and make people laugh is delicate. Itís hard to do, but Iíd like to do more comedy. Itís great to be able to make people laugh.
I was in the school play at 16, and I got my first laugh onstage. It was an incredible rush and Iíve been chasing it ever since. Itís in my dreams lately. It was The Merchant of Venice. I auditioned for Shylock but didnít get it so I did Graziano, a supporting character.
Iím happy to play theatre, thatís one thing that training gives you the ability to go from a lead to a supporting role to a lead again. Itís all the same. I donít worry about it. Sometimes in America, there is a race to see who the lead is. I tried that, I did that thing, but it was exhausting.
M&C: Theatrical training means youíre overqualified for a lot in Hollywood, but do you find it gives you a leg up on the kinds of roles you get?
OíMara: I donít know, thatís a good question. I know how things change, and I am attracted to things that are upbeat or different. Iím rarely the guy who shows in average doctor or law or cop show, I don't do your average kind of projects so I suppose that's it. I definitely like to have characters have strong personalities and real emotion so I can get my teeth into it.
Iím attracted to that. TV is harder because you donít know if itís going that way. I would never say overqualified. One for the Money was exciting because I got to play Morelli, because of that literary connection to go to the books. They really helped me approach the character in the script, which was quite faithful to the book.
M&C: Youíve done a lot of series television and prime time soaps and film and theatre. How do you figure out which you want to do at any given time?
OíMara: I just love to work, itís all good, I do a play a couple of years ago in the Donmar Theatre in London. I always wanted to play there but afterwards itching to get back onto a set again. After TV and film, I want back to theatre and so itís a good balance.
M&C: Tell me about the To Appomattox? Looks like youíre playing George B. McClellan in a mini-series on the Civil War.
OíMara: Thatís something that had been trying to get into production for some time. Weíre trying to get it financed, and itís been a long journey. Itís very ambitious about the Civil War, written by Michael Frost Beckner who did The Agency and Spy Games.
There are great actors waiting to do it, Bill Paxton, Rob Lowe, Bill Peterson, Stephen Lang, Damian Lewis, Michael C. Hall, an insane group of actors who want to make it, we just have to get the financing.
Iím also working on a pilot, the untitled Ralph Lamb story with Dennis Quaid as my brother. Itís a supporting role and there are so many great actors like Michael Chiklis, and Carrie Ann Moss. But essentially it is an ensemble drama. Iíll hear about that soon. Fingers crossed.
M&C: And what happened to your Irish accent?
OíMara: Iíve had it beaten out of me really over the years, I worked with so many accent coaches, I think and dream in American now. I donít say "Where have you been?" I say "Where have you bin?" And I donít say "clothes" anymore, I say "close".