During a speech at the Dalkey Book Festival, two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks showed off his decent attempt at an Irish accent.
While most actors struggle with mastering the Irish brogue successfully, famous award-winning actor Tom Hanks proved recently that he isn’t one of them.
During his speech at Dalkey Book Festival, Hanks showcased his Irish accent when doing an impression of the former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre, Vincent Dowling, in what was an amusing tribute to a man he credited with aiding his hugely successful career.
Dalkey Book Festival – a popular annual literature festival
Dalkey Book Festival is an annual literature festival held annually in Dalkey, County Dublin, over four days in June. While the festival initially started with a primarily literary focus, it has also branched out to celebrate the arts in general, including film, comedy, and theatre.
At the event, Hanks discussed the plot of his new novel, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, which tells the tale of the production of a multimillion-dollar superhero action film and a comic book which inspired it.
Among the many celebrity guests in the audience were famous Irish singer Bono and renowned Irish economist and festival organiser David McWilliams.
During the event, Hanks looked back at his acting career, revealing that he learned very early about the importance of a solid work ethic and networking with the right people who can have a substantial influence, like Dowling.
Tom Hanks – an award-winning actor
When speaking to the massive audience at Dalkey Book Festival, Hanks did an impression of Dowling and recalled how he had once told Hanks when he was younger that “I think you could be an actor”.
“I would like to give you an opportunity in my theatre,” Hanks recalled Dowling telling him. “I would like you to join us as an actor, officially in the company. What I cannot do is pay you any money”.
Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner, explained that while Dowling couldn’t offer him money at the time, he offered him a real authentic “experience” of what it was like to work in a professional theatre.
“A bunch of us bought it. And I am here today because of Vincent Dowling,” Hanks said, which aroused a huge positive reaction from the audience.
Vincent Dowling – the former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre
Dowling, who passed away at 83 in 2013, was famous for being the former artistic director of the Abbey Theatre on Dublin’s northside, with which he was deeply connected from 1953 to 1990.
Dowling acted in over 100 plays before working as a director, artistic director, and lifetime associate director. He led the company on its first tours to the Soviet Union and Hong Kong, and his productions of The Playboy of the Western World won him much international acclaim.
Later in his career, he directed an Emmy Award-winning film version of the play for PBS TV in the United States.
After Dowling’s death, Fiach MacConghail, then-director of the Abbey Theatre, was full of praise, saying, “In the early 1990s, he played a pivotal role in touring internationally, especially in the United States where he had settled.
“Vincent Dowling was an actor’s director – having been an actor himself, he understood the craft of acting. I know he will be fondly remembered by many of the greats of Irish acting who worked with him”.