Martin Delaney in a scene from Judas Ghost
Martin Delaney’s face will be in familiar to many due to his appearances in Nickelodeon’s much loved Renford Rejects, Family Affairs, Shortland Street and the films Beowulf and Grendel and Flags of our Fathers. The 30 year old actor is about to be seen in his biggest film yet with a part in Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s follow up to The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty which has already been nominated for four Golden Globes, including Best Picture.
“It’s definitely the biggest film I’ve done and I’m really proud of it,” the half Irish/ half Burmese actor begins. “I’m playing a minor role. The big thing about this movie is that it has a broad ensemble cast and lots of reviews have been commenting on how smaller parts feel like they have character and you believe everyone. That was really nice to be noticed for that. It was a great project.
The film chronicles the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden and Martin, who plays the assistant to the National Security Advisor, reveals it was not the part he originally auditioned for: “I went up to play one of the marines and I remember my agent coming back to me saying: ‘They didn’t go with it, maybe you’re too clean cut but they really want to get you in for one of these white house guys’.
“I play the youngest of the team, sort of a bit of young buck who is quite confident in his manner and feels he can throw his weight around so it’s a nice little part. It’s ‘blink and you’ll miss me’ but it’s been good fun to work with Kathryn.
“I did a really minor role in Flags of our Fathers. It was the same working with Clint (Eastwood) on that project. You know you’re in great company. You’re working with the best technicians, amazing directors, there is a sense of turning up for work really ready for you’re A game. If I turned up tense, it was totally gone by the time I was on set because Kathryn is so lovely and you completely trust her.”
Martin’s other forthcoming role sees him playing the lead in Judas Ghost. Based on Simon R Green’s novel, the supernatural thriller follows a team of professional ghost finders are trapped in an old village hall: “Judas Ghost was a lot of fun. I play the leader of a team, they get called in to do what they think is a very standard haunting but as the mission goes on, they realise it is not what they thought it was and why this team has been handpicked.”
A chilling subject, Would Martin have any belief in things that go bump in the night? “My Dad always had stories about that when we were growing up. I don’t know what’s out there but I wouldn’t want to comment that much. I wouldn’t want to upset one, that’s for sure.”
Martin in his Renford Rejects days
Many people first saw Martin in Renford Rejects, the teen sitcom about a useless football team. It is a role that many people recognise him for still: “It’s a bit of a cult classic, isn’t it? It’s spanned so many generations. I still get young guys coming up to me saying ‘I used to watch you in that show’ even though it feels like an age away. It was a hell of a lot of fun. We had a great time. We got to meet some great footballers and some great people.”
The show launched Martin and Lucy Punch who has gone on to appear with Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher and can soon be seen in TV’s Ben and Kate: “She is a lovely girl and she’s absolutely flying, isn’t she? She was always great. I’ve not seen her for years but she’s very good and she’s done some great movies.”
The film Beowulf and Grendel saw Martin working closely with Gerard Butler. The blood-soaked tale of a Norse warrior's battle against a murderous troll, the adversity the Icelandic shoot encountered galvinised its cast: “We had the best fun on that film. It was a really tough film to work on, we faced every challenged possible but it became this incredible bonding experience for all of us. I saw Gerard about three weeks ago. He’s been a good pal to me.
“I was over in LA for the summer and he let me stay in his house when he was away filming. He played it down as well, the bugger. He said: Get down there, it’s a Spanish bungalow. I think you’ll like. I got down there, it was four stories. He’s a good fella.”
So what is next for Martin? He is said to be attached to Robin Jacob’s 1066: “I don’t know what’s going on with that. I met with the director and he was very keen on me playing a large crucial role in the movie but I don’t know how it’s moving. There’s nothing set in stone. We’ll see what happens.”
Martin is preparing for something more serious than any role now as he prepares to run his first marathon in London in April: “I’m raising money for a great charity called Kick4Life, they use football to deliver health education to vulnerable children in Lesotho in Africa. It’s using a universal language of football to get messages out. That’s who I’m running it for, it’s going to be a challenge but that’s going to be one of those things that keeps me going, hopefully.”
Sport is a big part of Martin’s life and family with his Irish based relatives joining him for another event annually: “My Dad’s cousins are all in Naas, Kildare so we get to see them every now and then. We actually have a big football match every year called Delaneys versus the Rest of the World and we get our cousins to come over. We have this big charity game for some of our uncles who have passed away. It’s nice to get back in touch.”
Zero Dark Thirty is released in the UK on January 25. Judas Ghost is expected in October 2013.
To see more about Martin’s marathon, see http://www.justgiving.com/ActorMartinDelaney