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Made In America

The Dublin actress Sarah Bolger has over two decades’ worth of acting experience despite only turning 30 this year.

You might recognise her from films such as The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Moth Diaries, The Lazarus Effect and Emelie.

She has also portrayed Princess Mary Tudor in the King Henry VIII historical saga The Tudors, for which she won an IFTA award, and as Princess Aurora in ABC fantasy Once Upon a Time. Bolger also appeared on the series Into the Badlands.

More recently she starred in Sons of Anarchy spin-off Mayans M.C.

She can now be seen in End of Sentence, a critically acclaimed comedy-drama also starring Oscar-nominee John Hawkes and Logan Lerman.

John Hawkes is known for movies like Winter’s Bone and The Sessions that saw him nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2012. He also starred in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Logan Lerman is known for playing the title role in the Percy Jackson films.

The film sees father and son Frank and Sean, who has just been released from prison, travel to Ireland from America to honour their recently deceased wife and mother’s last wish- To be buried there.

Although they say they will never see each other after this trip, they are surprised along the way by how much they need each other.

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A hitchhiker they pick up along the way is a surprise in herself. Bolger plays Jewel, a girl who needs a lift but doesn’t know where she is going.

Sarah told The Irish World: “It just struck me as a very beautiful tale that didn’t fall into any cliches of a road trip movie which in itself is sort of like a sub- genre and I found myself just really in love with the character Jewel.

“In Gene Wilder’s movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he has that moment where he comes out on the stick and then you’re never trusting the character from then on.

“You don’t know if he’s faking. You don’t know if that’s the honest version of himself.

“He’s a bit of a con man in the most beautiful way and I loved the fact that Jewel had that quality to her.

“The audience never truly knows what her intentions are, what her goal is. You don’t know where her affection falls and I just love that you’re never quite sure about her. She’s a bit of an enigma and playing that was really interesting and exciting to me.”

Jewel appears to be so lost because she is running from some sort of troubled past.

“I think that she’s someone who deals with her trauma by changing herself. I think she’s a bit of a chameleon. She can adapt to the situations around her.

“Because I don’t think she’s a con woman at heart, it’s more that that’s her survival tactic. It is to put herself first, to protect herself first. I think she’s come from a background that was somewhat abusive.

“I think when she finds the relationship between Frank and Sean, when she sees that paternal relationship it does do something to her where she’s attracted to these two men for their love for each other, for the love of their lost wife and mother.

“There’s something about them that is magnetic to her and I think is the reason that she’s there: To see what it’s like to be close to a family.

“I think that opened up something in her, I think that intrigued her. I think that warmed her heart.

“I think there was something about their dynamic and their love for their mother and wife who had just passed that was really magical to her and she misses that family dynamic in her own life.

“The beauty of the movie and our director Elfar is that there is the subtle touch, a lot remains unsaid. That’s a beautiful thing about the script and the movie, that it is not just open for interpretation but there’s just space to see these people deal with emotion in the most human way possible.

“There’s not spiels of monologues about their past, it’s really subtle and beautiful and moving and stoic and each of them are dealing with their own version of pain.”

Sarah in Mayans MC.

A lot of Sarah’s work has been in America for years but Sarah is delighted to tell us she is at “home” in Dublin for our chat. She says getting to film End of Sentence in Ireland was a joy.

“What was amazing about this project was the fact that it did bring me home to Ireland. It not only brought me home but it brought me around the country. We filmed in the most beautiful parts of our countryside.

“It was actually a real treat to revisit places I hadn’t been since I was a kid. Going down to Wexford and Sligo. Actually it was really special.

“I’m always happy to see that so much is now filming in Ireland. It’s just blown up. It makes me so happy. The opportunities keep rising to work back here, back home.”

Made in 2019, End of Sentence was all filmed before the words Covid-19 and pandemic had even entered the vocabulary.

“It’s so lovely, this is my third movie to open during the pandemic. Third. I have not been to a premiere in so long.

“I had A Good Woman is Hard to Find which we did get to do the festival circuit with but that opened in April 2020.

“Then I had We Broke Up which is a comedy I did and that just opened in the states, I don’t think it has come to the UK and Ireland yet but that just opened three weeks ago and now End of Sentence and it’s just been one of those things where I’m like, ‘How have all these things happened during the pandemic?'”

Sarah got an early start in the business. She was no more than eight when her first movie A Love Divided, starring Liam Cunningham and Orla Brady, was released in 1999.

The true story of a Catholic man and his Protestant wife and the row over where their children will go to school, Sarah plays one of the children at the centre of the story.

She would then star in Jim Sheridan’s In America when she and her younger sister Emma played the surviving children of Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton’s grieving parents.

She appears to have never looked back with hardly a gap in her activity up until now.

“I never, ever fell out of love with it. I think that happens to a lot of child actors who start really young. I think you grow out of it. You grow out of the concept.

“It’s a hard job. It’s hard work. You’re away from your family, you’re away from your friends all the time. It’s hard to maintain relationships.

“It’s hard to maintain stability in your life but I find myself constantly and irreversibly in love with my job and it’s been that way since I was six years old. It genuinely hasn’t changed.

“My passion for new scripts, my passion for the difficult stuff like the auditions or the screen tests or those things when you have fight so hard to get jobs- I still love all that.

“It’s so important to me and I’ve been really fortunate that I didn’t stop at the age of 13 or a bit of time after I started.

“It has been a constant in my life and one that I would be lost without.”

End of Sentence is on digital download from Blue Finch Film Releasing.

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