He’s a familiar face on our screens from a variety of films, as well as TV series including Merlin, but Eoin Macken is just as comfortable behind the camera nowadays, writing and directing his own movies. And, for his latest, Here Are The Young Men, he re-traces his teenage steps in his home city of Dublin.
Based on the novel of the same name by Rob Doyle, it follows three teenagers leaving school and enjoying their last summer of freedom before something closer to adulthood comes beckoning. But just days after their last hurrah, they witness an incident which affects all of them deeply, but in different ways. While one takes a trip to New York, another tries a more extreme form of escape and the third tries to knuckle down to a more adult way of life but, for all of them, things spiral downwards into something much darker and sinister.
Talking to The People’s Movies’ Freda Cooper, Macken revealed that not only is the movie set in his home town, but it was filmed in his former secondary school and on many of the streets he remembers from his teenage years. He even changed one of the characters in the original to fit somebody he knew from school, so the resulting film has a very personal touch.
The trio at the centre of the story are played by Dean-Charles Chapman, Finn Cole and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, along with Anya Taylor Joy, some of the cream of young British acting talent yet already well known faces: Chapman was in 1917, while Cole was in Slaughterhouse Rulez and is back on the big screen this summer in Fast And Furious 9. Macken believes that his experience as an actor helped working with his hand-picked cast and that he was there to guide and coax them. After that, the rest was up to them. And he doesn’t appear in front of the camera this time round. The reason is simple. “There wasn’t a part for me.”
Here Are The Young Men is released on digital on 30 April. | Read our review of the film here.