Watch all the way to the end 😉
Lovely article on what the cast has been doing after Merlin.
Here’s the Eoin piece:
“Eoin is starring in The Night Shift on NBC in the US, with the show recently granted for third series. He is cast as an adrenalin junkie, former Army medic named TC Callaghan who returns from Afganistan to work the night shift at a San Antonio hospital.
He too has been working in film with The Wedding Invitation due for release this year, as well as The Forest, which also stars Natalie Dormer, due in January 2016.
If that isn’t enough, he has also released a novel Kingdom of Scars.”
Being named the face of an Abercrombie & Fitch campaign could be the height of a career.
But for Eoin Macken, that 2003 credit is just one of many.
The Irish actor — whose given name is pronounced Owen — plays the volatile Dr. TC Callahan on NBC’s The Night Shift, the hospital drama that just wrapped its second season. He also turned heads this spring as Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee during the time of Jesus, in National Geographic Channel’s Killing Jesus.
“I wanted to do it because he’s a dark character,” Macken says of the role as the Roman leader. “It’s interesting playing the human side of this person who had pressure from the Romans, his wife and the areas he was governing while trying to keep a grasp on power.”
What if all books had a black cover? Would you choose the same ones as you did now …?
I usually don’t pick up this kind of genre. So why buy? In this case it was the name of the writer. I read his poems, a chapter on his blog and because I’ve been supporting the guy for the past two years, wasn’t going to stop now. He’s been up to many things in different fields, this was something new. This is his first novel. The first of hopefully more to come because it’s darn good. Being a nominee for best Newcomer of 2014 at the Irish Book Awards proofs that, doesn’t it? It’s truely heartwarming to see all the positive responses on social media.
This is a little something I wrote being in Ireland for the book launch:
Sitting down in a pub in Dublin writing this blog while live Irish music is playing in the background. Perfect place to start writing about Kingdom Of Scars, a book by Eoin Macken which is set in … Howth, Ireland.
While being here, I want to visit the beautiful coast lines and towns like Bray, Dalkey, Howth, … simply by hopping on the DART. So it’s actually funny to see them all appear in the book. Hey, I might even have been sitting next to one of the characters, … who knows?!
I’ve read a lot of books, switching from genre to genre as the mood or things happening in my life took me. Not that many writers are able to capture me with the very first chapter, not wanting to put it down till early hours in the morning or almost missing my train stop when I’m reading it on the way to work and getting it stuck in my head all day till that revealing moment I can continue again. Eoin did. Actually, he already got me with the prologue. You’re not into the story yet then, but his way of writing pulls you in.
Also an easy read for a non-English person although I did have to look up quit a few adjetives. Actually, I had to look up ‘adjetive’.
Kingdom Of Scars starts with a group of boys chasing another boy and that well known provocative question, “Would you like to kiss my bird?” to which every answer you give is the wrong one.
Sam. 15. Experiencing life. Searching. Wanting to belong to his local gang, trying to avoid the bullies from school. Learning all about loyalty, violence, experiencing dating girls and seks for the first time. Taunting teachers, people who care. Then add some drinking, drugs and petty crime to it and let yourself expercience the mind of a selfdiscovering maturing teenager who just wants to be liked and survive the day without getting bruised too much.
Not a lot of writers can describe something as they visualise it without going into detail too much, without making it boring. JK Rowling has been one of my favourite writers because of that. And now I can add one more to that list. Eoin has the ability of making you see what he sees. You’re there. You can smell the cigarettes, feel the tension when Sam’s in a stressful situation. Yes, it even takes you back to experiencing the thoughts, nerves and clumsiness when getting that first kiss, that first sexual encounter. I sometimes couldn’t wait to get through a chapter and then put the book down for a few moments just to go back to my own memories before moving on.
Attending an all boys school, Sam still has a lot to learn about girls. As a female, reading about seeing his ‘angel’ for the first time, the thoughts racing through his mind, the doubts and clumsiness, his body reactions, are a real delight. If only I knew all those years ago I might have been more at ease knowing they’re just as uncertain as we are. Maybe … ha!
The gum adventure, the reasoning with his hands to stop sweating, the phone call, the raging hormones and a few more situations really cracked me up. But this one was one of my favourites: “Antoinette floated back into his thoughts and after letting her drift around unmolested for a while he pushed her back into the atmosphere to taint someone else’s desires.”.
As for the gangs, a few lessons learned. Does being a part of one, protect you from the other? The need of getting accepted causes Sam to make wrong decisions, act like someone else, hide his true feelings. Is the craving to fit in worth all the shame, the humiliation? Sam slowly learns to stand up for himself. Too bad it has to be by fighting violence with violence.
Reading about some embarrassing moments, there’s also that little bit of humor when you suddenly read ‘The grannies peered forward at him as if wondering they needed new glasses after all.’. While feeling all that sympathy for Sam, there’s also that bit of humor. Eoin does that a few times during the storyline. Fun to read how boys apparently – almost – enjoy the smell of their own steal sweat and old farts and girls’ giggles sound like music while boys make an uncouth sound ending with a fart.
And if all those emotions aren’t enough, you also get that bit of tenderness when you read about the banter between Sam and Don and Sam and his parents. He lies, he feels angry and annoyed at them but then regrets it as soon as he turns around. I’m sure it’ll feel heartwarming when parents read ‘as long as he was inside (his home), nothing could happen to him.’.
So Sam’s growing pains slowly shape him into manhood, learning what’s important and what’s not. Experiencing people aren’t always who they seem to be. Don’t try and be someone else because others want you to be just to get accepted.
Kingdom of Scars could be the story of that boy next door all those years ago …
A few notes:
Thought the rope story in chapter 10 was a bit too long and was suprised to see some supernatural in it, knowing how Eoin feels about it. It left me hanging a bit in some parts though …
I’m sure his name made more people pick up the book. Hey, I did too and as said I wouldn’t choose this kind of genre, but I really enjoyed reading it.
Hoping to read a review by a man next to all the female ones in the near future.
PS: I hope he continues to post more poems on his blog, as he mentionned on there.
PPS: also like the picture of him on the cover. Eoin chose one that was taken by Tim McDonnell while they were both in Africa as ambassadors for Sightsavers, a charity fighting blindness in developing countries.
Sam and I travelling through Ireland …
by Deirdre Reynolds, Published 04/01/2015.
“It’s weird,” jokes Eoin, who’s based in LA, “it seems totally fine to have a show on TV in England or America, but when it airs in Ireland, there’s a bit more trepidation about it. Suddenly your mates and your family are going to slag you a lot more! “When your show’s on American television, it’s like, ‘That’s awesome’; when it’s on RTÉ, people are like, ‘Now I can rip the piss out of you!'”
Having just been snapped up for a second season of the NBC show, filmed over 7,500 kilometres away in Albuquerque in New Mexico, the former Abercrombie and Fitch model is unlikely to mind too much. His turn as the talented-but-troubled doc has led to a role in Ridley Scott’s upcoming TV drama, Killing Jesus, alongside former Frasier star Kelsey Grammer.
“It’s like early ER meets MASH with a touch of Scrubs humour,” explains Eoin of the show that’s fast turning him into a household name. “It’s set in a Texas hospital and I play an ex-army medic who’s got Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. “Being Irish, I was kind of apprehensive about playing an American army doctor. Growing up, there’s nothing in our culture about being in the army; in America, that’s part of their culture. “But all the army vets have actually embraced the show and they really like it, which is important, so it’s been really interesting.”
Kingdom Of Scars got nominated for Best Newcomer of The Year 2014. Unfortunately it didn’t win the award, but Sam did won over our hearts. He’s number one on my list anyway.
Read up on its journey:
- How the book found its way to Poolbeg, its publisher. (Eoin’s blog)
- Actor Eoin Macken lands Best Newcomer nomination at Irish Book Awards. (Goss.ie)
- The Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year – Shortlisted (website Irish Book Awards)
- Eoin C. Macken chooses the vehicle of the perennial outsider (Independant.ie)
- Short interview with Eoin on RTE Ten
Buy it at Poolbeg or via Amazon in your country.
Irish Daily Mail 8 Nov 2014
Like an excitable child entrusted with a secret for far too long, Eoin Macken can barely contain himself when I meet him for a drink in a Dublin bar. ‘Wait until you see this,’ he gushes, pulling his phone out of his pocket and swishing through photos until he comes to one of him dressed up in biblical garb, next to Kelsey Grammer – yes, Frasier. ‘It’s just ridiculous. I mean that’s FRASIER for God’s sake – it’s crazy,’ he whistles.
Indeed, crazy is one way of describing Howth-born Eoin Macken’s trajectory of late. Oh, and very, very busy. Eoin is based in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, in fact, and despite being dressed down in a ten-year-old fake leather jacket, worn jeans and a baseball cap, he oozes health, and dare I say it, Hollywood.
He seems affronted at this. ‘Maybe it’s the hat – I drink more in LA, ye know. I drink about five days a week there as they make really nice tequila. Have you ever had mezcal, a type of tequila? It’s not shot tequila – you drink it with ice and lime. You’ll probably find it one of these new bars with all the pretentious s***e. I go for pure spirits and none of this mixing with Coke or juice.
Look at the Russians drinking pure spirit and they all live to 100 and in the Caribbean it’s straight rum and they’re a healthy bunch. ‘You see in LA people go hard but when they get up it’s so warm and you can just get in your shorts and go for a run or go off and do some yoga – it’s not cold like it is here. I eat well, drink a lot of water and if I have a hangover I go for a run.’
So is he the next Irish hellraiser in Hollywood? ‘No I’m not – I’m too nice for that. I’m too socially aware. I’d love to do that stuff but I’d feel too guilty.’
To those following Eoin’s career – his latest incarnation is America’s new Dr McDreamy, the hunky Dr TC Callahan in hit NBC show The Night Shift – the 31-year-old is now a bona fide Hollywood star. But he has clearly been doing a lot of living in between shoots. And not just in the bar, either. When I got in touch with Eoin a few months back, he was keen to talk about his recent trip to Mozambique, where he made a documentary about blindness, as an ambassador for Sightsavers.
He also mentioned – in rather blasé fashion – that he would be home in Dublin soon for the launch of his debut novel Kingdom Of Scars. By late-September, the invites had gone out, the wine and canapés were ordered and friends and fans alike were delirious at the prospect of getting their mitts on Kingdom Of Scars – and maybe even the man himself – at the book launch party at Easons in Dublin city centre on October 2. But just the day before, Eoin contacted guests to say he wouldn’t be able to make his own launch, citing ‘unforeseen circumstances’. As it turns out, those circumstances involved him jetting out to film in Morocco with none other than Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, John Rhys Davies and a host of stars cast in the ‘telepic’ Killing Jesus, based on a book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Eoin plays the evil Antipas in the Ridley Scott production. ‘I’ve had to climb to get back to the point where I’m getting these great opportunities.’ ‘They offered me the job on Monday when I was flying back to Dublin and I needed to give them my answer that day,’ reveals Eoin. ‘I was only blessed I had email on the flight. I spent the whole flight emailing LA. Only when I landed in Dublin was it all sorted. Then I went straight to the publishers to get the book and cancel the launch as I was due in Morocco.’ Starring in Killing Jesus will be yet another huge leap for Eoin, who is set to continue riding his Hollywood wave as hunky doctor TC Callahan in The Night Shift, recently commissioned for a second season. It’s an impressive achievement, considering Eoin’s relatively late stardom, but a testament to his sheer doggedness.
Eoin first arrived in Hollywood when he was 22, as a psychology graduate of UCD where he’d begun acting. He’d also had a successful modelling career – he was the face of Abercrombie & Fitch in 2003. His first major role was with Brendan Gleeson in Studs in 2005, after which he flew Stateside, took acting classes and secured an agent. ‘I got cast with Colin Farrell in a movie and was screen-tested by Disney and Warner Bros. I just made up a monologue. I didn’t really know how they did things so when I was in being screen-tested in front of these studio executives I performed my monologue, a sort of mock of Disney, and ended up crying and screaming and smiling and being a bit mental and they really liked me. I felt it was really easy back then.’
But Eoin turned his back on his Hollywood dream and returned to Dublin to be with his father James Macken, a highly regarded barrister, when he became ill with cancer. He briefly considered giving up on his artistic dreams and getting a ‘proper job’ working in marketing, but he decided to study cinematography at Ballyfermot College and made his first film Dreaming For You, which set him off writing and directing films. After his father’s death in March 2007, after a two-year hiatus, Eoin tentatively got back into acting, playing drug dealer Gavin Cluxton in Fair City, while also working behind the camera on a number of hit movies – he was director of photography on Charlie Casanova and Stalker. A big break came with his casting as Gwaine in the BBC series Merlin, in which he starred for two years, in between making indie films, before being cast to play the lead in the pilot of the ER-type drama, The Night Shift.
‘I’ve had to climb to get back – I was so close, I felt I had to try again and now I’m back to where I’m getting these great opportunities. Back when I was 22 I found it so easy but now I get how hard it is. For a while it seemed those opportunities disappeared – and, yes, they are hard to come by but now I’m here I appreciate it a lot as I’ve battled.’
After his whirlwind filming trip to Morocco, Eoin returned to Dublin to launch his novel this week. The book is a coming-of-age story about a teenager called Sam, who lives in Howth, where Eoin grew up, and goes to Belvedere College, where Eoin was schooled. ‘I always wanted to be a writer or a journalist as you get to meet really interesting people and I like making stuff and meeting people and talking to people – for a while I wanted to be a photojournalist,’ says Eoin. ‘I started writing Kingdom Of Scars about three years ago, then I’d leave it a few months, then get back to it. When I had 250 pages done I sent it out to a couple of people and my friend, the writer and actor Caroline Grace Cassidy, loved it and next thing I had a publisher. People have been saying really lovely things. My mom only recently read it and she loved it and she’d usually be critical of stuff so that’s a good sign!’
The novel is a very evocative portrait of shy 15-year-old Sam, bullied at school and striving for acceptance among his friends. We witness Sam’s discovery of girls, sex, drugs and alcohol. Eoin smiles coyly on the subject of whether the novel is autobiographical. ‘I just tried to remember stuff, about how I felt being a teenager. Writing it, some of the stuff did happen but I couldn’t remember if certain things happened to me or friends of mine,’ he explains. ‘I placed it in an environment I knew really well. ‘I love books by authors like SE Hinton, who wrote The Outsiders, and I loved Stand By Me, based on The Body, a novella by Stephen King. I love these stories drawn from childhoods, based on people they knew and I don’t know many Irish stories about a group of boys, growing up in the late Nineties.’
He laughs: ‘I remember after the screening of my film Christian Blake, my aunt said to Mom, “I think you need to talk to Eoin…” They thought Christian Blake, who is a gay psychopath, was based on me. I was like, “It’s a fecking film!” People need to remember these are stories – that’s what I do, tell stories.’ Eoin also reveals his dream of making Kingdom Of Scars, this month nominated in the Best Debut category of the Irish Book Awards, as his first big feature film – he plans to begin filming around Howth next year. ‘That’s the one I want to make properly as a first proper feature so I’ll be looking into getting funding together,’ he says. ‘I know what to do with it and I know the locations already. Howth is so gorgeous.’
Between now and then, however, Eoin will be locking himself away in the editing studio to cut the Sightsavers-sponsored documentary about blindness in Mozambique. “They asked me to be an ambassador but I said I’d only do it if I could make a documentary and they knew my work so they let me off,’ he explains. ‘I’ve watched that crap of actresses going over to these poverty-stricken countries and saying, “Oh they’ve no water, isn’t it terrible?” and it’s just awful, so myself and Tim McDonnell pitched our idea. ‘We wrote, shot and directed it ourselves and we’re both in it at different times. It was absolutely hardcore. We spent time in the hospitals, in the slums and in the bush, meeting patients, going to their homes, going to outreach programmes. We met one woman who was blind for years. She travelled 100km to get to hospital to see if doctors could cure her blindness. We filmed people who had operations and were there when they first saw again. It was all very intense.’
He continues: ‘I’m trying to edit it at the moment and I find it hard as it feels quite voyeuristic. I’m watching kids in a hospital who are blind and might die and then I’m zipping around LA, Morocco and Dublin. It seems wrong, somehow, or should I say, rather strange and bizarre. But it’s a hugely important documentary – I want to try and get it on RTÉ and all the money we raise goes to the families. I’ve been doing it intermittently. I need a block of time to sit down and do it.’
What’s more, Eoin is also halfway through another book. ‘I’m interested in doing lots of things. As an actor there is a lot of sitting around, between jobs and auditions and waiting for things – so what else would you be doing? I feel now that someone has read my book and people don’t seem to think it’s crap, I feel like I’m allowed to keep going.’
We’ll drink to that.
Deirdre Reynolds on the debut novel from screenwriter, actor and director Eoin Macken: “Multitalented Macken has told how the story of a 15-year-old Dublin lad called Sam, struggling to find his way in the world after falling in with the wrong crowd, is partly autobiographical, although presumably not the bits about skipping off school or shoplifting a porno mag. And while you can’t exactly imagine Ireland’s own Dr McDreamy having had trouble with girls or the ‘in’ gang growing up, like Sam does, he certainly writes it well.”
Eoin’s debut novel Kingdom Of Scars has been nominated for the Irish Book Awards as best Newcomer of 2014. Paddy Kehoe from RTE Ten spoke briefly with him.
And no, this is not Rob Doyle …