Cyril Cusack – Lár an Stáitse – Christmas Day on TG4
TG4 will broadcast a new documentary on the legendary Irish actor Cyril Cusack on Christmas Day at 9.30pm.
Cusack’s long career began in the early days of Irish silent cinema and saw him conquer stage, screen and television. Cusack appealed to many generations across his 75-year career. To some he was the movie star who popped up in major Hollywood films. To others he was Uncle Peter in Glenroe. He was an actor, poet, playwright and Irish language enthusiast.
Starting with his screen debut at the age of 8 in one of the first films ever shot in Ireland, the silent classic Knocknagow – the documentary goes on to look at his performances alongside James Mason in Odd Man Out, Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Edward Fox in The Day of the Jackal as well as classics like 1984, Harold and Maude, Fahrenheit 451 and My Left Foot. He appeared in over 130 movies and TV shows and was sought after in both the UK and Hollywood. Richard Burton considered him the greatest actor he had ever appeared opposite.
The documentary also looks at his remarkable stage career in plays such as The Playboy of the Western World, The Plough and the Stars and famously Three Sisters, in which he appeared alongside his three daughters.
Interviewees include all of his children, Paul Cusack, Pádraig Cusack, Sinéad Cusack, Sorcha Cusack, Niamh Cusack and Catherine Cusack, as well as his son-in-law Jeremy Irons, actors Stephen Rea, Máire Ní Ghráinne and Bríd Ní Neachtain, and directors Bob Quinn and Jim Sheridan.
He had the art of making the audience watch him and never being quite sure of what he was thinking or going to do but knowing that there was something up. It was an honour to know him
He changed the style of acting in the Abbey. Soft, gentle stiletto acting, like acting with a stiletto knife that could scur you in a second. So, while he was gentle, there was a kind of wispy danger to him.
Jim Sheridan, Director – My Left Foot
I don’t think Dad ever saw the need for directors. I think he put his faith in the text and the actors ability to make sense of it.
Featuring rare family photos, exclusive interviews with his six children and the greatest moments from his long career, this documentary is the definitive portrait of one of our finest actors.