Chris O' Dowd: star of 'The IT Crowd' and 'Bridesmaids'
(photo: Ger O'Loughlin/Roscommon Herald)
Chris O'Dowd is an actor from Boyle, County Roscommon who is following in the footsteps of fellow Boyle native Maureen O'Sullivan and making a name for himself in Hollywood. He has been working his way up the acting ladder and 2012 is set to be a good year for the Roscommon man.
Education and Early Career
Born in nearby Sligo, but raised in Boyle, Chris moved from Roscommon to begin his third level education in Dublin before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few small television roles, including on RTÉ's 'The Clinic', O'Dowd got his break with the 'IT Crowd'.
The IT Crowd
A British sitcom written by Graham Lenihan of 'Father Ted' and 'Black Books' fame, 'The IT Crowd' features O'Dowd alongside Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson as an unmotivated, workshy and socially awkward IT department for a fictional company. With four seasons to date, the programme has evolved to explore all aspects of work and social life for the three main characters and features other notable actors including Matt Berry, Christopher Morris and Noel Fielding.
O'Dowd had appeared in films before his IT Crowd role, however this side of his career began to gain momentum in 2008 and 2009 when he played roles in 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' and 'The Boat That Rocked', both of which had well known ensemble casts in comedy and Hollywood circles. 2010 saw him play small parts alongside Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd in 'Dinner for Schmucks' as well as in the 'Gulliver's Travels' with Jack Black. By now Chris had proven himself to be a quality comic actor who could hold his own alongside many of the top names in comedy. 2011 saw another role as part of an ensemble comedy, this time working with producer Judd Apatow in 'Bridesmaids'.
The Roscommon man used all of his Irish charm and wit in his role as the romantic interest and again proved he could adapt, not only playing a lead male part, but one of the only male characters in the film. 'Bridesmaids' is the highest earning Apatow film to date, has claimed a number of awards and is nominated for two Golden Globes, usually seen as a good indicator of how the Oscars pan out. The film had an ensemble cast including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Matt Lucas and Rose Byrne.
Though he is well on the way to establishing himself fulltime in America, he has not forgotten his roots. 'Moone Boy' is a television series he has written for Sky, that is loosely based on his Boyle upbringing and partly filmed in his hometown. Filming began in the Roscommon town in January.
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