"Leopard" is a dark and disturbing thriller movie about two brothers who are ostracised by their Irish village due to mental health issues and family problems that reach a boiling point when the siblings reunite after five years apart. Dublin-born performer Eoin Macken is best known for his role on the TV show titled “The Night Shift” and he served as the writer, director and star of “Leopard.” Though Eoin is primarily known as an actor who appeared in "Merlin,” "Fair City,” "The Night Shift,” “Killing Jesus" and more, he also has previous experience directing via a well-received short film titled “Dreaming For You” and the psychological thriller “Christian Blake” in which he also played the title role.

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Recently, he discussed his experiences working in the movie industry and "Leopard" which is now available on VOD via Osiris Entertainment. 

The beginning 

Blasting News (BN): What initially inspired you to forge a career in acting?

Eoin Macken (EM): Films like “La Haien” and “Three Colours Blue” and the work of Vincent Cassell and Day-Lewis fascinated me and gave me the desire to get into acting and filmmaking. The contextual ability to make and be involved in stories that to me previously had only existed as an idea in literature.

BN: How has the industry changed since you first entered it?

EM: I think the advent of VOD and the decline of DVD has changed the landscape of independent filmmaking, which is an important learning ground for filmmakers. It’s easier now to do a project with the new technology, but harder than ever to make a profit or get your project to a broad audience.

BN: How did you manage to break into the industry? 

EM: I have absolutely no idea. I still don’t if I have broken into the industry, I’m just grafting away and hoping that some of the projects I try and get involved in want me, and hoping I can continue making films and television.

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The movie 

BN: Was “Leopard” the first movie that you wrote and directed?

EM: No, I have made four previous small independent films including “The Inside” which is a horror film which we made for $5,000. It was released worldwide and played at the prestigious London Horror Festival Frightfest in 2013.

BN: Was the plot of “Leopard” inspired by anything personal? 

EM: Not really, it germinated from a desire for Tom Hopper to play that type of character and a desire for us to work together as actors.

So it naturally became the story about two brothers in Ireland, then it evolved with some influences from Paris, Texas and East of Eden.

BN:  How did you entice Tom Hooper and Jack Reynor into the project?

EM: Tom was always involved, and Jack and myself wanted to work together again after we had done a test project for Gary Shore—of “Dracula Untold”—and so I wrote the part of Rory for him.

BN: Where can we see it?

EM: It’s on iTunes and Amazon in the USA and will be released in other territories in due course.

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The future 

BN: Do you have any forthcoming projects that you would like to mention? 

EM: “Here are the Young Men’ is a film I hope to make in Dublin soon and one that I have adapted from a book by Rob Doyle of the same name. Also, ‘Abilene’ is a crazy, dark, Tarantinoesque road movie about two teens travelling across Texas. I’m working on that, too.

BN: What advice can you offer to aspiring filmmakers?

EM: Make things. The only way to learn is to do. Some stuff works and some doesn’t, but that’s how you develop.