For those of you who don’t know, I am a huge “Boondock Saints” fan and I’m even a new member of the Boondock Bettie Brigade. So when I was asked if I was interested in doing an interview — my very first for It’s Just Movies, mind you — I was not expecting anyone nearly as cool as Brian Mahoney.
Mahoney played one of the extremely memorable and hilarious detectives in “The Boondock Saints” and “Boondock Saints: All Saint’s Day.” His character, Detective Duffy, is a personal favorite in my house because my mom grew up in Massachusetts and, according to her, Mahoney was the only one who got the Boston accent and mannerisms down. This immediately caused me to go online and find out he was born in Framingham, Mass.
The following information is from his website (www.btmahoney.com):
Brian made the decision to become an actor before his 10th birthday, but took another 20 years to make the journey to Hollywood to begin his formal acting training.
Born in Framingham, Mass., Brian moved with his family to Illinois and Ohio before settling in a beautiful small town in Western Michigan. Unable to afford theater training after high school and in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis he joined the U.S .Army in hopes of later attending American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC.
The Army had different plans for Brian and after two years of infantry training, he was accepted into the U.S. Army flight school at Ft Rucker, Ala. Brian loved the intense academic environment and found he had a natural ability to fly helicopters. Upon flight school graduation, Brian was accepted into the attack school, where he was trained as a Cobra pilot, then sent to a discreet Army base in the rural fields west of Nurnberg, Germany. The only American living in the small town of Oberntief at the time, Brian treasures those years and is always trying to live up to them.
While in Germany, he studied full time at the satellite campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University near Nurnberg, and, as an avid skier, racked up over 50 lift tickets in three years from the Austrian Alps to the Italian Dolomites. If he wasn’t flying, studying or comparing stories over drinks at their remote officers club, he was traveling Europe with his fellow gun pilots. Despite an exciting and very rewarding career thus far, Brian knew it was time to become an actor soon and after seeing the movie “Top Gun” in Garmisch, requested his final assignment be as close to Hollywood as possible. Within a year, he was based at Ft. Ord, Calif., and immersed himself in Monterey’s busy theater community whenever he could.
In Monterey, he got the part of Vince in “Buried Child” by falling down “drunk” on stage during his audition and completing the scene from the stage floor.
In late 1989, after 10 years of military service, Brian resigned from the Army, sold his new Saab for acting lessons in Hollywood, and made his move there.
When I called Mahoney for the interview, I was somewhat nervous, but as soon as he said hello, his easy demeanor and friendly conversation quickly put my nerves at ease. The first question I asked was for my good friend Missy Cole (@sister_b on twitter).
“So, how is the book coming along?” (Mahoney is “writing about the challenging transition from the cockpit to the silver screen in a book titled “A Cobra Pilot In Hollywood”).
Mahoney chuckled and responded, “The book is coming along and I have about four chapters done, but with the ‘Boondock Saints’ tour, among other things, it’s been hard to sit down and work on it. But I will be getting back to work on it during the summer. It’s a little tougher than I thought.”
I laughed and we touched on some of what will be in the book, but I was sworn to secrecy.
Then I asked him if he’s going to be involved in “Boondock Saints” director Troy Duffy’s next project, “The Good King.” He couldn’t say anything for sure, but he did relay that he has read the script and he has his eye on a part.
We started talking about spending our teenage years in the Midwest and various other random and amusing things. Then I reminded myself I had questions to ask and this was an interview … because I had become so at ease with him.
“There were a lot of memorable lines in both the ‘Boondock Saints’ films,” I asked, “but what is your favorite line in either of the films?”
Without much hesitation he responded, “Rocco’s line in the first film ‘Is it Dead?’ That whole scene just works.” He laughed and went on to talk about how funny both David Della Rocco and Bob Marley are in the films (and in real life) also how they both got some of the best lines in the movies.
This led me to ask him about how he managed to keep a straight face during all the scenes with some of the most hilarious lines. All he said it was “very hard.” He also said he and Marley became pretty good buddies while making the two movies and it was sad to see Detective Greenly get killed off.
When I asked him what he hoped to see happen with his character in the possible third installment of the “Boondock Saints,” Mahoney said, “Some kind of redemption …” by which Detective Duffy gets arrested and thrown in jail or “a good death scene.” This caused me to chuckle, as I think it would be a fitting end myself.
Overall, speaking with Mahoney was a blast … it was, by far, one of the most amusing conversations I have ever had. I hope it was as amusing to read as it was to experience.
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Follow Tierney Butler on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LadyJane666.