Martin McCann (actor)
20 July 1983 |
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
McCann was born to Anne McCann. He grew up with a brother and sister in the working-class Divis Flats area of Falls Road in Belfast. He joined YouthAction NI's Rainbow Factory, a cross-community drama troop for Catholic and Protestant children and also got to spend time in the United States in the summer as part of an exchange program. His mother found a role for him by checking the local newspapers, and he soon won the stage production part of the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist. He also got lead roles in productions of Bugsy Malone and The Crucible.
Popular in Northern Ireland for various sketches (including the trendy priest) in Dry Your Eyes, he had a feature role in a short film by Simon Fitzmaurice called The Sound of People. He followed that up with his feature film debut (as Jimmy Riley) in Closing the Ring (2007), directed by Richard Attenborough. Attenborough cast McCann in the film after seeing him in a stage production of A Clockwork Orange. McCann had a role in the film My Boy Jack (as Guardsman Bowe), about Rudyard Kipling and his son, who was killed in World War I.
McCann plays Sergeant R. V. Burgin in the miniseries The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, which aired in March 2010. In an interview for Film Ireland, McCann says he auditioned several times for the role in London and twice in Los Angeles. He contacted Lord Attenborough's assistant to send Spielberg samples of his work to increase his chances of getting the role. 
In early 2010 he was shooting in Belfast for the music-comedy Killing Bono, a film released in April 2011 about the life of one of Bono's classmates who tries to make it in the music business, only to have his failures and frustrations magnified by the continued rise of U2. McCann plays the supporting role of Bono. In 2011, McCann completed a principal role in Terry George's Whole Lotta Sole, He is currently working on a twelve part mini series drama chronicling the building of the Titanic and the story about the ship before it left on its maiden voyage.
In February 2011, Martin won the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy Award for lead actor in a feature film. McCann was awarded this for his performance as Occi Byrne in Swansong produced by Zanzibar films.
McCann is a Patron of the charity YouthAction Northern Ireland, whose Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts is one of the largest youth arts projects with 500 young people taking part in a range workshops and classes.
- Barter, Pavel (9 December 2007), "Home Town Boy - Interview", The Sunday Times
- Ingle, Roisln (30 June 2007), "The writing's on the Wall", Irish Times.
- Dougan, Andy (20 December 2007), "Attenborough and Spielberg back Martin for Stardom", Evening Times
- "Martin McCann & Billy Carter among cast for 'Titanic – Blood and Steel'". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- "IFTA 2011 Winners Announced". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.