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Army "smartasses" marched Braveheart to success 08.09.14

IRISH tax breaks and "smartass" army reservists helped make the movie 'Braveheart' a huge success, Mel Gibson reveals in newly-released footage taken during the epic shoot.
Some 1,600 members of the Irish Defence Forces including many from Co Donegal were hired as extras during filming of the Oscar-winning movie at the Curragh Camp in 1994.
Twenty years later, they're enjoying a trip down memory lane thanks to a remastered documentary entitled ‘Braveheart Extra’ just released by the Irish Defence Forces’ audio visual unit.
In it, the Braveheart actor/director, who played Scottish warrior William Wallace, admires the discipline and professionalism of the young Irish soldiers.
"They're terrific. You know, they've been really good, really professional. Like any group of young men, they're probably 75 per cent smartasses, but they're okay. They're having fun I think," Gibson tells the three-part documentary.
The actor also reveals that the last-minute move from Scotland to shoot the film here was the right decision because Ireland had "everything you need".
"It's all positive stuff and it looks good. Creatively (Ireland) worked better for us. You can find battlefields that work close to a major centre and logistically it's just an easier task to complete. There's tax concessions here (but) they're more than used up in just the move from Scotland because it was a late decision," he added.
Meanwhile, English actor Alun Armstrong, who played the Earl of Mornat in the movie, told the military filmmakers the Irish reservists were the best extras he had worked with.
"They’re just so self-disciplined. You look at the hillside and there’s nobody there and you turn away for a couple of minutes and chat and you turn back and suddenly there are 1500 guys there, it’s just unbelievable," he said.
YouTube links to the documentary have been posted on the Facebook page of the Irish Defence Forces which praises the FCÁ and An Slua Muirí "whose punctuality and professionalism contributed so much to this landmark in cinema".
The footage, which also has interviews with some of the cheeky "smartass" extras, has been getting many comments from those who took part in the historic blockbuster. "I was there…had the time of my life," posted one.
"Some craic, one of the best summers ever," added another.
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