Army "smartasses" marched
Braveheart to success
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
"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.
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,"
"Some craic, one of the best summers ever," added