|McDonough Stars in The Guardian
WHILE taking an afternoon stroll on Monday with his wife and son, Neal
McDonough, one of the stars of the new Kevin Costner film The Guardian
which is released nationwide this Friday, was happy to talk about his
Irish roots to the Irish Voice.
“Anything for a fellow Irish woman” said McDonough.
McDonough, 40, is first generation Irish. He was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts
and grew up in Cape Cod. His mother comes from Co. Tipperary and his father
from Co. Galway.
His sister is presently living in Clifton in Galway. She is the owner
of the Connemara View newspaper.
McDonough spent countless summers in Ireland as a young man. His mother,
who passed away 13 years ago, was particularly fond of bringing him and
his siblings to visit her family in Tipperary.
“I loved those visits, my mother was wonderful, she knew everyone
and I have a lot of fond memories of my trips when I was younger,”
Realizing it has been some time since he has been back, McDonough remarked,
“I’m due a visit there soon. It’s been about five years
since my last visit, a friend’s wedding if I recall,” says
McDonough attended Syracuse University, where he graduated with a Bachelor
of Fine Arts degree in 1988. From there he went to the London Academy
of Music and Dramatic Arts. It was there he met his South African wife
Ruve Robertson, who only 10 months ago gave birth to their first son Morgan.
McDonough began his evolution into film with minor-league roles in movies
like Darkman and in popular television series as China Beach and Quantum
As a child who cherished Star Trek, McDonough was ecstatic when he was
cast in the Star Trek: First Contact (1996). The same year McDonough was
the voice of Dr. Bruce Banner in the animated television series of The
Steven Spielberg cast McDonough as first Lieutenant Lynn “Buck”
Comton in the highly praised HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. McDonough
got an opportunity to show his elasticity in roles by playing a disturbed
soldier who experiences a nervous breakdown in the middle of war. Spielberg
was so impressed with his performance that he instantly cast him for a
role in Minority Report, as Tom Cruise’s best friend.
McDonough went from strength to strength. He returned to the television
screen for the television series Boomtown, to play a part initially cast
for Jimmy Smits.
McDonough’s career soared. He was now being cast for bigger movies
like Timeline (2003), Walking Tall (2004) American Gothic (2005) and now
The Guardian (2006).
What it was like working with Colin Farrell on Minority Report? McDonough
couldn’t have been more complimentary.
“Colin is a terrific guy. He had it tough at the start because he
was thrown right into the deep end. It was hard for him to re-bound. He
definitely played up his Irishness by being the bad boy and maybe he fell
into the act a little but he really is such a terrific great guy,”
McDonough stars with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher in The Guardian,
an enthralling, hard-hitting, edge of your seat story of valor and selfless
sacrifice set in the world of Coast Guard Rescue swimmers, men and women
who put their lives on the line daily against giant storms and monstrous
waves to save the life of others.
McDonough plays Jack Skinner, a drill instructor.
“At the beginning of the movie I’m not the nicest but I turn
out to be a good guy at the end,” says McDonough.
McDonough said that making the movie was challenging. There were days
when they had to spend eight hours or more in the water.
“I missed out on the boot camp, which was fine by me, because my
wife was pregnant with our son Morgan at the time,” said McDonough.
McDonough said making the movie was very enjoyable. His experience working
with Costner will stand to him.
“Kevin is literally one of the nicest most genuine guys I’ve
ever worked with and definitely one of the best guys in Hollywood,”
When asked to choose one actor that he most admired, he chose two.
“I got lucky this year, I got to work with two amazing actors, Kevin
Costner in The Guardian and Al Pacino in 88 Minutes. I really feed off
their energy and professionalism and I will use what I learned from them
in my future movies.”