Moe Dunford is as affable as ever as he sits down to chat with VIP Magazine ahead of the premiere of his new show The Dry.
The drama/comedy follows Shiv Sheridan who returns to Dublin after years of partying in London, who is determined to turn her life around. Now sober and full of good intentions, Shiv is completely unprepared for how difficult staying “on the dry” is.
As Shiv tries to navigate this new phase of her life, so must her family, and they all have issues they don’t want to face.
Speaking at the RTÉ Autumn Launch, Moe, who plays Jack, took us behind the scenes of the show as well as his life back home in Waterford.
Hi Moe, thanks for chatting with us. Tell us what attracted you to The Dry?
It’s so relatable, all the characters are covering up some lie or shame. After the two years that we’ve had, to see something so honest where the characters have to look inward and really ask themselves difficult questions is great. The comedy comes out of the characters.
I worked with Paddy Breathnach before on a film called Rosie about the housing crisis, which was a completely different kettle of fish, I love Nancy Harris’ writing, as well as the ensemble of the family and seeing how they work. I felt a bit like the black sheep of the cast because I’m playing a bit of a tearaway. That was fun.
Being able to be the black sheep must have been fun! Is that why you wanted to play the role of Jack?
I felt an onus to do the character justice last time I worked with Paddy but this time it was easier because Jack is free to have fun. We were shooting it in Dublin just as the pubs started opening and Dublin is very much a character in The Dry, this character was definitely having fun and enjoying the nightlife and enjoying the freedom.
You spoke about how Irish families are portrayed in this. Do you think every Irish person watching will see themselves in the Sheridans?
How do you show Irish families honestly? We watch Derry Girls and we love the truth that comes from that. The same with The Young Offenders. Paddy was able to get the balance right of what an Irish family is, they’re all characters who are hiding secrets. There are funerals, there’s shame about drinking and there is pressure for Roisin’s character to have a drink when she comes back. It packs a lot into 25 minutes.
We Irish love funerals…
The first episode starts with a funeral and a wake. The actress who was in the coffin fell asleep with all the actors in the room. [Laughs]
This show is all about moving home, how did you find moving back to Waterford?
I moved home during the pandemic back to Dungarvan two years ago. It was great. Moving back to my family home was great, and getting that opportunity to be with them for a couple of months or a year or however long it was going to be was great. I was lucky that I live in the countryside and I was able to have quiet time. I liked it. I had to come down from the mountains for The Dry! I had to rethink my life when the pandemic hit. What do I do now?
So, during that rethinking, if you weren’t an actor, what would you be up to?
My best mate since the age of four, he’s a Garda, he retrained at 32. Now he’s talking to me about his driving courses and his high-speed pursuit courses he’s doing. That’s what I pretend I do. I thought about it a lot on days off work. But The Dry was a joy. I’ve done a couple of Irish shows and this is what I’ve always hoped to do as an actor. It’s the themes we want from movies and family dramas but made into a dramedy. It’s really great.
The Dry kicks off on September 15th on RTÉ One