Stars of Banshees of Inisherin Talk About Filming on Achill

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, two of the stars of the film ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’, have been speaking about their experience of filming on Achill Island and on Inishmore in the Aran Islands. They were guests on the USA talk show ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ and spoke ahead of the launch of the movie:

Asked whether they had visited the filming locations previously, Gleeson said that while he had been to Achill before he “hadn’t really seen it because it was always mist and rain” when he arrived. But this time, when he went out to see the actual physical locations it was ‘jawdropping’. The choice of locations, and the sets constructed, led Gleeson to congratulate writer and director Martin McDonagh. He told the talkshow host, “when Martin put the pub on a place that is on the edge of the world, my only reaction was ‘congratulations’!”. Colin Farrell continued the story, commenting on how fitting it was to congratulate McDonagh and his team: “It was the balls of Martin and the production designer to put this pub – which is no longer there – on this bluff where next stop, 20 feet away, was the Atlantic and a drop off, and cliffs and waves that were coming in constantly just outside the pub door.” The location of the fictional pub, JJ Devine’s, is on the Atlantic Drive in Achill at Cloughmore.

JJ Devines pub under construction at Cloughmore, Achill Island, August 2021

Speaking about the cinematography of the movie, Gleeson praised McDonagh’s approach: “He shot it incredibly cinematically, everything was epic in nature. So everything was at the extreme … the beauty of the place was extreme.” This treatment enhanced the story of the movie, Gleeson continued, “so that what appeared to be the small hurt in a small story was elevated, he was literally pushing everything to the edge.”

Commenting on the environment of filming in Achill, Farrell praised the weather: “It was unheard of the weather we had. It was like the Greek Islands. […] The sunsets were indigo and amber and it was just magnificent”.

Sunset at Cloughmore, Achill Island, at the site of fictional pub JJ Devines

View The Banshees of Inisherin Achill Locations Trail, a guide to the six filming locations on Achill Island.