Ireland received high praise recently from Hollywood royalty Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.
Hanks spoke about what a great time he had when he visited ‘lovely’ Wexford, while Streep said that she found Donegal to be ‘magical’.
The pair – who have five Oscars between them – were appearing on Ryan Tubridy’s RTE Radio One show to promote their new film The Post.
The conversations turned towards Ireland and Hanks recalled shooting Saving Private Ryan here in 1997.
He said: “Here’s the greatest memory of it all. I was staying in the little town of Gorey and I came home one night after work and everybody was outside of the pub and they were all drinking. I thought it would be lovely to meet them and sit down with them, but I had to work.
“The next morning, we passed the same pub and on all the benches and all the ledges on the pub were all the pint glasses waiting to be collected. I thought, ‘In Ireland, they don’t steal pint glasses’. That would never happen in the United States.”
Streep added that the time she had spent in Donegal was: “The most magical afternoon of my life.”
The Post tells the story of Katharine Graham who, in the 1970s, became the first female publisher of a major US paper.
Graham worked at the Washington Post along with editor Ben Bradlee and they risked prison as they sought to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents.
Streep said there were similarities with the current administration’s attitude towards the press.
She said: “I think that Steven Spielberg really felt the impetus to make this film this year. This year in 2017, last year – the press, the freedom of the press and the right of journalists to bring the truth to people has been under siege in way unlike anything we’ve seen since Richard Nixon.”
“The importance of bolstering the first amended of our Constitution which speaks to people to the right to know the truth and hold government to account is embedded in this story and it couldn’t be more relevant.”
Hanks added: “It’s amazing in that we did not have to do anything specific in order to bring it up to date, it was just recording what happened in 1971, as it happened. And the connections in the historic fact. This is just a brand of an empirical truth, the way it went down and isn’t it staggering, frightening, and enlightening to realise we might as well set the movie in 2017?”
Take a look at the trailer for The Post below.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling