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Category: The Survivalist
A forest near the Co Antrim town is the location for a terrifying new post-Apocalyptic film set in Northern Ireland. Maureen Coleman joins stars Martin McCann and Mia Goth as they shoot the final scenes.
The ruthlessness of survival in a post-apocalyptic world is the main theme of a new thriller shooting in Northern Ireland. Written and directed by Enniskillen-based 2013 Screen Star of Tomorrow Stephen Fingleton, The Survivalist is a story of one man living alone on a farm in a time of starvation.
His isolation is shattered with the arrival of two visitors, a mother and her teenage daughter, desperate for food. When the mother offers up her daughter, an uneasy arrangement ensues. The farm then comes under attack from outsiders, forcing the trio to work together to survive, developing loyalties which will be tested when food runs short.
The dystopian movie stars Belfast actor Martin McCann (The Pacific, Closing The Ring, Killing Bono) in the title role, with up-and-coming actress Mia Goth, girlfriend of Hollywood hellraiser Shia LaBeouf, playing his love interest, Milja. Award-winning stage actress Olwen Fouere plays her mother, Kathryn.
Filming of The Survivalist began early last month and was expected to wrap this week, with most of the scenes shot in a forest outside Ballymoney.
McCann’s character, whose name is never revealed, has set up home in a makeshift cabin in the heart of the woods. He grows food on a small farm – protecting his land from thieves and foragers with man traps and a shotgun. The long years of living alone have taken a toll on him and he starts to lose his grip on reality. As his feelings for Milja grow, her mother schemes to take control of the farm.
It’s a hugely different role from any 30-year-old McCann has taken on before. First of all, there are the sex scenes, which McCann has never tackled in the past, but says are almost obligatory for an actor. And he had to change his appearance as well, consulting the same nutritionist Michael Fassbender turned to for help when shedding several stone to play Bobby Sands in Hunger. McCann’s weight loss was not as dramatic, but he had to look convincing as a man living off the fruits of the land.
The IFTA-winning actor first came to the attention of writer and director Fingleton when he was cast to play a forager in a short pilot called Magpie, which acted as a precursor to The Survivalist. Fingleton was impressed with McCann’s performance and invited him back to play the title role in his first feature film.