Human Interest

Actor with Down syndrome ‘burst out crying’ when his film was nominated for an Oscar

An already award-winning film was nominated for an Academy Award last week, and for one of the actors, the nomination was especially meaningful.

James Martin, an actor with Down syndrome, stars in the film “An Irish Goodbye,” as one of two estranged brothers who reunite after their mother’s death. It has already won the European Audience Award at Leuven International Film Festival and was highly received at the BAFTA-qualifying Leeds Film Festival. Now, it’s been nominated for an Oscar, and Martin told Channel 4 News that it was an emotional moment when he heard the news.

“You see when you go to Spain, in a shopping centre, and you burst out crying your eyes out with your mum and my dad beside you. I just can’t believe it’s gone that far,” he said. “Of course, tears of joy. It’s just nice to have that and just the writers, Tom and Ross, for creating this movie, An Irish Goodbye. It’s going fantastic for them, even though they’re 24, but they’ve done this really well.”


Additionally, the Oscars are being held on Martin’s birthday, which makes it even more meaningful for him.

“It’s just amazing how that comes about even though the Oscars are in America, and even though it’s on the day of my birthday this year. So it’s just nice to have that excitement, to have that on the day of my birthday, it’s just fantastic,” he continued. “My dad has a lovely leopard-skin jacket that I might wear at the Oscars and hopefully a nice dicky bow and a nice shirt of mine; it’ll go down a treat, hopefully.”

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In another interview with ITV News, he said the experience was a great one. “We had such fun; the atmosphere on set was fantastic,” he said. ”It’s the kind of film, that when you’ve been in lockdown for so long, you just want to make people laugh. That’s why the film is very good and it’s a brilliant story.”

Furthermore, he said this inspires other people with disabilities to feel empowered to try acting as well.

“I would say to people who have autism, Down’s Syndrome or some physical disability, I would say go for it, act your heart out,” he said. “It’s just one of those things, don’t let people say ‘you can’t act’, because you can act. It’s just one of those things in life.”

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