A young Clare boy, who impressed a top movie director, secured the rule for which he auditioned in a movie shot in the Banner county.
He impressed director Nick Rowland so much that he was offered the role.
Kiljan’s dad Kevin said: “It was only later that we found out there had been well over 100 auditions.”
Calm With Horses is based on a novella from the acclaimed collection of short stories Young Skins by Irish writer Colin Barrett from Mayo. The collection won the Guardian’s first book award and the Frank O’Connor Short Story Prize.
Writer Joe Murtagh has adapted the screenplay and has collaborated with Rowland since they studied together at the NFTS. Rowland, Murtagh and Emmerson have all featured in Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow showcase.
“During the movie shoot, Nick mentioned that Kiljan was a natural actor. This is the start of Kiljans acting career, his first feature film. Hopefully there’ll be many more to come,” Kevin added.
Kiljan starred alongside Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar while the movie was shot in various locations in Ireland including Kilkee.
He plays the part of Jack, the son of the main characters. Jack has autism and story is about his father’s connection to his son in a cruel world of external violence.
Kevin Moroney said: “During the making of “Calm With Horses”, Kiljan (pronounced Cillian), Barry and most of the crew played some football in between takes. At the time of shooting the movie, Kiljan was only 5½ years old. Everyone was extremely kind and friendly and it was a fantastic film to be part of.”
The very first time Kiljan met up with the cast and crew, he and his Dad had planned an interesting way of saying hello. Kiljan had a little toy gun that he would ask them to hold but it was actually a shock gun and pretty much all of the cast/crew fell for it.
“There were plenty of laughs and jokes and the mood was very easy going. The movie was shoot in various locations in Ireland and the UK. Kiljan’s scenes were in Kilkee, Tulla, Galway City, Woodford, Loughrea, Connemara and London,” a proud Kevin added.