If you happen to be in the market for top level comedy, perhaps you should consider checking out Family Tree. With Chris O’Dowd, a now well established Hollywood celeb, spearheading the cast, how can you resist? Okay, as an Irishman, yes, I am somewhat biased, however, O’Dowd deserves the wealth of praise that has been lavished upon him for the last few years.
O’Dowd, who plays Tom Chadwick, is both an unblemished and charming comic talent. In this strangely minimalist sitcom, the Irish actor breathes credible life into Chadwick, one of life’s vagabonds, whose meaningless subsistence revolves unexpectedly when he’s presented with a chest containing arbitrary items left behind by his enigmatic great aunt. While sorting through the various items left in his possession, Tom discovers an old photograph of a man kitted out in a military uniform, which sets loveable Chadwick on a philosophical/life affirming adventure. However, one thing is clearly evident; anyone who seems to be remotely involved in Tom’s life is clearly a little peculiar, none more so than his ventriloquist sister…. Well, perhaps that eccentric in the corner shop.
O’Dowd’s rise to stardom has been the sort of classic story we all love to read about, and the last few years have seen the Irishman’s career completely sky rocket. A keen sportsman, he represented his home county of Roscommon in Gaelic football at under-16, minor and under-21 level. After studying politics and sociology at University College, Dublin, Chris then attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Nobody is perfect, and O’Dowd has been quick to acknowledge the fact that he did not actually obtain a degree from UCD. In an interview with the UCD student newspaper the College Tribune, O’Dowd admitted: “I didn’t finish my degree. The politics part of it was fine, but I was doing sociology as well and I could never bring myself to find an interest in it.”
The choice to pursue a career as an actor has clearly paid off. In roughly five years Chris has gone from being Roy, the irrational, socially awkward technician on the I.T. Crowd to a household name both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. His most noticeable appearances came courtesy of the hilarious movie Bridesmaids and HBO’s critically divisive Girls. The box office success of Bridesmaids catapulted O’Dowd into mainstream awareness, and this success helped him create and star in his own six-part comedy for Sky, Mooneboy. The show, set in the 1980’s, draws on O’Dowd’s upbringing in the west of Ireland. Unapologetic and laced with innuendo, the show is executed in an extremely stylish manner.
So, you may be wondering, what exactly is it that people find so endearing about the man from Boyle, County Roscommon? The answer is actually quite plain, quite simple. Chris O’ Dowd is in possession of that exceptional quality that we look for in actors and musicians; we can relate to him. Genuine and self deprecating, O’Dowd is clearly a celeb that you could cosy up beside and chatter incessantly over a nice cold beer…… As he’s Irish, better make that a pint of Guinness.
We hope to see more of Chris on either a Family Tree Season 2, an episode of Girls or just about anything else!