Tim’s Visit Home Before Resuming His ‘True Detective’ Work

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Tim Murphy outside Kerry Airport on Friday afternoon. Photo by Dermot Crean

TIMOTHY V Murphy walks through the arrival doors at Farranfore Airport and a few people present do a double take with that ‘I know that fella from somewhere’ expression on their faces.

It’s a look the Oakpark native must be well acquainted with.

Since he left Ireland for Hollywood many years ago, he has appeared in some of the biggest TV series of the past 15 years including 24, Six Feet Under, Shameless (US), Alias, CSI: NY and many more.

But what Tim does next could take his career to another level.

I sat down with him in the airport bar for a quick chat before he went off to spend some quality time with his parents, Eddie and Mary, back in Tralee. He’s home for the weekend before heading back to LA soon to film the remaining episodes of the blockbuster series True Detective.

He is slim, fit and fresh looking for his 55 years, no doubt helped by a healthy lifestyle in Santa Monica where he lives.

He has a genial and courteous way about him which must have helped him when he went to the US in the early 80s, working in construction in New York and later in Florida.

“I was just in my twenties and having fun basically,” he said of those times.

While there he managed to get an acting job in a commercial for Molson beer.

“I looked a bit like James Dean at the time and I had three beautiful hispanic girls around me during filming. I thought ‘if this is acting, I’ll have some of this’,” he joked.

Tim returned home and took up acting seriously, studying his craft and getting parts in plays. He landed a role in Glenroe on RTE, as Conor Sheehy, which made him a household name for a while in Ireland.

But when the offer of a place to stay in LA came up, he left these shores again in 1997 and hasn’t looked back.

A number of small roles in major TV series followed as well as movie parts in Appaloosa, National Treasure and Lone Ranger.

However, it was a TV commercial that led him to a significant role as Ian Doyle in the hit show, Criminal Minds, for six episodes.

“I was in a commercial for ‘Direct TV’ playing a Russian oligarch and it became very famous in the States – it went viral as they say – and that gave me a lot of notoriety. And it was out of that I got a straight offer for Criminal Minds.

They didn’t realise I was Irish. They thought I was Russian, because they were looking for a Russian character, but when they found out I was Irish they changed it,” said Tim.

This exposure helped him land a role on Sons Of Anarchy, the acclaimed FX show about a Californian biker gang, where he played Galen in five episodes. Now he’s been cast in a new TV show by that its creator, Kurt Sutter.

The pilot for The Bastard Executioner, which is set in the early 14th century, is being shot in Wales at the moment and that’s where he’s come from for the weekend.

If, as expected, it’s picked up for a full series, he could be home a bit more often, as he’ll be spending four months in Wales this summer. So is it a big role?

“He’s an ex-warrior priest and he becomes more crucial as the story goes on. It’s good that the role is so small in the pilot episode, as it allows me to go back and do True Detective, because I’ve three more episodes to do in that.”

Ah yes, True Detective. The previous series with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson was a massive worldwide hit last year and hopefully it’ll do wonders for Tim’s career.

He is set to appear in six of the eight episodes of the new series which stars Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughan. Don’t expect spoilers from Tim though.

“I’ve never worked on such a secretive project. You get your scenes a couple of days before shooting and you have to hand the scripts back as soon as you shoot them,” he said.

He’s also set to appear in Jane Fonda’s new series Grace And Frankie this summer, but the planned series for Holy Roller, where he was to play the lead role as a Kerry priest Fr Babbot in Las Vegas, will have to wait for the moment while he’s busy with other projects. He also stars in a movie to be released this year.

“I did an independent movie called No Way To Live that I think is going to be quite a good movie. I’m a sheriff in Louisiana which I got huge satisfaction out of playing,” he said.

He’s also about to face a new challenging role as a father, since his girlfriend, model/actress Caitlin Manley, is expecting their child.

In the meantime, Tim is going to enjoy his break over the weekend. So what does he get up to when he gets home?

“I like going for a hike up Brandon, going for a walk on Banna Beach with my folks, out for dinner or for a pint. I love getting back to Kerry,” said Tim, who you might spot in Sean Og’s or Bailys Corner for a drink when he’s at home.

Then next week it’s back to the world of filming where Kerry people seem to making big waves in the past few years with megastar Michael Fassbender and lately, Moyvane’s Gerard Barrett enjoying huge success.

“Fassbender is just great isn’t he and Gerard Barrett did the right thing with Pilgrim Hill,” said Tim. “When a young director starts off writing about something they know – like Scorcese did – you can build on that, but when you try from the very beginning to copy someone’s work, you’re not going to have a great career.”

“It’s great. It’s a change because it’s usually guys from Dublin who do well, but it seems to be Kerry’s time at the moment,” he said.

It certainly is and Timothy V Murphy may not pass through Farranfore Airport with only vague looks of recognition for much longer.

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