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About The Production
"Evelyn was a movie just waiting to be made," says screenwriter Paul Pender. The inspiring true story of Desmond Doyle and his children already had the heart and drama to make a compelling, rich, and affecting narrative – it just needed someone to help it on its way to the big screen.

Desmond's daughter, Evelyn Doyle, now grown and living in Scotland, also knew an account of her father's heroism would make a good story, and she was actively trying to get that story heard. Finally, a few years ago, when Pender heard Evelyn's account of her father's life, the narrative got the push it needed. No one knew then how far it would go, but the real-life account had taken its first steps toward making the transition to film.

"Within three minutes of hearing the story," says Pender, "the hair was standing up on the back of my neck. I immediately knew it would make a great film – a classic, moving, David and Goliath-type story."

According to Pender, he also immediately thought of Pierce Brosnan as perfect casting for Evelyn's father. "I know it sounds coincidental," he continues, "but Evelyn showed me a picture of her father. He looked like Pierce, and I said so. I'm sure she thought I was out of my mind, but that's what started it all." The seeds of Evelyn were planted.

Picturing an actor of Pierce Brosnan's caliber in the movie of your unsold screenplay is one thing, but actually getting the project off the ground and signing Brosnan to the role is entirely another – quite an ambitious goal for a first-time screenwriter living in Scotland. Some time later, however, having moved to Hollywood and working to break into the film industry, Pender became an intern and reader at MGM Pictures headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

"I was reading all these scripts being sent in," Pender says, "and I found them so boring. I like films which are funny and uplifting and say something interesting about the human condition." He believed he had written such a film with his screenplay for Evelyn. Determined to get the script to Brosnan, Pender discovered that the offices for Irish DreamTime – Brosnan's production company with partner Beau St. Clair – were conveniently and coincidentally located on the floor above where he was working. It was hard to believe, but Pender wasn't about to pass up the opportunity. He dropped off his script and soon found out what it was like to be on the other side of what he'd been doing as an intern – now it was he waiting for someone to read his work.

When they read the script, producers Brosnan and St. Clair were immediately spurred into action. "I liked it at once," says St. Clair. "It touched me, it moved me, and it made me laugh, and that's exactly the kind of project we were looking for."

"The story has a jauntiness to it," adds Brosnan. "Not only is it an important and moving story, but it's something people will enjoy. We've all seen gloomy films with a ‘message,' but this is different. It's a very hopeful film, very optimistic about the future and the good that people can do when they set their minds to it. That's very timely, and people want to see stories like that.'

Irish DreamTime decided to produce the film, and the producers began looking for a director. Brosnan quickly thought of his friend, acclaimed director Bruce Beresford, with whom he'd worked a decade earlier on Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson won a Silver Bear at the 1991 Berlin Film Festival, and Brosnan had been looking for an opportunity to rekindle the experience ever since. "Bruce's cinematic sensibilities are razor sharp," says Brosnan. "He knows how to tell a story with economy, eloquence, and above all, great humanity."

As it did Brosnan and St. Clair, the script impressed


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