While Aidan Quinn plays a drink-loving American author visting drink-loving Ireland in "The Eclipse," the actor abstained from the real stuff during key scenes. Especially during his scary-yet-hilarious brawl scene with co-star Ciaran Hinds.
Despite his drunken slurs onscreen: "I was stone cold sober during the fight," Quinn tells PopcornBiz. "I don't think it's ever a good idea to drink during anything that involves serious movement with another actor."
As it was, the two acting veterans caused some damage during the fight. Not to themselves. But they injured (for real) actress Iben Hjejle, who plays the female shared object of affection for the brawlers who unwisely jumps in to break up their fight. Onscreen she gets a bloody nose. Offscreen someone seriously squished her toes.
"One of us clodhoppers stepped on her toe and she was wearing sandals," says Quinn. "She actually broke her toe early in the day but didn't tell anyone til much later. It was right before she jumped on my back as I'm punching Ciaran, somewhere at that point she got stepped on."
The mysterious offender was never identified from the pool of two. "She was either being very discreet or didn't know who did it," says Quinn.
Quinn admits there were "a few libations discussing our sore points" at the pub afterwards.
Drinking during scenes when no one is in danger -- now that's okay. He admits to having a nip or two of Jameson before performing a scene where he stumbles drunk out of a taxi to bang on the door of his love interest.
Quinn's acting manifesto in these circumstances? "If it's a last scene of the night and you have to roll out of a taxi. And you have to slur your words a little bit. And you don't have any scenes the next day. Well, a little shot of whiskey or two might grease the wheels.
"It helped that scene singing outside her door."
"The Eclipse" is scheduled to opens today in theaters.