Northern Ireland

'Only Pete Postlethwaite could have played our father'

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Media captionPete Postlethwaite in the film Brassed Off - Footage courtesy of Four Film

The family of Belfast man Giuseppe Conlon, one of the Guildford Four, have said that nobody else but Pete Postlethwaite could have played their late father.

Postlethwaite, who has died aged 64 following a long battle with cancer, was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Giuseppe Conlon in "In the Name of the Father".

The 1993 Jim Sheridan film, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, was about the wrongful convictions that followed the IRA's Guildford pub bombings.

Postelthwaite appeared in dozens of other films, including Brassed Off and The Usual Suspects.

"Sometimes I'm watching In the Name of the Father and Pete will turn and there'll be a look... He'll have these little idiosyncrasies that my father had and it's not Pete, it's my father," said Gerry Conlon.

"He was an amazing chameleon, and I think that Jim Sheridan and Daniel (Day-Lewis) bringing him onboard to play the part of my father, opened doors for him and we can now appreciate how great an actor he was."


Giuseppe Conlon's daugther Ann McKernan said the actor wanted to know everything about the Belfast man when he came to visit his family prior to the film being made.

"The thing that always comes back to me when I think of Pete is that as the premier ended and we were going for something to eat he said to me 'I'm a bit nervous seeing Sarah (Giuseppe Conlon's wife) because I don't know if I did your father justice'," said Gerry Conlon.

"And when he saw my mother, my mother just came over and put her arms around him and said 'if Giuseppe was alive he'd be shaking your hand'."

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