Larry Mullen Talks about "Man On The Train"

Larry Mullen Jr. reckons that the scariest gig of his life was acting on screen with Donald Sutherland, even though he has performed in front of millions.

Larry Mullen Jr / Man On The Train

Larry Mullen Jr / Man On The Train

Mullens makes his acting debut in new film ‘Man on Train’ which premieres on Friday in Dublin, and amateur Larry is keen on finding more acting projects after getting a taste for it.

In a remake of Patrice Leconte’s acclaimed 2002 French drama of the same name, Mullens plays a bearded thief opposite Sutherland. The movie see Mullen play a mysterious criminal who rolls into a small town planning to raid the local bank. Mullen is also listed as co-producer on the film.

Larry Mullen Jr

Larry Mullen Jr

 Mullen revealed: “Overall, it was incredibly difficult. It didn’t come easy, necessarily, but when I looked back at it, I didn’t look as terrified as I actually was.”

He said: “There was nothing for me to bounce back on. It wasn’t like I could call Donald over and say, “Hey Donald, how was that? Was that okay for you? Should we have the lights this way? ‘

“I had no idea, I was wandering around, getting in the way and standing in the wrong places.”

And Larry admitted that as a musician, he sometimes felt out of his depth working on the massive project.

He added: “It was a terrifying experience, but when I was working with Donald I didn’t feel intimidated by him necessarily, I just felt out of my comfort zone and out of my depth.

Larry Mullen Jr.

Larry Mullen Jr.

“Therefore I had to dig deep and rely on instincts that I haven’t used for 25 years. For all those things it was a truly liberating and extraordinary experience, but it wasn’t easy.”

Overall the Dubliner is proud to have taken the leap from stage to screen. After weeks of filming in Canada, Mullen revealed: “I would really love to do it again. But it won’t be down to me, necessarily. It will be down to a director or a casting director taking a chance on a novice. I will never be a career actor, I don’t think.”


He continued: “I don’t think anybody can imagine the life that I’ve been lucky enough to have. It’s been an incredible journey.

“In my 50th year, to have an opportunity to act, and to act with such a great actor as Donald and with a great director like Mary, is not something that you can imagine.

“They’re things that you dream about. Not things that you ever think will become a reality, no.”

The opening night of new Irish film Man on a Train premiered at the Irish Film Institute on January 11th.


Larry Mullen Jr & Juliette Binoche

Larry Mullen Jr and Irish actress Maria Doyle Kennedy (Downtown Abbey) have joined the cast of Erik Poppe’s ‘A Thousand Times Good Night’, which began shooting in Dublin last week.

They join a previously announced cast that includes French actress Juliette Binoche and Danish ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Young Irish actress Lauryn Canny has also been cast as Binoche’s daughter Steph.

The role is the second acting job for U2 drummer Mullen, whose first film role was in Irish director Mary McGuckian’s ‘Man on the Train’ with Donald Sutherland in 2011.

‘A Thousand Times Good Night’ is inspired by Poppe’s own experiences as a war photographer. It tells the story of a photographer, Rebekka, who is torn between the job and the family she loves.

Binoche and Coster-Waldau play the photographer and her husband, while Mullen Jr and Kennedy play their best friends in the drama, which will move to Morrocco following a five-week shoot in Dublin.

‘A Thousand Times Goodnight’ has been written by Harald Rosenløw Eeg and is a co-production between Ireland’s Newgrange Pictures, Paradox in Norway and Zentropa International Sweden.

Jackie Larkin and Lesley McKimm will produce for Newgrange alongside Norwegian-based Finn Gjerdrum and Stein Kave for Paradox.

The feature’s budget is reportedly around €5m with the project having been offered €300,000 from the Irish Film Board in the last round of funding. The Norwegian Film Institute is also supporting the feature.

¡Ni Un Paso Atras!

I have started this journey backwards and I have been thinking about different U2 songs and the feelings they evoke within myself as well as others around me.  U2’s music has always had a powerful message. I scrolled thru my selections and came across “Mothers of the Disappeared”. The music started to play and away my journey began.


Bono met René Castro, a Chilean mural artist. Castro had been tortured and held in a concentration camp for two years by the dictatorial Chilean government because his artwork criticized the Pinochet-led regime that seized power in 1973 during a coup d'état.  Castro showed Bono a wall painting in the Mission District that depicted the ongoing plight in Chile and Argentina. He also learned of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo, a group of women whose children were forcibly disappeared by the Argentinian government. The Madres' children were students who had opposed the government during the Dirty War, and the coup d'état that brought Jorge Rafael Videla into power. The Madres joined to campaign for information regarding the locations of their children's bodies and the circumstances of their deaths, believing them to have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered.

I remember [Daniel Lanois], when we were finishing ‘Mothers of the Disappeared’, losing his mind and performing at the mixing desk like he was Mozart at the piano, head blown back in an imaginary breeze, and it was pouring down with rain outside the studio and I was singing about how ‘in the rain we see their tears,’ the tears of those who have been disappeared. And when you listen to that mix you can actually hear the rain outside. It was magical really...
— Bono

Inspired by the mural, Bono took an extended break from recording into July, travelling to Nicaragua and El Salvador with his wife, Alison Hewson, to see firsthand the distress of peasants bullied by political conflicts and US military intervention. While there, they worked with the Central American Mission Partners (CAMP), a human rights and economic development organization.

In El Salvador they met members of the Comité de Madres Monsignor Romero (COMADRES: Committee of the Mothers Monsignor Romero), an organization of women whose children were forcibly disappeared by the El Salvadoran government during the Salvadoran Civil War because they opposed the military regime that was in power.  At one point during the trip, Bono, Alison, and a member of CAMP were shot at by government troops while on their way to deliver aid to a group of farmers. The shots were a warning and, according to author John Luerssen, the incident made Bono realize that "they didn't care for their intrusion and they could kill them if they felt compelled."

There was a love/hate relationship with America. A lot of that album reflected Bono’s feelings coming back from El Salvador and the Conspiracy of Hope tour and seeing the brutal face of US foreign policy.
— Larry Mullen Jr

In 2006, Bono recounted another experience he had in El Salvador, where he had seen a body thrown from a van into the road. He remarked, "People would just disappear. If you were part of the opposition, you might find an SUV with the windows blacked out parked outside your house.... If that didn't stop you, occasionally they would come in and take you and murder you; there would be no trial  Bono understood the cause of the Madres and COMADRES and wanted to pay tribute to it. His experiences in Central America inspired the lyrics of "Mothers of the Disappeared" and another track from The Joshua Tree, "Bullet the Blue Sky".

In 1998, Bono re-recorded the song a cappella in English and Spanish for the album ¡Ni Un Paso Atras! (English: Not One Step Back!), along with a recitation of the William Butler Yeats poem "Mother of God". The album was created by the Madres in commemoration of the disappearance of their children.

Christians Still Looking

The Best of: 1980-1990, that contains Christian connotations, is the song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For ” While there are some Christians who maintain that Bono is renouncing his faith in this song, others maintain that Bono is simply expressing personal struggles with his faith and with temptation. Still others maintain that Bono is expressing his struggle with the current world.

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Happy Birthday Larry

Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Mullen, Jr. (born 31 October 1961) is an Irish musician best known as the drummer for the Irish rock band U2. He is the founder of U2, which he later described as “‘The Larry Mullen Band’ for about ten minutes, then Bono walked in and blew any chance I had of being in charge.” He has worked on numerous side projects during his career, including a collaboration with Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. to form Automatic Baby in 1993 and working with bandmate Adam Clayton on the re-recording of the theme to Mission: Impossible, in 1996. He and U2 have won many awards, including 22 Grammy award

U2's Larry Mullen Jr. on the big screen

Larry Mullen Jr and Donald Sutherland / Man on the Train The English-language remake of Patrice Leconte’s award-winning French film of the same name, Man on the Train stars Donald Sutherland and musician Larry Mullen, Jr. in his acting debut.

A mysterious criminal (Mullen Jr.) rolls into a small town planning to knock off the local bank, assuming it will go off without a hitch. But when he encounters a retired poetry professor (Sutherland), his plans take an unlikely turn. With no place to stay, the professor generously welcomes him into his home. As the two men talk, a bond forms between these two polar opposites, and surprising moments of humor and compassion emerge. As they begin to understand each other more, they each examine the choices they’ve made in their lives, secretly longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man has lived, based on the desire to escape their own.

A superb re-make of Patrick Leconte’s 2002 film, Man on the Train is a scrumptiously literate character drama. Starring Donald Sutherland and Larry Mullen, Jr., this well-crafted entertainment’s appeal will be to a mature, intelligent demographic.

In this re-incarnation, Sutherland stars as a retired literature professor, who, in his own parlance, seems cut out of the mold of J. Alfred Prufrock. Throughout his cautious life, he’s been a man who did not “dare to eat a peach.”  Refined and restrained, he lives alone in the posh home his mother left him. Amid his books and protected by his reserve, he is, as Eliot’s poem goes, “full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse.”

The stale professor, however, is stirred by a chance meeting with his psychological and professional opposite, a laconic criminal (Mullen) who rides into town on a train. This mystery man is in cahoots to rob the local bank, the very day that the Professor is to have heart surgery. Opposites do attract in this witty character study as the Professor takes in the itinerant to stay a few days in his comfy manse.

Their polar differences spark a friendship: Each learns from the other’s point-of-view and way-of-life. Under Mary McGuckian’s perceptive hand, we’re treated to an unlikely personal bonding of two divergent personalities.

Man on the Trainis a ripe illumination, buoyed by the sterling lead performances of Sutherland and Mullen. Sutherland lays out the rich inner life of a man who holds disappointment for the cautious existence he has maintained. Wondrously, the uneducated blunt stranger’s probes and blunt observations jolt the professor from his self-constraining views. From this uneducated bloke, he becomes aware that, in his own way, he has led a rich life, albeit manifested by his inner being.

In exchange, the detached professor enriches the straightforward criminal to an alternate appreciation of life, as well.

Cinematographer Stefan von Bjorn’s silken hues and production designer Jennifer Carroll’s vibrant furnishings are precisely right for this full-bodied film.  

Venue: Cannes Film Festival
Based on the 2002 Patrick Leconte film

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Larry Mullen, Jr., Paula Boudreau, Graham Greene, Kate O’Toole, Greg Byrk, Samuel Jephcott


Mary McGuckian

Memphis Mullen and Larry Mullen Jr

Larry Mullen Jr / U2TOURFANS 2009 /2011 PITTSBURGH – How many miles would you travel for a hug? U2 fans come from all lifestyles, the tour wrapped up last night with a surprise kick off for one fan. This fan has traveled to every USA show this summer.  Traveling to every show by car, behind the 168-foot stage that leaped frogged the country in search of that one Larry Mullen Jr. experience.  If you followed the tweets, you knew that Larry had not come out to greet the fans the whole tour and last night was no different. This fan made a name for self and with the support of other fans and security the final dream happened.  The walk out was a bit different last night, Larry not in the lead and walking behind with The Edge, rumor has it without a word just a look he walked right up to that well traveled fan and gave her a hug. Now all of this happened just before the start of the show

U2 has performed over 100 times in three years and one would think that 360 is sure to be put in the past and that the marketing machines are ready to churn out the next album (which we heard some time in the fall) However last nights show was nothing short of amazing. Yea “No Line on the Horizon” tossed aside for some more popular tunes.

A few songs from “Achtung Baby” kicked off the night to remember and for one fan a lifetime of memories. U2 music has defined a generation of activism and hope for a better world; the power to make a difference is in all of us. We can make a difference, Bono once said “There’s nothing worst than a rock star with a cause” Bono has been crossing the world with causes for many years and in all that time, fans have never turned their back on him.  This tour all but wrapped up, so what is next?  Get ready for the next tour, turn up the music, and let the sound in.  We would like to thank the many thousands of fans that have supported our little project. We too have had our challenges however all along we all knew why we started this journey it was about the music and the fan experience.