Cannes Film Festival: Daryl McCormack Talks Shooting ‘Twister’ and Staying Grounded

Irish actor Daryl McCormack is poised to take the world by storm, not only in the upcoming tornado-chaser blockbuster “Twister,” but a slew of promising projects in the pipeline.

The 30-year-old took home the Trophée Chopard during Cannes, in recognition for his work including “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” and “Peaky Blinders.”

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“The Chopard award just stands out a little bit more,” he says of receiving the recognition of young talents from godmother Natalie Portman and Cannes Film Festival artistic director Thierry Frémaux. “You know, what it does? It just gives you a great encouragement moving forward with where you’re going.

“You’re working to be recognized for quite some time, and I think there comes a point where people start to really see your taste and the prospect of your career. Things like this really open up the doors for you,” he says. “That’s when you start to shape your career, and not just try and get work for survival sake.“

Now he has a wishlist of directors to work with.

“For me, it’s mainly the auteurs, the filmmakers that are kind of of this generation. I met [jury president] Ruben Östlund last night, and I’m a massive fan of people like this. Just to be in their world would be so exciting.”

While the indie cinema world faces challenges with funding, McCormack says it serves as an important bridge for young filmmakers. He’s currently shooting “Twister” with Lee Isaac Chung, who previously directed the immigrant family drama “Minari.” That small film went on to win big in awards season, including an Oscar.

“Really interesting filmmakers are coming into the blockbuster space,” he says, of those who are cutting their teeth on indie movies being given a chance to take the helm of bigger productions. “But right now, it feels like a little bit more of a desert in terms of finding those films that are getting the support financially. People need to champion the work that’s done in film, it’s really quite vital. Otherwise, the market of film is just gonna be too lopsided.”

McCormack tries to be philosophical. His grandfather taught him to always stay curious about life.

“If you hold on to that, the work will find you. That way you kind of get to keep your soul intact as well,” he says.

The tight-knit Irish acting community sticks together, he says. “People always ask me, ‘I don’t want to make presumptions, but do you all know each other?’ And the actual truth is that we do,” he says.

McCormack cited Sharon Horgan and Barry Keoghan as pals. “It’s quite a funny thing, because we’re just supportive of each other. It’s always amazing to see your peers do well, but also, knowing that Ireland is such a small country, that it has this kind of profound impact on the arts.”

McCormack is honing his sense of style, moving out of his comfort zone — though he still aims for comfortable clothing — by adding jackets and new cuts to his wardrobe. He says it’s a mix of traditional and streetwear, and cites Engineered Garments, the New York-based line from Japanese designer Daiki Suzuki, as a favorite.

The Chopard gala was his first time in a Prada tux. “So understated and so confident. I felt slightly bold as well,” he says of his dapper look.

He’s just ahead of the premiere of “The Lesson,” costarring Richard E. Grant and Julie Delpy, that will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month. The psychological drama centers on a young writer who intertwines himself into the life of a family. The film was helmed by first time director Alice Troughton and penned by first time writer Alex MacKeith.

“When you’re working with someone like that you can start to believe that the sky’s the limit,” he says of acting opposite Grant.

“When you get someone who’s going to come prepared, and someone who has a level of comfort in what they’re doing, it feels exciting. I think they teach you a great deal as an actor coming up. You are already at a level of competency that it’s like pushing the bar,” he says.

In his downtime, McCormack has a meditation practice to stay grounded, and tries to stay be present for all these new experiences.

“I need to take in these moments, but also look forward with a sense of excitement, anticipation,” he says. “I think I’m gonna go do wonderful things.”

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