AN ACADEMY AWARD win represents the pinnacle of any actor’s career but Brenda Fricker is no ordinary actress.
An Oscar winner in 1989 for her performance opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in the acclaimed Christy Brown biopic My Left Foot, Fricker is something approaching acting royalty in Ireland.
She’s also a figure familiar to millions as the “pigeon lady” in the Macaulay Culkin Christmas family caper sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.
After a career spanning more than 30 different film and television roles, Fricker found herself back in the spotlight this past week thanks to a rare appearance on The Late Late Show.
Sitting across from host Ryan Tubridy, the interview offered a rare chance to hear more about the Dublin-born star’s career and that famous Best Supporting Actress Academy Award win.
It was an interview that did not disappoint with Fricker regaling Tubridy with a tale about how her Oscar ended up at the bottom of a swimming pool in Connemara.
It all started when Fricker produced the famous statuette for Tubridy’s perusal, telling him "look at the state of it! It's in bits!"
"It's very heavy," the host replied with Fricker concurring it was “very damaged”.
"I threw that into the swimming pool in Renvyle Hotel in the west of Ireland in Connemara!" she explained before going into the amusing detail.
"It was wintertime and there was a group of Japanese tourists around. For some reason I changed my clothes that day and they had in the hotel... They gave me a sort of Hawaiian-looking shirt with two big pockets in it. For some reason, I had a lot of cash on me and nowhere to put it, so I put it into the two pockets.
"We were all drunk around the pool and they wanted to see the Oscar and I threw the Oscar in the pool and then I thought, 'Oh Jesus, I better get it back!'"
"And I jumped in and all the money [fell out] and all the Japanese tourists jumped in to get the money!" she laughed. "It was heroic of them, it was amazing. So it has many stories to tell!"
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) January 10, 2020
Anecdotes aside the interview also saw Fricker single another up-and-coming Irish actor for praise, describing BAFTA nominee Jessie Buckley as "far and away the best talent I've seen coming up in Ireland for a long, long time".
"She has it all," Fricker added. "I know there's programmes being made about it called The X Factor. Whatever it is, she has the X Factor.
“She can do everything: she can sing, she can get rid of her Irish accent, she's got great dignity on the screen. I'd put my money on her."