I am not Hugh O’Conor

Not Hugh O'Conor with Ray McAnally in My Left Foot.

I discovered this week that a photograph of me appears on the German website cinema.de, with a caption suggesting that it’s the actor Hugh O’Conor with the late Ray McAnally. Actually, strictly speaking it’s not a photo. It’s a screen capture from a movie.

You see, I had a small part in the movie My Left Foot, for which Daniel Day-Lewis won the 1989 Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of the writer Christy Brown, and Brenda Fricker won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar playing his mother. It was also nominated for Best Film and Best Director that year – it’s a good movie and worth seeing. And yes, I am a little bit proud of having been in an Oscar-winning film.

Hugh O’Conor played the young Christy in the movie, and went on to appear in quite a few other things. I guess he’s not all that well known these days, but he does have a page dedicated to him on cinema.de. And thus, earlier this week, I stood behind a work colleague of mine this week while he was using Google to find images of the late Ray McAnally, who was also in My Left Foot, when right there on the second page of results I saw myself, in a still from “my main scene”. (While it may look like he’s strangling the 11 year old me, in fact he was tickling me, the young Patrick (?) Brown, one of his many children. I won’t spoil the scene by telling you what came next.)

It is indeed an odd experience to see a photo of yourself cropping up like that. I suppose it’s not entirely random, but it’s strange nonetheless. There’s a printed still from that scene at home in my parents’ house, but I have never, ever seen it on a computer screen. I could so easily have never stumbled upon it. And the caption on the website says “Hugh O’Conor, Ray McAnally, Mein linker Fuß “. Oh well…I suppose he deserves the credit more than I.

(The image is on this page – it’s #15 of the 23 images in the library.)