Six-time Oscar-nominee Jim Sheridan (“In the Name of the Father,” “My Left Foot”) is busy these days with Sky Studios documentary series “Murder in the Cottage,” but he has plenty more on his plate.
One of Sheridan’s most celebrated films is “In America” (2002), where a family of Irish immigrants adjusts to life in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen while grieving the death of a child. A series based on the film was in the works.
“I tried to do it with HBO and it was difficult because they wanted it to be more dramatic,” Sheridan tells Variety. “I’d still like to do it. I love the immigration story in America.”
“It got very politicized with Trump and everybody wanted higher level, more drama, and it just got difficult to do,” Sheridan adds.
Now with Joe Biden, a President elect with Irish ancestry, Sheridan hopes that the journey will be easier. “I’ve met Joe Biden and he seemed like a sweet, sweet man,” says Sheridan. “He’s very Irish Catholic. I hope everything will be easier. It’s been traumatic for years. I think America needs somebody who unifies it. There’s enough money there that we could all be unified if somebody would just knock their heads together.”
Sheridan also has a deeply personal project that he is working on, based on the death of his little brother Frankie, who died when he was 10. “My parents were so distraught and it defined our family and our lives,” Sheridan says. “The first thing that shocked me in my life, I suppose, was him going into the hospital and they detect all this tumor he has in his brain.”
The project is currently titled “Sheriff Street,” but Sheridan is considering changing it to “North Star” because that was the name of the hotel his mother worked in.
The veteran filmmaker has also written a series about the Northern Ireland conflict, and is working on “Lockerbie,” a film based on country doctor Jim Swire and Peter Biddulph’s “The Lockerbie Bombing: A Father’s Search for Justice,” an account of the events of 1988 when terrorists blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, including Swire’s daughter Flora, and its aftermath.
Sheridan’s name has also popped up on some databases linked to some projects as an actor, but he dismisses those as false. The director has famously worked with Daniel Day-Lewis on “My Left Foot,” for which the actor won an Oscar, and “In the Name of the Father,” for which the actor scored an Oscar nomination.
Sheridan cherishes his time directing Day-Lewis as “special moments” in his life. “I felt like I was in a separate world with him alone and all the cameras and all the set disappeared because he’s so f—ing compelling and his eyes are so focused and real that the world you are in disappears and you actually start to believe ‘I’m not in the movie,’ you know,” says Sheridan.
“I would love to do a part with Daniel. I would look foolish, but you know, maybe we could do a short or something.”
“Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie,” about the murder of TV producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier in Ireland in 1996, is due on Sky Crime next year.
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