Singer Brian Kennedy Plays Himself In Short Film

One Young World Summit to view 'So What If It Rains?'

One Young World Summit to view ‘So What If It Rains?’

Singing star Brian Kennedy was stunned to discover an actress signed up to play his love interest in a new film was actually an old flame.

The gay, former ‘The Voice‘ talent show judge plays himself in a UK Government-funded, short film being used to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement around the world.

The Cinemagic movie, which takes its title from Brian’s 2001 hit ‘So What If It Rains?’, is being played to delegates from over 190 countries attending the One Young World Summit in Belfast on October 2-5.

And the 57-year-old idol was gobsmacked that a real-life ex-girlfriend actress had been randomly chosen to play a blast from the past in the inspirational short film.

Belfast-born Brian laughed: “The weirdest thing was that I did have a couple of girlfriends very early on in my life.

“And the actress who plays my deceased former lover, was somebody I did actually go on a little date with when I was about 15 or 16. Isn’t that bizarre?

Pictured l-r are Cinemagic CEO Joan Burney-Keating, with singers Brian Kennedy and Talor Lally delighted that the short film ‘So What If It Rains?’ will be be played to those attending the One Young World Summit in Belfast on 2-3rd October.

“Neither of us knew we’d been signed up and I was like ‘Are you kidding me?’ when I saw the casting. It was absolutely bonkers.

“She obviously knew that I had gone on to become a singer but I hadn’t seen her for 40 years and there we were on a film set.

“The storyline is her character was an old, old lover of mine from my distant past – and that was exactly what she had been.”

So What If It Rains?’ is being promoted across the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) global network.

“It is part of the ongoing Belfast Good Friday Agreement 25th anniversary celebrations.

The short film was produced by award-winning charity Cinemagic, who have worked with Hollywood actors including Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Dermot O’Leary, Julian Fellowes and Suranne Jones, to give numerous youngsters a leg up into Northern Ireland’s thriving film and TV industry.

It will be played to One Young World Summit delegates, who include activist Sir Bob Geldof, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, ex-footballer Didier Drogba and Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

The production sees Brian help two country bumpkin brothers, played by newcomers Chris Campbell and Conlaoch Gough, try to make their big music break.

The film highlights how Northern Ireland has been transformed since Brian’s childhood into a modern, vibrant and thriving place to live.

Singer Brian Kennedy pictured at the recent Eats and Beats Festival in Newcastle singing his iconic song, Carrickfergus. (Photo by Jim Masson / Down News ©).

Dublin-based Brian said: “I played myself before in a cameo in a movie called This Is The Sea, with Gabriel Byrne and John Lynch.

“I made a very, very brief appearance as a nightclub singer but I don’t speak. I am just singing. This was a much bigger role.”

Brian is thrilled to be looking to the future after surviving being diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2016, quadruple heart surgery in 2021 following a massive cardiac arrest, and then Covid.

He releases his 18th album next month called A Love Letter To Joni Volume 2 – a tribute to celebrate legendary songbird Joni Mitchell’s 80th birthday.

Brian said: “Oh man, what a weird five years. I’ve had to go through cancer, chemotherapy, cardiac arrest, Covid. It’s been such a challenging and tricky time.

“I had cancer at the same time as my brother and he died after only five months. He had pancreatic cancer and unfortunately it was incurable.

“It was very complicated because we were estranged from each other for a very long time.

“We managed to meet up again before he died and everything was calm in the end, but a loss is a loss and you never expect to lose a sibling before your parents go. He was only 54.”

He added: “This year will be my fifth year post-cancer, so I’m hoping for clear scans again and then I can really put it all behind me to march into the future and not really think about it.

“I’m enjoying embracing life again. My love life is medium spicy but that’s all you’re getting.”

Talented Brian famously performed with Van Morrison for Bill Clinton’s first visit to Northern Ireland in 1995 and the pair also sang together to celebrate the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The part he played celebrating the peace deal was extra motivation to get involved with the film promoting how Northern Ireland has been transformed in the past 25 years.

He said: “The two lead lads who play the two brothers were aged 16 and 17 and I told them ‘I’ve got cheese older than you in my fridge’.

“It is interesting being around people who did not live through the Troubles.

“I call them the ‘un-Troubled generation’ because thankfully – like my nephew and niece – they can live a life that did not exist when I was growing up.

“I grew up on the Falls Road and it is extraordinary to me that it is now a tourist destination whereas back in the day, visitors were warned not to go anywhere near it.

“Now they are charged money to go there.

“My upbringing was during the worst of times. I saw someone shot dead more than once right in front of me.

“We were evacuated many times during the night from our homes into the local school. I remember seeing buildings bombed and the aftermath of that.

“The things I witnessed are not the sort of thing that makes for a happy childhood, is it? Even adults found it all difficult, never mind a child.

“So, it’s been lovely to work with young people whose lives have not been marred by all the violence.

“It’s been lovely for me to be a sort of soundtrack to that shift and things are now really shifting.

“The film celebrates the vibrancy of Belfast and reflects on the bright future that is possible here.

“I never thought I would see it in my lifetime that we could find a completely new gear of the engine of Northern Ireland.

“Suddenly we have found a gear that is propelling us forward. Not at a great speed, but certainly forward and making progress rather than just being stuck all the time and not being able to move.

“Certainly, we are not going backwards.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, commented on the film initiative So What If It Rains?’

Speaking about the short film funded by the Foreign, Commonealth & Development Office, he said: “The Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement remains a historic achievement, which brought peace and continues to transform Northern Ireland for the better.

“Now on the world stage for all the right reasons, I’m proud that Belfast will host and inspire the peace-builders and global leaders of the future at the One Young World Summit.

“A quarter of century of peace has boosted our economy and made Northern Ireland a world-leading centre of the film industry.

“Our short film, made in partnership with Cinemagic, celebrates an entire generation that has grown up in the peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland that we see today.”