The Banshees of Inisherin animal trainer says donkey and its double 'deserve Oscars'
The Banshees of Inisherin is set to be a big player at tonight's Academy Awards after amassing nine Oscar nominations — but the movie's animal trainer feels like certain stars have been snubbed.
The movie, which follows Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two friends who fall out, features miniature donkey Jenny as a key part of the story. Jenny is the beloved sidekick to Farrell's Pádraic and acts as his companion when Gleeson's Colm ends their friendship.
Jenny the donkey was actually played by two donkeys in real life — Jenny and Rosie. Animal trainer Megan Hines told The Mirror that both deserved credit for their work on the movie.
Related: The Banshees of Inisherin explained: It's about so much more than two friends falling out
"If there was an Oscars for donkeys, they would definitely win," Hines said before explaining that the movie was both donkeys' first time out as animal actors.
"Jenny was very sweet but quite naive. So we had to train everything from scratch as she hadn’t had very much handling at all. Rosie took everything in her stride and nothing fazed her."
Hines said that she hoped the movie — which is nominated for Best Picture — would help to erase the perception that donkeys are lazy and stubborn.
Related: How to watch The Banshees of Inisherin online at home
"I think it’s a great opportunity to let everyone in the world learn how fantastic donkeys are. I think there’s definitely a stereotype of donkeys being stubborn but with positive reinforcement, they are happy," Hines said.
"They were really nice and very considerate of the animals. So very gentle and kind."
The Banshees of Inisherin has been very well received critically and has enjoyed a successful awards season so far, including a best supporting actress win at the BAFTAs for Kerry Condon.
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However, that award was announced by Troy Kotsur and his sign language interpreter, who mistakenly mistook Condon's name for Carey Mulligan's. The mistake was quickly rectified and Condon took to the stage to collect the award.
Later, Condon addressed the "unfortunate translation issue."
"It was just one of those – Kerry Condon and Carey Mulligan. Somewhere in the signing translation, pardon the pun, something was lost in translation, which was incredibly unfortunate," Condon said.
"But I thought Carey Mulligan was incredibly gracious and handled it brilliantly. She understood it was one of those very unfortunate moments that no one could have predicted."
The Banshees of Inisherin is available to watch now on Disney+.
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