Once upon a time, maybe three years ago, around Christmas, I saw Colm Meaney on the streets of Dublin. He was crossing Exchequer Street, heading into Fallon & Byrne. Getting excited about seeing Irish celebrities in Dublin 2 is pretty lame, but this was Colm Meaney, one of the five greatest Irish actors of his generation.
I briefly considered approaching him and saying 'thanks Colm Meaney for being one of the five greatest Irish actor of your generation and for all the movie memories' but he looked so pissed off with Dublin and the world and all of the chumps buying things that I thought the better of it. I've watched enough Colm Meaney movies to know not to cross him.
I don't know why I was so surprised that Meaney looked angry. He has, after all, spent his career playing really angry guys really convincingly.
But then I realised I was the one in the wrong. That's just the kind of bad-ass Colm Meaney is. He intimidates everyone, even the most ardent fans, even at Christmas.
Here are seven bad-ass moments in a career in the life of a world-class bad-ass.
The time Detective Jerry Lynch cleaned up the street of Dublin in Intermission
Meaney was put on Earth to play disaffected, Clannad-obsessed Garda detective Jerry Lynch in Intermission. While many feel Meaney's most bad-ass moment in the film is pissing on Colin Farrell's leg, his 'documentary about scumbags' gets better with age. The man to solve the Kinihan-Hutch feud is here.
The time he was the first Irishman in space
Ireland couldn't have chose a better ambassador to the multitude of strange alien civilizations than Colm Meaney, aka Miles O'Brien from Star Trek's Next Generation and Deep Space Nice. Being the first member of your race to fly into space is the definition of bad-ass.
The time he held a radio station hostage with a shotgun in Alpha Papa
While personally we would recommend taking workplace disputes to the Employment Tribunal, we also empathise with Pat Farrell/Meaney who lost his sacred time slot under very dodgy circumstances while his co-workers conspired against him. Bringing the shotgun to work was the bad-ass response to a vexing situation.
The time he had a sports car with an AZZ KIKR reg in Con-Air
Con-Air endures as one of the greatest works of cinema in the 1990s and as Yank DEA agent Duncan Malloy, the Dubliner achieves what might call Peak Meaney. Malloy drives a flash sports car with an AZZ KIKR reg, parks in handicapped spaces and basically attempts to uphold all of the order in a repellent universe. You might disagree with his methods but you have to respect his passion for getting the job done.
The time he wore a Fuck Schillaci shirt in The Van
The time he told a kid to fuck off for trying to order a choc ice in The Van
The customer is always right? Fuck that. It's a bleeding chip van.
The time he wore that cowboy hat in Into The West
We can all agree that Meaney has never looked more bad-ass than when he played Barreller in Into The West. That hat, that coat.
The time he got the ride just by asking in The Snapper
Wannabe bad-asses everywhere: try the direct approach.
He's in the new Gangs of London programming that's premiering this week on Sky Atlantic, and we have no doubt he'll be bad ass in that.