Rose Reid and Patrick Bergin in a scene from “Finding You.” [Photos by Anthony Courtney/Courtesy of Roadside Attractions]
By Karen Butler
Rose Reid says she wanted to star in the Irish romantic comedy, “Finding You,” because the tale unfolds in a gorgeous setting and is filled with love, friendship, self-discovery and music.
Written and directed by Brian Baugh, the movie was filmed in and around Dublin, Clare, Offaly, Kildare and Carlingford. It follows New York violinist Finley (Reid) as she heads to Ireland for a semester of college following a personal tragedy and meets on the plane Beckett (Jedidiah Goodacre,) a Hollywood actor on his way to film a “Game of Thrones”-style TV show.
“There are so many beautiful aspects of this film,” Reid told the Irish Echo in a recent Zoom interview. “I loved it because it was so upbeat and fun and adventurous and, gosh, who wouldn’t want to escape to Ireland with a heartthrob movie star like Beckett Rush?”
Finley’s trip also includes memorable interactions with cranky nursing home resident Cathleen (Vanessa Redgrave) and charismatic fiddle player Seamus (Patrick Bergin.)
To Reid, these intergenerational relationships were integral to the film and she hopes audience members will recognize and appreciate them after being separated from or huddled up with their loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
While Cathleen teaches Finley to stand up for herself and be more honest about her feelings, Seamus inspires her to play music with her heart, not her head.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up around my grandparents, surrounded by family and, over the years, I have recognized the importance of knowing and understanding the generations that came before us and actually, truly having relationships with them,” said Reid.
Finley’s evolution as a woman is reflected through her music.
When the movie opens with Finley’s audition for a renowned conservatory, her violin playing is technically excellent, but much too rigid to charm the judges. After rediscovering her passion for music by performing with Seamus in the village pub, her playing comes to life.
“We had so much fun with Finley’s character arc,” Reid said. “The more Finley softened, the more her playing softened and it was this beautiful analogy between the two. The way she plays in the end -- so carefree and beautiful -- kind of matches how her personality is by the end of the film.”
Viewers also get to see several sides of Goodacre’s Mr. Darcy-ish character Beckett -- the medieval hero he plays on his blockbuster TV series, the actor’s public persona and the more vulnerable man Beckett gets to be when he is around Finley and the Irish locals.
“It gave me a lot to do,” Goodacre told The Echo in a separate Zoom interview. “As an actor, the more you can find to do, the easier your job is. [The different shades] made my job smoothe, not too hard to get into. There was so much for Beckett to deal with.”
Rose Reid with Jedidiah Goodacre in “Finding You.” Goodacre said the film is a good way “to escape for an hour and a half and go to Ireland.”
Beckett is a former child star struggling to figure out if acting is what he really wants to do when we meet him.
“I can definitely relate to being a young man who is confused and anxious about making the wrong decision, but wanting to make the right decision, wanting to please everybody,” Goodacre said. “I went through the same thing -- different circumstances, completely. I wasn’t a world-famous movie star. I was just a kid in a small town trying to figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.”
Although he has appeared on screen steadily for nearly a decade, the actor said he doesn’t get swarmed by selfie-seeking fans at airports and restaurants like Beckett does.
“I have to be at an event where people are told that I am there and told who I am, for anything like that to happen,” he quipped.
“That part was a little bit of a stretch for me to get a grasp on [playing Beckett,] but I’ve worked on a few Disney films where those kids are being mobbed by fans. I saw how they dealt with it and how it kind of weighs on them a little bit. They are all great people and they love their fans,” Goodacre explained. “I can empathize with how Beckett has to deal with all of that stuff, but I don’t have to deal with any of that in my real life.”
Working in Ireland was a profound experience for Goodacre, who fell in love with the country’s citizens and scenery.
“It’s a beautiful place and the people over there have great attitudes,” he said. “This film is a great opportunity -- right now, especially, when people can't travel -- to escape for an hour and a half and go to Ireland.”
Based on the novel by Jenny B. Jones, “Finding You” co-stars Katherine McNamara, Tom Everett Scott and Saoirse-Monica Jackson. It is in theaters now.
Reid is known for her roles in “I’m Not Ashamed,” “The World We Make” and “A Welcome Home Christmas.” Goodacre’s credits include “The Descendants,” “The Order,” “The Originals,” “The 100” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”