Emmett Hughes, a 26-year-old actor from Ireland, will be in town Nov. 14 for a screening of "The O'Briens Movie" at the Majestic 12. There will also be an after-party at The Honest Pint on Patten Parkway, where Hughes will be answering questions and meeting attendees.
How all this came to be is a story of a long-distance friendship begun 16 years ago and maintained via cyberspace.
While visiting Ireland all those years ago, Vivienne Nichols was enjoying a picnic with her husband near an abandoned abbey. The two had made a last-minute decision to visit the country, and their spontaneity opened them up to wandering the countryside on their own, which allowed them to meet a lot of people who are friends still.
Several young boys were playing inside the abbey and their laughter was infectious, Nichols said. Soon enough, three of the boys came out to introduce themselves and, within a short while, they asked about the Nichols' own kids and whether they could exchange email addresses.
"Emmett was the leader and was just very nice," Nichols said.
By the time the Nichols returned to the States, the Irish lads had begun an email correspondence with their own children, who were about the same age.
The Nichols returned to Ireland with their kids the next year and met up with Hughes and the other boys and, over the years, the families exchanged Christmas gifts and kept in touch.
Through their correspondence, Hughes expressed his desire to become an actor. Nichols said "The O'Briens Movie" is his first project, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Slaine Kelly. Both also star in the independent film about an Irish father who calls his kids home a couple years after the death of his wife. The two sons and daughter fear the worst, but discover upon arrival that everyone seems to have a secret.
Nichols said Hughes chose to have a screening in Chattanooga and to attend himself.
"He's been to New York and Los Angeles before and said everywhere he went, people told him how nice the South is, so I think he wants to see us and our family, but also to see the South," she said.
This special screening will start at 7:30 p.m. To view the movie's trailer, visit theobriens movie.com.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.