When Michael Flatley spoke about his motivations for making his debut feature film, people told him it was “impossible.”
The 64-year-old dancer and choreographer also wrote, directed and starred in the spy thriller Blackbird, where he plays former MI6 operative Victor Blackley.
The film premiered at last year’s Monaco Streaming Film Festival, where Flatley won Best Actor.
He told BBC Breakfast he was proud to give so many talented people their first role in the film, adding:
“And a big motivation for me to create Blackbird is all the people who said ‘it can’t be done’. you can’t do that You can’t be an actor – you’re a dancer.
“There are so many people out there who have dreams of doing something, of being someone, of doing something great, but they are paralyzed with fear. What are people going to say?
“Don’t stop just because. Get up, throw your best shot and drop chips everywhere.”
Flatley added: Don’t listen to other people. you just have to do it. I promise you you won’t be disappointed.
“There’s no shame in failure, shame is in not getting up and trying. That’s how I see life.”
Born into a blue-collar Irish-American family in Chicago, Flatley rose to fame with the Irish dance production Riverdance, which premiered as an interval break at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.
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It expanded into a full-length show, opening at Dublin’s Point Theater in 1995, followed by Flatley’s own stage show creation Lord of the Dance.
He continues to produce, produce and direct other works such as Feet Of Flames and Celtic Tiger.
Blackbird also stars Hollywood actor Eric Roberts, Robin Hood’s Patrick Bergin, Game of Thrones actors Ian Beattie and Nicole Evans, and was featured in 2011’s Captain America: The First.・He also plays a role in Avenger.
Flatley recalled how his mother encouraged him to pursue acting, stating: From Mexico to Moscow, from Tokyo to Madison Square Garden in New York, all the big venues were sold out.
“And on Sundays my dear Irish mother would call me and say, ‘Stop dancing and go make some movies,’ and I said, ‘Mom, 200 people are going to make a living. You’re counting on me to sell out 15,000 seats.’ If you don’t mind me saying that, make some quids.
“I wasn’t going to give up.
“But, of course, I ran so many miles that my body started fighting back. As a result, St. Patrick’s Day 2016 was my last dance at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. On the phone, she said, “No more excuses.” So I gave her my word, and here we are happy days.
His mother Eilish passed away in late 2016, but Flatley said he knew she was watching over him and that Blackbird was the kind of movie she “liked.” He said he would be proud.
Dancer has revealed that he has had other project offers since the trailer’s release and is currently working on a dance film titled Dream Dancer.
He knows that his latest film, which follows a girl who dreams of a “great dance sequence,” is currently getting his attention, and that many people in America are enthusiastic about projects involving dance.