Marley’s role grows in ‘Boondock Saints’ sequel

Posted Nov. 02, 2009, at 7:08 p.m.

Fans of “The Boondock Saints” get a chance to see Maine comedian and actor Bob Marley reprise his role as Detective Greenly in the much-anticipated sequel “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” which hit theaters last week.

Even with the high-profile release, Marley still feels like any other Mainer.

His friends put it best: “[They say] ‘It’s crazy, you’re in this big movie for Sony and I saw you at Shaw’s yesterday,’” the comedian said in a recent phone interview. “‘You’re just walking around Maine, raking leaves, doing the same things all Mainers do.’”

Marley was drawn to “The Boondock Saints” because of its strong script written by Troy Duffy. Marley admits, though, he didn’t know how popular the film would become. “At that point I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

Although it took 10 years for the sequel to be released, it has been in the works for a while. The original didn’t get much attention when it was first released and played in only five theaters. Marley said that it took about a year or so on video to find its audience, and once it took off a sequel was almost inevitable. Complications with the film’s rights, however, delayed the process.

In “The Boondock Saints,” brothers Connor and Murphy McManus (Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus) become vigilantes, executing mobsters in South Boston. The sequel begins with the McManus brothers living with their father (Billy Connolly) in Ireland several years after the events in the first movie. In “All Saints Day” the brothers return to Boston after being framed for the murder of their beloved priest to clear their names and deliver justice.

Marley assures fans that the sequel is well worth the 10-year wait. “It’s like ‘Boondock I’ on steroids,” Marley said. He added that the follow-up features more drama, laughs, weapons and shootouts. It also features a lot more of Marley’s Detective Greenly.

The actor said his character gets increased screen time in the sequel and works more closely with the McManus brothers. “[Greenly] gets a chance to expand a little more and is not just being yelled at [to] get coffee.”

Even with the expanded role, Marley separates his stand-up persona from his “Boondock” character. He describes Greenly as “naive with confidence.” But when Marley is onstage he is the butt of his own jokes. “Greenly would never do that.”

Marley’s comedic antics run amuck on the set, however.

“Do you know how hard it is to act with Bob Marley?” said Framingham, Mass.-born actor Brian Mahoney, who plays Detective Duffy in both films. “It’s ridiculously hard. He is a crack-up. I’m supposed to be the uptight cop to his funny guy and so in between takes [and] during takes, he’s cracking up … and I’m just trying not to laugh.”

After watching the film, Mahoney said he is impressed with Marley’s performance. “Bobby Marley is one talented dude. He is rockin’ up there on the big screen. I’m really proud to be up there with him,” said the actor, who has been working in Hollywood for nearly 20 years.

Marley said he is interested in working on more movie projects in the future. Asked whether there is room for a “Boondock Saints III,” Marley responded, “Absolutely.”

“I think if they do it, they should do it quicker than later,” Marley said. “You know, you don’t want everyone having hip replacements while playing their part.”

For now, though, Marley is working on his Sirius XM satellite radio show called “The Wicked Good Bob Marley Show.” The show, which is on Sirius Raw Dog Comedy 104 and XM 150 at 5 p.m. every Tuesday, debuted last week with movie sequels as the topic of discussion. The comedian also is working on filming a stand-up comedy concert that he will pitch to networks, and is gearing up for the November release of his new CD-DVD titled “Drop It Haahd,” inspired by plow trucks “droppin’ it haahd” in Maine.

It’s clear that Marley has stayed true to his roots. The comedian hasn’t gone Hollywood, even with his heightened role in “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.” He attended the film’s premiere in Boston, but skipped the one in Los Angeles for his daughter’s birthday. As his friends have said, Marley is doing the same things that all Mainers do. But there’s still one aspect of Maine living that Marley can’t wrap his head around: Moxie. “[I] never touch the stuff. I’d rather drink cough syrup and chase it down with ethanol.”

For information on “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” visit www.sonypictures.com/movies/boondocksaints2. For information on Bob Marley, visit www.bmarley.com. Marley is scheduled to perform at The Grand in Ellsworth on Jan. 8 and 9. For information on those shows, call 667-9500 or visit www.grandonline.org.

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