Irish Sing Street star’s new film CODA is on its way to the Oscars


He won us over as a young musician in love in the hit Irish film Sing Street.

Today, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo charms moviegoers again in a film that goes all the way to the Oscars.

CODA stars Emilia Jones – daughter of Welsh choir legend Aled – as Ruby, the only hearing member of a deaf family. She works with them on a trawler to earn a living but dreams of pursuing her passion as a singer. Ferdia shines as Miles, the classmate she falls in love with when they are asked to duet on a show.

The moving American indie has won rave reviews and grown in popularity in recent months. Last week, it became the little movie that could after earning three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

The Irish actor – who also collaborated on some of the film’s musical arrangements – was delighted.

“It was fantastic news,” he told Sunday World. “We didn’t expect it to go this far. The awards just kept getting bigger and that was the icing on the cake. I’m just thrilled, especially for Troy (Kotsur) who was nominated for Best actor in a supporting role. He’s just fantastic, and you see in the movie, he’s also hilarious. It’s just a beautiful, all-human story.


Ferdia with Lucy Boynton in Sing Street

Ferdia with Lucy Boynton in Sing Street

Ferdia was among the ensemble cast nominated for a Screen Actors Guild later that month. And he’s keeping his fingers crossed that he can join his co-stars on Oscar night.

“I would love to be there. I don’t know yet what’s going on and what the capacity is. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve been getting the movie out.

“I’ve had next to no experience of being with my fellow cast members celebrating that. And also just hugging them and congratulating them. I wish I was there for that more than anything else. To be able to Living it together would be amazing. We’ll see, it’s just the beginning.”

He and Emilia Jones were cast in the roles and were able to bring their love of music to the story. “It seemed like a pretty clear deal. Emilia and I got together, made music together, and it started to really work, too.

“Music is something that people who have seen Sing Street will understand, it’s a very big love for me. It’s my other passion. I’ve spent the last few years playing music and writing a lot of music. So when it came to doing that, it was really nice to be able to collaborate and come up with different guitar parts and different arrangements.”

Ferdia has been immersed in music since her childhood, following in the footsteps of mum Toni. “My mum is also a singer, so she kind of threw a line and I bit and she got to show me the ropes.

“It’s something I got into but as I got older I ended up doing Sing Street. By the time I got it I was busking a lot and playing a lot in different bands and bands I’ve been writing for many years since then. Most recently I played in my new band called The Fynches where we just released our first single, a double A-side.”


Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

Ferdia with Emilia Jones in CODA

After the huge success of Sing Street, the 22-year-old player from Co Wicklow is building a career following his two passions, theater and music. After a stint on the hit series Vikings, he’s had a busy year. He will soon be on our screens in the Spanish drama Love Gets a Room.

Later this year, we’ll see him in Danny Boyle’s highly anticipated TV series, Pistol. Set in the 1970s, it tells the story of Britain’s biggest and most notorious punk rock band, and is based on the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

While series details of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire director Boyle are being kept under wraps, Ferdia has revealed he plays Nick Kent. Britain’s top rock critic and musician is best known for his writing for music magazine NME.

Ferdia says he spent much of the last year filming the series in the UK and loved working with director Boyle.

“He’s awesome. He’s full of energy. He loves his job. You know, it’s just a joy to be with him. He’s really passionate about this project. When you see someone who’s in his element, it’s amazing to work with. It’s very easy.”

He loved working in and around London on the show last year and decided to make it his home, and he’s moving into a new apartment right now.

“This period, I feel like the world is opening up again, at the point I’m at in my career, it’s a good time to do the London thing,” he said. “There’s a lot going on here. I spent most of the last year here working on Pistol. I just fell in love being in town after that.”

Ferdia hopes to be able to combine her loves for music and theater again in the future. “It took a bit of time to be able to find a rhythm, jumping in between,” he said. “The more I developed as a musician and as an actor, and the more I did both simultaneously over a period of time, the more I realized how similar they are.”

l CODA is now on Apple TV+. Fynches’ debut single, Absent Words/The Popular Art of Bed-Making is available on all streaming platforms.

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