Star of Oscar-nominated film An Irish Goodbye: I can’t wait to get back to my job at Starbucks in Belfast
He’s the star of an Academy Award-nominated film but James Martin is so determined not to let fame go to his head he’s holding on to his job at his local Starbucks.
The actor will be waiting with bated breath at the Oscars ceremony when the winners are announced as An Irish Goodbye – in which he plays one of two brothers brought together by their mother’s death – is nominated in the Best Short Film category.
But the excitement has not deterred the Northern Irish 30-year-old, who has Down’s syndrome, from working shifts in his old jobs at the coffee chain – and as a chef in Italian restaurant Scalini’s in Belfast.
Award: Actor James Martin is so determined not to let fame go to his head he’s holding on to his job at his local Starbucks
‘I help out with all the customers,’ he says of his job at Starbucks.
‘I’ve been doing that a long time. It’s nice.’
Martin, who found fame appearing in BBC show Ups And Downs, is also proud of the skills he has picked up at Scalini’s: ‘I can make garlic bread, meatballs, salads and mussels, chips and stuff like that.’
The actor has won praise the world over for his role in black comedy An Irish Goodbye.
Speaking about being an actor with Down’s syndrome, Martin – who lives with his parents in Belfast – said: ‘Anybody can act, it doesn’t matter if you have Down’s syndrome.
Talent: The actor has won praise the world over for his role in black comedy An Irish Goodbye
‘Take Stephen Hawking [who had motor neurone disease] in the Simpsons. He was a fantastic actor, he knew what he was doing but you just have to treat him like an adult. I always say to people never judge a book by its cover. ’
With few in the public eye with the condition, Martin says that he is often mistaken for another star who has it, Tommy Jessop from Line Of Duty.
‘Boy he can act,’ Martin says of Jessop. For some reason I get stopped a lot and people say, “Are you Tommy from Line of Duty?”
‘And I’m like, no I’m not Tommy, wrong show. A lot of people think that I’m him and he’s me.
‘It’s really weird how that comes about.
‘I would love to meet Tommy again, it would be nice to work with him and get to know him.
‘If he needs any help, I’m always here.
It would be really nice if he could present an Oscar to me, it would be really nice for that to happen.’
Martin will turn 31 on Oscars night on March 13, and says he hopes to party with fellow Irishman and Oscar nominee Colin Farrell after the ceremony in Los Angeles, and meet his hero Robert De Niro.
He also says he will take his long-term girlfriend Louise Davies as his date.
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