‘You were great, Mary!’
‘When is your next film, Miss Flynn?’
‘You must be thinking about an Oscar now, Mary!’
The reporters all wanted to speak to her. All the photographers took pictures of her. Her long, black hair and clear skin were every fashion photographer’s dream. Mary Flynn, Ireland’s most photographed face, was famous and beautiful.
Mary smiled her famous, beautiful smile. She could not ask for a better night. In all her eighteen years she had never known such happiness. First a rich and world famous fashion model, and now a film star, too. It all seemed so right. It was meant to be like this, she just knew it.
The truth was that Mary Flynn had always wanted to be an actress. She wanted, more than anything else, to show the world that she was not just a beautiful face. She was intelligent too and tonight the world would know it.
It was 31 July 2004 – the first night of the film lrish Rose in which she starred with the famous Declan Knight. People were already saying that she was as good, perhaps better, than he was – and he was Ireland’s biggest film star. He had been in some big Hollywood films. But it was Mary that the photographers loved. They always did. She could tell. Everybody else in the film was forgotten once she made an appearance. Declan himself knew this. She saw it by the look on his handsome face. ‘He’s jealous!’ she thought as the taxi took them both to the hotel in Dublin for the after-film party. ‘He doesn’t like the public loving me more than him.’
Soon they were drinking champagne in the hotel. Photographers took yet more pictures for the next day’s newspapers. The hotel had many mirrors in it and one was just ahead of Mary as she stood next to Declan. She saw him in the mirror and knew he was the best-looking man in the room, even though he was well over thirty. She also knew that everybody was looking at her – not him. She could see herself in the mirror, her beautiful long hair, her beautiful red dress. Yes, this was her night all right. Hers and nobody else’s.
‘How about a few words from the new film star, Miss Flynn?’ asked a reporter.
Mary smiled. She thanked everybody for their kind words. She thanked the director and the other people who had made the film. She also thanked her manager and her mother. Oh, and Declan, of course. He was good, too. All the things people said about them arguing during the filming weren’t true at all. Not really. Declan looked red and went to get more champagne. Silly, jealous man. You’d think he’d know better. Why, he’d even asked her out on a date while filming – at his age! She had refused, of course. Too old.
The director of lrish Rose, Chas Gorman, came up to Mary. He had always taken care of her. He whispered in her ear and told her once again she was great – now she could go and enjoy herself and leave the rest to him. Mary knew she was great, though she never got tired of hearing others say so. But now she needed to get away from the reporters and photographers for a while.