Mrs Brown’s Boys star Brendan O’Carroll was on the ‘edge of breakdown’ after financial loss before fame
Before fame with Mrs Brown’s Boys, the Irish comedian and actor had financial troubles
Brendan O’Carroll has revealed he was on “the edge of a breakdown” after suffering a major financial loss prior to his fame in Mrs Brown’s Boys.
The 67-year-old Irish comedian became widely known after playing matriarch Agnes Brown in the popular BBC comedy.
However, before landing the role, he admitted that he “felt numb” and “didn’t eat” or “turn on the lights” amid financial troubles.
The actor found himself in debt after funding for his film Sparrows Trap, which the star wrote and directed, fell through.
The financial woes came around the same period his first marriage to Doreen Dowdall ended in 1999, leading to his mental health spiralling out of control.
Ahead of the release of his autobiography Call Me Mrs Brown, O’Carroll told The Sun: “I was on the edge of a breakdown. A clinician would have said I was depressed.
“I have never been as low before or since. I was numb. It was like I walked down a dark alley, and I couldn’t remember the way out.
”I didn’t turn on the lights; I didn’t open the curtains for three days, just picked at food and didn’t eat.”
The Mrs Brown’s Boys star said he was brought out of his breakdown by his late mother, Maureen, who he saw in a dream.
Brendan, whose mother inspired the leading Mrs Brown’s Boys character Agnes, recalled how she told him to get back to work in the dream.
Mrs Brown’s Boy first appeared on the Irish radio station RTÉ 2fm in 1992, then in a series of books written by Brendan O’Carroll from the mid-1990s onwards.
Brendan was later contacted by businessman Denis Desmond, who offered him the opportunity to transform the original radio show-version Mrs Brown’s Boys into a stage production.
The show has had huge success and has won numerous awards, including the best sitcom Bafta award, but it has received backlash for its accused cultural appropriation and insensitivity toward the trans community.
In response to the criticism, O’Carroll told The Sun: “I don’t think about them. I write the show I write. I don’t ever think of myself as being a man playing a woman. When Mrs Brown goes out on that stage, she is a woman.”
He added: “Where do you draw the line? Is it okay for Leonardo DiCaprio to play a carpenter, or do we get a carpenter? Shouldn’t we get the best person for the job?”