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Martin McCann (born 20 July 1983) is an actor from Northern Ireland.

Martin McCann
Martin McCann 040 La.jpg
Born (1983-07-20) 20 July 1983 (age 35)



McCann was born to Martin John Paul and Anne McCann. He grew up with a brother and sister in the working-class Divis Flats area of Falls Road in Belfast.[1][2] He joined YouthAction NI's Rainbow Factory, a cross-community drama troop for Catholic and Protestant children and also got to spend time in the United States in the summer as part of an exchange program.[1][2] His mother found a role for him by checking the local newspapers, and he soon won the stage production part of the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist. He also got lead roles in productions of Bugsy Malone and The Crucible.[2]

Popular in Northern Ireland for various sketches (including the trendy priest) in Dry Your Eyes, he had a feature role in a short film by Simon Fitzmaurice called The Sound of People. He followed that up with his feature film debut (as Jimmy Riley) in Closing the Ring (2007), directed by Richard Attenborough.[1] Attenborough cast McCann in the film after seeing him in a stage production of A Clockwork Orange.[3] McCann had a role in the film My Boy Jack (as Guardsman Bowe), about Rudyard Kipling and his son, who was killed in World War I.[1]

McCann plays Sergeant R. V. Burgin in the miniseries The Pacific, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, which aired in March 2010.[1] In an interview for Film Ireland, McCann says he auditioned several times for the role in London and twice in Los Angeles. He contacted Lord Attenborough's assistant to send Spielberg samples of his work to increase his chances of getting the role. [4]

In early 2010 he was shooting in Belfast for the music-comedy Killing Bono, a film released in April 2011 about the life of one of Bono's classmates who tries to make it in the music business, only to have his failures and frustrations magnified by the continued rise of U2. McCann plays the supporting role of Bono. In 2011, McCann completed a principal role in Terry George's Whole Lotta Sole, He is currently working on a twelve part mini series drama chronicling the building of the Titanic and the story about the ship before it left on its maiden voyage.[5]

In February 2011, Martin won the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy Award for lead actor in a feature film. McCann was awarded this for his performance as Occi Byrne in Swansong produced by Zanzibar films.[6]

In 2016, he voiced Bobby Sands in reenactments in the documentary film Bobby Sands: 66 Days,[7] and he also starred in The Survivalist (film), as 'Survivalist'.[8][9]

He starred in the Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning short film Boogaloo and Graham. He also starred as Survivalist in the BAFTA nominated and BIFA winning The Survivalist.

In the 2017 film Maze, depicting the 1983 prison break at HM Prison Maze outside of Belfast, McCann played Oscar, one of the imprisoned IRA officers[10].

In 2017, actor Woody Harrelson cast Martin McCann in his directorial debut 'Lost In London'. This was the first 'live streamed' feature film direct to cinemas.

In 2018 he starred in the British thriller Calibre, directed by Matt Palmer. He played Marcus, an Edinburgh business man who takes his friend on a hunting trip in the Scottish highlands. The film won the Michael Powell award for Best British Film at the 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

He has been nominated for a 2018 BAFTA award in the best actor category by BAFTA Scotland Awards for his portrayal of Marcus Trenton in the 'Netflix Original' film 'Calibre'.


McCann is a Patron of the charity YouthAction Northern Ireland, whose Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts is one of the largest youth arts projects with 500 young people taking part in a range workshops and classes.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Barter, Pavel (9 December 2007), "Home Town Boy – Interview", The Sunday Times
  2. ^ a b c Ingle, Roisln (30 June 2007), "The writing's on the Wall", Irish Times.
  3. ^ Dougan, Andy (20 December 2007), "Attenborough and Spielberg back Martin for Stardom", Evening Times
  4. ^ "Interview: Shadow Dancer's Martin McCann talks to Film Ireland – Film Ireland".
  5. ^ "Martin McCann & Billy Carter among cast for 'Titanic – Blood and Steel'". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  6. ^ "IFTA 2011 Winners Announced". IFTN. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  7. ^ Clarke, Donald (4 August 2016). "Bobby Sands: 66 Days review: A gripping tale of terrible times". Irish Times. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  8. ^ Coyle, Matthew (28 April 2015). "premiere: watch the intense trailer for mia goth's next film, the survivalist". i-D. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  9. ^ Gilet, Anthony. "Irish Actor Martin McCann Bares all in 'The Survivalist'". 12 May 2017. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  10. ^ Maze (2017), retrieved 4 August 2018

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