Be warned. Sean Patrick Flanery swears a lot. They all swear. But he just swears like so much that even I was impressed. Actually, let’s just label this whole thing NSFW.
Why? In Flanery’s own words, with a little paraphrasing, he “fucking curses a lot so if you [have] kids and don’t want them to hear this shit then you should probably fucking go”. So NSFW.
I had two movies that were instrumental in informing my tastes as a teenager that follow me to this day. As any self-respecting teenager, I tended to function on very little sleep. So usually after a long week from school, I would head home, eat pizza, shower, and crash for a couple of hours without fail every Friday. It was my weekly reset.
Then I hit college and learned to do a decent bedtime.
Still, I would tend to fall asleep with the TV on and would wake up to whatever movie was playing on TNT. Usually later on Fridays, they would show the R-rated films. So my first exposure to The Boondock Saints (the other film was The Crow) was being fourteen and waking up around 10pm to be utterly gripped by it.
The film was the first one that really left me questioning some things that the film poses at the end: Are the Saints good or evil? Was what they were doing right? Were they just influencing their collective madness?
To this day, I still get chills watching the jail scene.
Later, there would be a very fascinating religious reading brought by one mega-fan in my Parables and Pop Culture class in my undergrad. Namely looking at the film from the perspective of the Old Testament. But this isn’t the time to bring it up.
Watching the film left me a fan of The Boondock Saints, so I was super pumped for the Q&A panel at Comicpalooza 2016.
The panel consisted of Sean Patrick Flanery (Connor MacManus), David Della Rocco (David Della Rocco), Brian Mahoney (Detective Duffy), and Clifton Collins Jr (Romeo). Norman Reedus (Murphy MacManus) did a drive-by appearance, which I will get to later. It was equal parts hilarious and, at times, surprisingly poignant. Mostly, however, it was hilarious.
The cast talked about three pranks, both done by Flanery, that just have to be read to be believed. I still get the wheezes reading it over.
Sean Patrick Flanery, to the surprise of no one, is the biggest jokester on set. At this point, I have been in the same room as this man for about 10 or 15 minutes. I am not surprised at all. Flanery shared a story of an onset prank he did on Rocco. After Rocco ate a “prime number of burritos”, he had to use the bathroom in the college they were filming at (Toronto University). The bathroom was empty, but a class was about to let out. So Flanery got into the stall next to Rocco, got on top of the toilet, and waited. When people began to enter the bathroom, Flanery started to hit his arm and make pornographic noises so people would think that Rocco was masturbating. Flanery said that he loves to “fuck with people” and its equal opportunity. Apparently, this prank was just one of the minor ones.
Flanery and Reeds would also take the pressurized can to the beach, really a lake but Canadians called it a beach, and launched shit. Because they loved it. Of course, it also sounded like a shotgun going off. The two of them told Rocco that it didn’t make “much noise”. This means that the reaction we probably saw in the film was the genuine one. When the pressurized can went out during the scene, Rocco screamed. And then he said that they had to it again because he wasn’t acting there. Reedus and Flanery laughed so hard that they peed themselves.
Now Reedus was only at the panel briefly, but Flanery topped himself by giving us the BEST STORY. I literally cried I laughed so hard. I’m not sure what the says about me as a person. But this is really, really NSFW.
Like so much.
Okay, this is the tale of Flanery’s wrap gift to Reedus from the first Boondock Saints. Why? Well it’s customary to get each other a little gift when the film wraps. Now while they all loved Tim Hortons coffee, Flanery thought that the donuts were “meh”. So he got Reedus a box of a dozen donuts and proceeded to pester him into eating this box of a dozen donuts.
“Did you eat the donuts? Aren’t they fucking great donuts?”
“Yeah. Yeah. They’re great donuts.”
Eventually, Reedus ate all the donuts that Flanery had given him. After he got back home, Flanery used a week to decompress. Then he sent Reedus about ten Polaroids. These Polaroids were pictures of “him in his birthday suit with a glazed around his dick”.
Reedus has never said a word to Flanery about it. Apparently, he also has way more dirt on Flanery than Flanery does on him because Flanery is super talkative. This doesn’t mean that Reedus doesn’t fuck with Flanery as well, because he does a lot apparently.
Okay, outside of funny set stories. Let’s be real here, who doesn’t love funny set stories? The cast and crew did talk about what the film meant to them and how proud they were to be in something that achieved cult status. As Flanery says “that shit is organic”. During the Q&A, in between messing with ASL interpreter and riffing on each other, the guys were very sincere about how they handled the different reads of the films.
Flanery summarized it best saying that he doesn’t want to “bastardize” anyone’s interpretation of the film as a whole. It’s up to us to find meaning in the film, rather than him tell us what it us. It makes all interpretations of the film valid, which is a really thoughtful way of looking at it.
What you really got from this panel was how close these guys were. They all genuinely liked each and were very good friends to this day. Flanery said he made more friends on Boondock Saints, then he has had on five film sets combined. It is a very heartwarming this to see because their affection and easy camaraderie made the panel one to enjoy.
You could see that when Reedus, who couldn’t do the whole panel for some reason, dropped by to give Collins his birthday cake. It was a really sweet moment to see.
Collins said that people were like “I’m sorry you have to work on your birthday”, but he doesn’t see this as work. He’s hanging out and having fun with the fans. It’s always a present to be with them. It sounds like a line, but he sounded so genuine.
They all did. Instead of a fan Q&A, it felt like hanging out with a couple of really old friends and just shooting the breeze. I think that’s what I liked the most about the panel.
Finally, Flanery wrapped it up by saying that he loved the lopsided relationship with the fans. He thinks we get the shorter end of the stick because we only get a small amount of time with them. Yet they get the bigger end because they get each and every interaction possible with the fans. It moves him so fucking much that he gets that with us. He promises that he will take care of that big end.