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LOST & FOUND; Irish actor cracks the secret of cult TV show.

Byline: By STEPHEN MAGUIRE

IRISH actor Andrew Connolly reckons he's cracked the secret of TV series Lost - after landing a plum role on the cult series.

Andrew may have looked a little familiar to the tens of thousands of Irish fans of the show that is sweeping the globe.

The Dubliner left Ireland for Los Angeles more than 15 years ago and has carved out a successful career as an actor in the US.

During that time he appeared in numerous TV series and feature films including The Courier with Gabriel Byrne and blockbuster Patriot Games with Harrison Ford.

But Connolly, 42, has now become an overnight success after playing the role of monk Brother Campbell on the show.

Andrew, who was raised in Finglas and Ringsend, revealed he originally screen-tested for one of the main parts of Desmond on the series.

"It didn't work out and I went back to doing other stuff. I went to Broadway for a while and that was good doing Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inismore.

"But when I came back I spoke to the casting agent of Lost again and she said she thought she had a part for me.

"Lost is huge over here and I understand it's the same back in Ireland."

Andrew revealed that there is a huge level of secrecy surrounding the show which is centred on survivors of a plane crash stranded on a desert island.

"There is such a level of secrecy surrounding what is happening on the show.

"When I read for the part I was reading with other actors so I wouldn't know what was happening.

"And even when I got the part, I got my script but it was sealed until they were ready to shoot.

If that seal was broken then we had to report to the production company."

Despite the secrecy Andrew has his own opinion on what the show is all about.

"For Irish fans I think it's going to become a lot clearer in the coming weeks.

"The theory that the island is a kind of purgatory might not be a million miles away.

"Having said that I think the writers might just throw a spanner in the works again though."

Married to the Irish actress Karen Woodley who starred in Roddy Doyle's The Snapper, the couple have two children Cassandra, 18 and Serophina, 10.

His latest film On Broadway has just screened at the Boston Film Festival and he's hopeful it will be taken up by a major distribution company.

He admits he doesn't get back to Ireland often enough and still has family in Ringsend.

"I love Dublin and Ireland but my life is here now with my family in LA. I was back in 2002 and saw the changes to the Docklands where I grew up - it is just incredible.

"To be honest we couldn't afford to move back to Dublin. My wife was back recently and she said that house prices are three times what they are here in Venice Beach - it's mad," he said.

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Star turn...Andrew Connolly has been a smash hit in Lost and inset, stars with Jemma Redgrave in Bramwell
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2007
Words:530
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