Braveheart made 20 years ago on Curragh

Mel Gibson on the Curragh.
Twenty years ago the Curragh Camp became a movie set as Mel Gibson starred and directed in the landmark film ‘Braveheart’.

Twenty years ago the Curragh Camp became a movie set as Mel Gibson starred and directed in the landmark film ‘Braveheart’.

In 1994, 1,000 young Reserve members of the Irish Defence Forces all signed up to become part of what is now an iconic action film about Scotland’s struggle for independence.

They camre in their droves from all over Ireland to work long hours as paid extras over the eight weeks of filming and became forever a part of the an Oscar-winning movie.

The received specialst training in sword fighting and handling and how to avoid any accidents on set as the weapons used were real.

There were early starts and lots of waiting around, costume fits and long days on set over the making of the film but there was fun and games too and this can been seen in a documentary called ‘Braveheart Extra’. To mark the 20th anniversary of the making of Braveheart, the Defence Forces Audiovisual Unit have restored a behind the scenes documentary called ‘Braveheart Extra’ featuring interviews with Mel Gibson, Alun Armstrong and most importantly the Defence Forces members.

Later this month, a former extra on ‘Braveheart,’ the curator of Collins Barracks Museum, Captain Lar Joye of the Reserve Defence Forces, will be giving a talk on the positive impact ‘Braveheart’ had on the Irish movie industry, due in part to the involvement of the Irish Defence Forces.

This talk will take place on Tuesday September 30 next in the Irish Film Institute, Temple Bar, folllowed by a screening of the movie in full. The documentary has been released in three parts on the Defence Forces Facebook page.If you worked as an extra and have any special memories you would like to share please contact Paula@leinsterleader.ie