Emory Cohen finds his inner Tony
The young co-star of Brooklyn says he was inspired by his colourful New York City uncles in creating the role of the gentle plumber who courts Saoirse Ronan
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Emory Cohen is explaining how he creates characters in his movies. Stealing has a lot to do with it. For instance, for his role in the melancholy love story Brooklyn — in which he plays Tony, a 1950s Italian plumber in love with a lonely Irish immigrant named Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) — Cohen was inspired by Marlon Brando’s working-class character in the drama On The Waterfront, as well as the naturalistic performances in the Italian neo-realist classic The Bicycle Thief. “That’s what I do,” Cohen says. “I basically steal ideas from different performances and try to take on little bits and do it in an Emory Cohen kind of way and see what happens.” What happened in Brooklyn, which is based on a novel by Colm Toibin, is a bit of throwback magic. Tony is an unusual kind of movie ...