Jason O’Mara’s first priority with “One for the Money” was “not sounding Irish.”
The Dublin native plays Joe Morelli, the hunky New Jersey resident giving Katherine Heigl’s character fits in the film based on the popular books by Janet Evanovich.
“I wanted to get it right, and I also wanted get the area right,” O’Mara tells Big Hollywood. “It’s not the standard ‘Sopranos’ New Jersey/Italian accent … it’s closer to the Philadelphia accent. It’s urban, but not quite what you’d expect.”
Audiences can decide for themselves when “One for the Money” hits home video this week via Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Digital Download and On Demand, although O’Mara’s natural Irish accent isn’t as strong as one might expect given his surname and upbringing.
O’Mara’s character, Joe, is a cop on the lam, and Heigl’s newly christened bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, is hot on his trail. The adjective “hot” carries more than one meaning.
“The Morelli/Plum back story is epic … they ‘ve known each other since they were infants practically,” he says, and their contentious one-night stand continues to reverberate throughout the movie. “It’s a strange kind of relationship. They almost know too much about each other.”
Bringing literary characters to life had its perks, O’Mara says.
“The film’s sense of humor was very specific … not like your average romantic comedy,” he says, a tone dictated by Evanovich’s books. “It’s very specific to that place and those characters.”
But he feared having the books to fall back on would curtail on-set spontaneity. The answer ended up being yes … and no. The cast shot close to the script, but the crew allowed for a fresh take where the actors could improvise as needed.
“A lot of what got into the movie is what we made up on the set. That doesn’t always happen,” says O’Mara, known to television audiences for his work on “Life on Mars” and the recently cancelled “Terra Nova.”
O’Mara recently staked a place on the web to call his own, and he politely asked Big Hollywood to include his Twitter handle in this post. His site features the standard promotional information plus interviews he did with his fellow cast members on the set of “Terra Nova” (he enjoys DVD and Blu-ray extras and gets how it brings the experience alive for fans). He’s also eager to see his new pilot co-starring Dennis Quaid get picked up (It has).
And he’s envious of the producer credit Heigl shared on “One for the Money.” He doesn’t see himself behind the director’s chair anytime soon, but he wouldn’t mind having a say in a project from start to finish. He studied theater at Dublin College where he was expected to not only grace the stage but help with lighting, directing, production design and wardrobe chores.
“I’ve never thought of myself as just an actor,” he says. “I hoped I’d get the opportunity to do it all.”