Born and raised in Brooklyn, Eamon O’Rourke enjoyed socializing with people from all walks of life, forming his love of diversity and inclusion on the film set. With educator parents who encouraged and promoted his creativity, his love of learning continued through experimentation in filmmaking. Starting out as an actor while writing and directing, he was brought to Sam Levinson’s attention by Ellen Barkin, who had seen O’Rourke in a high school play. After his first day, O’Rourke knew he belonged on the set, but he did not want to endure the grind of auditioning. This led him to directing, and the rest is history.
It’s fairly difficult to work on a movie set without collaboration. As Eamon O’Rourke mentioned in a recent interview, “The thing I was most drawn to film by was large-scale collaboration. I love working together with lots of different people—gaffers, cameraman, actors, all of whom are coming at the same objective with different skills; that’s what really gets me charged up.” Much like his city upbringing, O’Rourke finds the people on set to be the most fascinating part of the job. “You meet so many interesting people on film sets. It’s arguably my favorite part of working in film. So many different people are drawn to the work so you end up meeting people who are so different from you.”
Beyond diversity are the individual actors he has had the opportunity to mix with on set. Dominic Chianese, who played Uncle Junior in The Sopranos, was one of the people he extensively chatted with. Eamon O’Rourke found his discussions interesting, as Chianese grew up in the Bronx in the 1940s, a very different world from O’Rourke’s Brooklyn. Their friendship extended beyond the set. O’Rourke recalled, “When we finished the day of shooting he asked me to come to an Irish pub [where] he loved to eat fish and drink beers where we continued discussing theater and he told me lots about shooting The Sopranos. It was a special day, not just because I loved that show and him as an actor but it was very cool to hear from someone who was so much older and wiser who was treating me as a peer.”
A strong believer in the power of hard work, Eamon O’Rourke’s favorite quote comes from Samuel Goldwyn: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” With a strong dedication to putting everything he is into his work, he has noticed it is the times when he puts in the most work that he sees the greatest success. By fully committing himself when on the set or in the field, he has experienced outstanding results. However, he doesn’t discredit the impact of a little luck either, mentioning, “I do acknowledge that you definitely need some luck to succeed in this business. Some very talented people have never gotten an opportunity because they didn’t get the lucky moment, but I also don’t think luck will get you all the way. You need both: luck and hard work.”
With a strong focus on the people around him, Eamon O’Rourke promotes diversity on the set in addition to hard work and leveraging success. This up-and-coming director’s dedication to his craft shows strong promise for great things in the future. He is also able to incorporate the aspects of the business he loves most into his work, saying that “acting was definitely the thing I loved the most and felt I was best at…If I can find some success directing, I can always throw myself into the things I make.”