The Power Of Dearies: Robert Carlyle Fans Raising Money For a Statue and Promote Awareness of Scottish Boxing Legend Benny Lynch
The Power of Dearies: Robert Carlyle Fans Raising Money For a Statue and Promote Awareness of Scottish Boxing Legend Benny Lynch
A fan interview by Teresa Martin (@Teresa__Martin)
Benny Lynch was a legendary boxer whose story is still an inspiration to the people of Scotland. Robert Carlyle has become the patron of an effort to create a statue in Benny's honor. When Mr. Carlyle's birthday was upcoming this year, fans of his worked to have Oncers donate to the cause. Teresa Martin interviewed Eva (@pot_supplier) and Doc (@way2distracted) to tell the story of this special gift.
What made you become a fan of OUAT?
Eva: I was a fan of Robert Carlyle way before Once Upon A Time, I actually didn’t know he was in OUAT until after "Skin Deep" aired. I watched the pilot episode and fell in love with the show. The show introduced new favorite characters and actors to me. I truly fell in love with OUAT due to its storyline of second chances, and the beautiful story of Rumplestiltskin and Belle.
Doc: I started watching Once Upon A Time because I am from Steveston and I wanted to see what they were filming in my town. I also love Robert Carlyle and so that made it easy for me to start watching. It is impressive to watch him play, as of the sixth season premiere, pretty much seven or eight different characters. I was sold the moment he jumped out of the jail cell in the first episode. I also loved the twists on classic fairytales and the concept of these fairytale characters in a modern setting.
Tell me about how you became a fan of Robert Carlyle?
Eva: I was introduced to the work of Robert Carlyle in 2009 when I watched 28 Weeks Later for the first time. I immediately had to look up his filmography because I needed to see what else he is capable of doing! He’s a magnificent actor, there’s no lie there. Aside from being such a phenomenal actor, he’s one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. He has been a part of so many charities, and supports different humanitarian organizations. He’s definitely someone I look up to and it has been an absolute honor meeting him.
Doc: I was very young when I saw my first Robert Carlyle film. I was eight years old and I watched Angela’s Ashes with my parents (can’t believe I was allowed at that age now that I think of it!). So that is how I was introduced to him.
What gave you the idea for raising money for the project/Birthday?
Eva: Usually most fans trend #HappyBirthday for their favorite actors on Twitter but Robert isn’t much of a Twitter guy. I got the idea of raising money for the charities that he’s a part of last year. He’s one of the ambassadors for With Kids, a charity based in Glasgow dedicated working with young children. So last year during his birthday his fans from all over the world raised money for With Kids to help them reach their goal of buying Christmas presents for kids whose families can’t afford it. You can check out the announcement for With Kids charity project here.
So this year, we did the same thing, a group of us came up with the idea of donating to The Statue of Benny in honor of Robert’s birthday. And I want to give shoutout to everyone who donated and raised close to 3,000 dollars in just two days.
Doc: I knew Robert loved Benny Lynch based on things that he has said, the fact that he narrated a documentary about him, the nod he gave to Benny Lynch in his new film The Legend of Barney Thomson (If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it!), and a few other things. So I went and found their gofundme page. I thought he may like it if fans would donate to that for his birthday as it is something he seems passionate about. It is also a great project in its own right and so I wanted to help out. I thought it would make a difference if people in the Once Upon A Time community could donate even 1 dollar. Oncers can be amazing at that sort of thing.
Who is Benny Lynch? What is his story?
Eva: Benny Lynch was a professional Scottish boxer who fought in flyweight division. He’s considered as one of the greatest fighters ever to come out of Scotland.
Doc: He sadly died when he was quite young (in his thirties). I think he had 88 wins or something close to that number.
What was the process for raising the money?
Eva: The process was simple. I made a blog post on Tumblr asking his fans and the OUAT fans in general to donate and raise money for the statue. People donated from $1 to $100, or even more. I was so happy and grateful that there were so many people donating in honor of Robert’s birthday. After that, a lot of people actually became more familiarized with who Benny Lynch was.
Doc: I recruited a few of my friends who are Robert Carlyle fans like myself (@Ashashmarie20, @JustADearie, @Rumbelle_Dearie, @SharonBaron718), made a poster, sent it to them, and then got everyone to start tweeting it out. Eva (@pot_supplier) and Race (@pot_dealer) in particular were instrumental in this. Eva helped make a banner, another poster, and both Eva and Race helped get the word out and funding on the tumblr side. So between them and I, we managed to make it happen.
Was Robert Carlyle informed that his fans donated to a project that he’s a part of in honor of his birthday?
Eva: Yes! On April 14, the day of his birthday, he tweeted thanking everyone for the birthday wishes and who donated to The Statue of Benny. He specifically tweeted @way2distracted thanking her for the donations. Earlier this year in March, I met him in Vancouver and gave him a fanbook as a gift which consisted of fan letters and fan arts. So on his birthday I got a tweet from him as well telling me that he loved the fanbook. It was an awesome day!
Doc: You can still donate to the Statue for Benny Project, as the project is still going on! You can donate here: gofundme.com/8d2j5678
Eva: I am sure if people start donating again it will make Robert happy. I’d like to thank Once Upon A Fan for this amazing opportunity to be a part of this interview. Thank you for writing about this, it truly means the world to many of us. I’d like to thank my good friends Race, Isis, Franzi, Maggie, Haley, Catherine, Mimi, and Doc who made this project happen. And shout-out to the rest of you. You know who you are!
Click here to buy Robert Carlyle's film The Legend of Barney Thomson