I was quite the loud-mouth brat from the ages of 2 to the present and my mom's go-to way of dealing with me was to throw a movie on. My mom really loves crappy romantic comedies and spent the 80s loving Shelley Long. So I watched a lot of Hello Again when I was a child (which was on TBS hourly in the late 80s).
Thus, my mom started my crush on Gabriel Byrne.
As I turned 3, I was certain I was going to marry Gabriel when I was older and told my dad to prepare the dowry. It was his eyes that cinched it. In my three short years on Earth, I hadn't encountered blue eyes. Gabe's were the first ones I remember seeing and I thought to myself, "THEY COME IN OTHER COLOURS!?"
With Gabriel Byrne and U2 alive and well, I thank the Universe every day for Ireland.
My mom also loved action movies. I reckon I would not be the person (and nerd) I am today if she hadn't thrown on this movie.
The first time I saw Tim Burton's Batman, it blew me out of my light-up shoes and I knew that I'd never be the same person again. I was 4. It started my lifelong nerdity, my love affair with cinema, my obsessive need to make a film just as good as it, and it gave me a huge crush on Batman. Not on Michael Keaton, BATMAN. As a 4-year-old, I was really impressed with Batman's quest to rid his home city of all the things that were bringing it down. He had encountered the horrible things the city had to offer when his parents were killed in front of him. Rather than escape from it, he decided to face it and take it on so that no other kid would have to go through the same thing he had.
I grew up on a reserve and I hated it. I disliked how terrible it was with the rampant alcoholism, domestic violence, violence in general, and drug abuse and how I perceived that nobody but me seemed to care or wanted to change it. Seeing Batman 89 probably set me on a more positive course in life since it gave me hope that there were people out there that cared and wanted to change the horrible things in life. It also gave me a feeling that there were people out there watching out for others.
Yeah Batman blew up a factory and threw a mook down a church tower but he got results. And, hey, I was a weird kid so it seems appropriate that I'd have a strange role model that inspired me to do good in my community (non-violently of course).
I admired Batman. But since I was already betrothed to Gabriel Byrne, I left it at a respectful admiration (as well as a crush since HELLO, have you SEEN Michael Keaton's eyes in that cowl?)
There have been other loves over the years but my heart still belongs to the original two. Over Christmas, my dad and I were reminiscing after he found a bunch of my old toys in the crawl space. Randomly he asked me if I still planned to marry Gabriel Byrne like I had wanted when I was 3.
Considering Gabe looks like this at 60
I wouldn't be against it.