With a new song in circulation, another track up for an Oscar and a new album due in June(ish), the U2 press machine is starting to wind up. They had this cover story in a recent The Hollywood Reporter.
Just after Finnegan’s pub opens at noon on a blustery, rainy, intermittently sunny winter day in Dalkey, a seaside suburb south of Dublin, Bono
slides in the door and settles into a corner booth with his back to the wall and a wide-angle view of the establishment, like a wary gunfighter who wants to see what’s coming. In a hoarse whisper, he orders tea and a plate of smoked salmon. His unimmaculate red-tinged quiff and tired eyes seem to be telling me this is a man who recently rolled out of bed.The 53-year-old lead singer of the perennially biggest rock band in the world is quick-witted and preternaturally eloquent, but he also is one of the most interviewed humans on the planet, and he has a stash of well-rehearsed riffs that, understandably, tend to play on repeat. Once his throat is soothed by the tea and he’s fully awake, however, I’m pleased to discover that the man loves to talk movies and has fresh things to say about them, ranging from Scorsese and Hitchcock to Wenders and Tarantino.
Unlike your average cinephile, of course, Bono is, along with his band U2, an Academy Award nominee for best original song — “Ordinary Love,” a bittersweet anthem that plays as the coda toMandela: Long Walk to Freedom. It’s the group’s second nomination, after “The Hands That Built America” from Gangs of New York in 2003, and they’ll be at the Oscars on March 2 to perform the song.