The Man Behind Mattress Mick

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The name of Mattress Mick has become something of an evocative term of mirth around Dublin in recent times. You may have noticed his catchy billboards around the city distinctly pushing Mick to the foreground, giving off that Americanised tone of business self-promoter that would be par for the course Stateside, but revealing a distinct daringness on this side of the pond.

Recently, Mick has moved into video promotion for his business, utilising YouTube and harnessing the power of social media savviness to help spread his message. However, it was all dreamt up by the man under the mattress, so to speak. The brainchild of the Mattress Mick persona, Paul Kelly, met Mick after many years from last seeing him. “At that meeting I told Mick ‘I am going to Americanise you and put you in videos’,” he recollects.

Kelly has since directed more than 20 Mattress Mick videos. On meeting him, there is a vibrancy of ideas and energy pouring from him that is arguably more infectious than Mick. He was made redundant in 2009 and has since had to hunt and create new opportunities. This necessity was the mother of his inventions and it put him on track to learning about website production, acting, filmmaking and developing the creative ideas that were coming into his mind thick and fast.

Kelly studied acting and filmmaking at the Irish Film Academy. On observing how out-of-work actors need to keep their skills honed, he told NewsFour, “I created an acting group, of which many went on to be household names such as Jenny Dixon of Fair City and Emmett Scanlan of Hollyoaks.”

NewsFour detected a persuasive level of charm, and general likeability when chatting with Kelly in Pearse Street. He has links with dancers, actors, and even graffiti artists. “Just before the shoot of the DeLorean car scene in Back with a Bang, I discovered a graffiti artist spraying over other graffiti (in a permitted zone to do that) and asked him to do the Mattress Mick mural as seen in the video.” Singers and dancers in the video were known to him too.

He is now even being filmed by a documentary crew who follow him and his escapades behind the scenes. Listening to Kelly, you’re left wondering who is the maddest, himself or Mick, as it’s the design of Mick that is arguably more insane than the personality of Mick himself.

Although he is behind the successes of many actors and businesses, such as Mattress Mick, you get the sense talking to Kelly that he also needs a promoter for himself, as he has so many skills and has honed a very positive outlook to keep going in the face of many years of adversity. “I believe we are guided by guardian angels,” he says. “If we choose to listen, we will be guided in the right direction by them.” He certainly has confidence that he is now going the right way and observes signs which confirm he is on the right track in his career.

Mattress Mick will return in a new Star Wars-themed video in the new future, as dreamt up by Kelly, naturally. It includes some challenges for Mick against Darth Vader and the “Dark Side”. Mattress Mick aficionados will have to keep an eye out for that, as well as the Director’s Cut of Back with a Bang, which will be released next year. “I had to keep certain racier clips out of Back with a Bang, but I will release them on my site within six months.” They are stunning clips that he could not put in the original.

A bigger project he hopes to get funding on is a short story called Somnambulist, written by Glen Reilly, who works in Pearse Street. “It’s a wonderful story written by a very clever guy,” says Kelly. Somnambulism refers to sleepwalking and has many surreal and fantastical ideas at its core. “I am applying for funding from the Irish Film Board for that project at present.” Kelly certainly appears to have awoken from the slumber of his former life.

By Ferg Hayden