Connect with us


Where in the World Is ‘Banshees of Inisherin’ Star Jenny the Donkey?



She’s one of the most talked-about stars of awards season, a screen newcomer whose scene-stealing debut performance has been gushed over in countless column inches, and whose name has been called out in numerous acceptance speeches. Yet Jenny the miniature donkey — plucked from Equidae obscurity by Martin McDonagh and thrown in among the A-list cast of his dark Irish comedy The Banshees of Inisherinwhere she went hoof-to-toe with Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon — has been entirely absent from the campaign trail.

Given the accolades being showered on her co-stars, THR — finding himself on the Emerald Isle for the Dublin International Film Festival — hoped to track Jenny down so she could enjoy at least some of the attention. Surely, with the Oscars’ race in its final stretch, producers and publicists would be keen to assist in any final media push in the dash to the finish line.

Not quite.

While Searchlight reps initially seemed interested to help, they soon went quiet, eventually citing — a full week before the trip — the “lack of time” to arrange such a meeting (was Jenny in back-to-backs?). But it later became clear that claims of a hectic schedule were just a cunning ruse. Not only was Jenny simply not doing any press whatsoever, but her whereabouts were being kept on a strictly need-to-know basis.

“Jenny’s location is very much a closely guarded secret,” an insider told THR once in Dublin, admitting that even she — someone who had actually worked on Banshees — was not in the necessary circle of trust to have been told.

As has been widely reported, once shooting on the film wrapped in 2021, producers paid for Jenny to take early retirement (“We just didn’t want her to be doing any shit films,” McDonagh had previously explained to THR). In several articles and social media posts, it was claimed that she was now living happily in the Midland region of Ireland. But in other interviews, her on-set handler, Rita Moloney of Fircroft Animal Actors, said Jenny was with other miniature donkeys (about five, apparently) somewhere in County Carlow, a little further south. In any case, emails were sent to several donkey sanctuaries that fitted the bill.

However, one exec who worked on the film claimed to THR that Jenny “was” in Carlow but had since “been moved.” They also didn’t know where to.

Whether true or not, it felt like a carefully orchestrated subterfuge operation was being deployed to keep both fans and journalists at bay, even those who absolutely promised not to reveal Jenny’s location to anyone else. And this became even more apparent when every sanctuary contacted failed to respond. Clearly the whole of Ireland was in on the efforts to shield the country’s four-legged star from the pressures and pitfalls of fame. As the exec later asserted: “We just want her to enjoy her retirement in peace.”

Sadly without the time to simply drive around Ireland with a picture of Jenny asking strangers if they’d “seen this donkey” (now apparently a little bigger than in the film — Condon revealed she’d “filled out” in photos she’d seen), THR gave up on its quest.

Perhaps Jenny does indeed want to spend her post-Banshees life away from the cameras and has no interest in enjoying her 15 minutes. Or maybe, with the Oscars’ ceremony in sight and one false move enough to tip the balance, publicists just don’t want a donkey without media training to make an ass of herself.

A version of this story first appeared in the March 8 issue of The News84Media magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Check the latest Hollywood news here.