Helmer 'wanted to leave the dead behind' with film

Jim Sheridan took his hosting duties seriously for the Gotham bow of “In America” Nov. 24, greeting every single guest who walked into the stout-soaked after-bash at Cafe St. Bart’s.

By his side were the film’s two young stars: Emma and Sarah Bolger. Emma demanded that Sheridan give the part of her older sister in the film to her real-life sibling, herself no shrinking violet: Sarah sang a live version of the film’s “Desperado” at fete.

Sheridan acknowledged the weighty subject matter in his semi-autobiographical tale –“It’s the same material as ‘Long Day’s Journey Into Night,’ which is heavy” — before adding, “but I wanted to keep it buoyant. I wanted to leave the dead behind.”

From the cast, Samantha Morton, Paddy Considine and Djimon Hounsou mingled with guests Bono, who wrote a song for the pic, Jane Alexander, Aidan Quinn (his brother Declan lensed), Wendy Wasserstein, Holly Hunter, Salman Rushdie and Ben Chaplin.

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