Belfast Telegraph

Saoirse-Monica Jackson on life before Derry Girls fame

Saoirse-Monica Jackson Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Saoirse-Monica Jackson Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Derry Girl Saoirse-Monica Jackson, who plays Erin in the hit series, says she is "definitely still finding my way as an actor and as a young woman".

The actress said that reading the scripts for the second series had her in stitches, and added that on this occasion she had been able to enjoy filming.

"Honestly, the first time around I was in a state of shell shock and just scared," she said.

Saoirse-Monica revealed that the bond between the Derry Girls is just as strong in reality.

"They're good craic. They're funny and confident and they're very comfortable with who they are. I would say more so than me," she said.

Before acting success in the Channel 4 series, Saoirse-Monica spent nine months selling HelloFresh recipe boxes door-to-door in London.

She feels a bit of an impostor, despite acclaim for her acting.

"I know everybody feels this, especially girls, but I'm scared that I'm going to get found out. They're going to say that they've changed their mind," she said.

Roles have not been too hard to find, acknowledged Saoirse-Monica, who has also starred in The Ferryman in the West End.

Her parents have always lent their support, though "it was real tough love".

Her mother, a counsellor, insisted that she got her A-levels in Derry before enrolling at the Arden School of Theatre in Manchester because it had a comedy module.

"I don't know if I ever thought my skills lay there, but it was definitely something I wanted to dabble in," she said.

When asked what she makes of the show's massive success with fans and critics, Saoirse-Monica had almost no words, just about managing to say "amazing".

"There's a mural in my home town after this show. Who could have imagined that would've happened?"

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