Belfast Telegraph

Saoirse-Monica Jackson: At first I thought Derry Girls script was a joke

Saoirse Ronan, Saoirse Monica Jackson and Eileen O'Higgins
Saoirse Ronan, Saoirse Monica Jackson and Eileen O'Higgins
Saoirse Ronan with Derry Girls actress Saoirse Monica Jackson at the opening of the 30th Cinemagic Film Festival at Odeon Cinemas Belfast.
Joan Burney Keatings, Cinemagic CEO, actress and Cinemagic patron Saoirse Ronan, Saoirse Monica Jackson and Eileen O’Higgins at the opening of the 30th Cinemagic Festival at Odeon Cinemas Belfast.

Actress Saoirse-Monica Jackson has revealed that when she received the Derry Girls script, she thought it was a joke.

The 25-year-old joined Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan and Mary Queen of Scots star Eileen O’Higgins on a panel chaired by radio DJ Mairead Campbell to discuss the role of women in comedy before a screening of Bridesmaids, Ronan's all-time favourite funny film.

The event marked the launch of the 30th anniversary of Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival for Young People.

Speaking at the event, held in Belfast's Odeon cinema, Jackson said: "I actually thought Derry Girls was a joke when it first came through and I thought it was a documentary.

"I was working in Manchester and my agent at the time sent an email through and I’d just got fired from my sales job and I was like, “this is the worst day ever”.

"I got the email through and I was like, "they’re making a documentary about Derry. It wouldn’t be the worst thing I’ve done". Then I opened the script and I was like, "this is an amazing sitcom".

"We all auditioned for it for six months. It was awful. But here I am guys, I made it."

Jackson said that she believes people from across the island of Ireland are too humble and should be more proud of their work.

"I think sitting here, as three Irish women, talking about Game of Thrones and all these fantastic shows and films that have come through the north and the south in the last few years, I think it’s important to remember that we come from a land of art and we’re so enriched by poets and playwrights and all the rest of it.

"I feel like we’re the opposite of America. We’re not proud enough of the art that we produce here."

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Cinemagic is running over 30 days of events designed for young people across Belfast and Northern Ireland.

For the full programme visit

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