In this week's interview Rachel Dean talks to comedy actress Caroline Curran (35), best known for her portrayal of Maggie Muff in Fifty Shades Of Red, White And Blue. She lives in east Belfast with her fiance Christopher and two-year-old daughter Molly.
Q Tell us about your childhood.
A. I grew up in east Belfast with my parents and two brothers, Kevin and Damien.
My parents Eileen and Owen were musicians and used to sing in their band Eileen And The Wheels at pubs and clubs all over Northern Ireland. They gigged a lot, so we grew up in a musical environment.
When I first went into acting my parents were a bit shocked because I was very quiet at school. I went to St Dominic's Grammar School, then I left at 16 to pursue drama, and it was a big shock to them, especially to my mummy.
Before that I had wanted to be a graphic designer and animator for Walt Disney - always aim high!
I wanted to go straight to the top, no inbetween, just straight to Disney.
Then I got an A* in my drama GCSE and I thought: "Oh, I wonder what that is? That's the only thing I'm good at, is it?"
I had to get up and do a performance of The King And I, and realised I was quite good.
So, I went behind my parents' backs and applied to the Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education (BIFHE), now Belfast Met, to study performing arts. I left school at 16 to go and do that and I've never looked back.
While my parents were shocked, they were also very supportive of my choice.
My mum said she always remembers the night she realised I was serious.
My brother Kevin lived away for much of his life - he lived in Italy and America - and he flew home one time when I was doing Shakespeare. I was Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.
Kevin had always said things to my mum like: "Don't worry, let her mess around for a few years and she'll go work in the Abbey National. Just let her have a bit of craic."
Then the two of them came to see me in Shakespeare and Kevin turned to my mother and said: "I don't think she's going to go to the bank!" The rest is history, really.
Throughout our lives my brothers and I knew that what our parents did was a difficult profession to be in.
The industry can be very tough and competitive, and my parents were just worried, especially about me trying to go into it, that it could be quite a negative experience.
We've always heard positive stories, but they worked really hard all their lives
They went through difficult times as well, but for the majority of it, we knew the craic was amazing.
We got to meet all the different musicians and they'd have singsongs in our house. It was an unbelievable childhood. My parents always told us to follow our dreams. So I did, and now they come watch me doing what I love to do.
Q.What are you most proud of?
A. I'm proud to be Molly's mum. I hope that when she gets older and Googles my name she won't get tortured at school.
I hope she watches things that I've done and thinks: "Yeah, that's my mummy. She loves what she does". I hope I can instil that in her, that she can do anything she puts her mind to.
If she happens to go down the same route as me I want her to know I'll be there to support her. If she doesn't, that's brilliant too. She can be whatever she wants to be.
At first we thought Molly was quiet, like her dad, but now as she gets older and is around more children, she's much more outgoing.
She sings 24/7. She's only two-and-a-half and she knows the words to so many songs. Her memory is unbelievable.
She remembers full adverts from the TV - she knows the coronavirus advert off by heart.
If there's a musical or performance side in her, it'll be in there and she'll have to let it out at some stage.
A. I really try to not have any regrets because you would only get hung up on the what-ifs.
When I was at BIFHE I got a place at Liverpool John Moores University, which was the top school for drama back then, but I didn't go.
Everyone was going away to study, but there was something in me that went: "No, I want to stay in Belfast and learn here."
Home is important. I'm doing more writing now and I'm working on a TV sitcom.
I want it to be based here, with actors in it from here and the dialogue is about here and things we can all relate to. That's one thing I've always wanted to do from a very young age. We have the classics like Father Ted, Only Fools And Horses and Give My Head Peace, which were great for the first of our time. I want my show to be different and dark and to suit a new generation. And I think it will be helped by having those sitcoms behind us - we can all learn from those programmes because they are the greats.
Q.What about phobias? Do you have any?
A. I am terrified of spiders, but I'm trying to overcome it so that my daughter isn't afraid of them.
Q. The temptation you cannot resist?
A. There are so many, but I do love pickled onion Monster Munch.
Q.Your number one prized possession?
A. I'm not a materialistic person. I've got a MacBook that I carry about in case I need to write off the cuff, but it's just a computer. I would be lost without my family and friends.
A. I did love Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. I loved the story and the grimness of it all, which is weird because I love comedy, but I do like a bit of grim.
I also like The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. The thought of religion being turned on its head really challenges how you think.
Q.If you had the power or the authority, what would you do?
A. I want to say world peace. I would want to ensure that everybody had some sort of stability, in terms of emotional, family and financial stability. I wish everyone could have a happy life. I know that sounds completely impossible.
There's a lot of poverty in a lot of countries and I'd love to wipe out the monetary concept and see what would happen.
If everyone was on the same even keel, how different would the world be?
Q.What makes your blood boil every time without fail?
A. Injustices. People picking on vulnerable people who can't stand up for themselves.
Q.Who has most influenced you in life?
A. My mummy. She's a really strong human being and she's only 4ft 11 inches - and a half, she'll tell you!
She's tried her best our whole lives to give us a life that we're happy with. She would always sacrifice to give to us; so would my daddy.
Your mummy is always there and mine is even more so now that I have my own child.
Q.Your top three dinner party guests, dead or alive, and why?
A. Marilyn Monroe, because I find her fascinating. She was an icon of her time and her life was cut short. I'd love to see where she would have gone if she hadn't died so young.
Then Amy Winehouse, because she has an incredible story too. She was another star whose life was cut short in her prime.
And my best mate Julie (Maxwell), who died last year. I'd totally bring her back for a dinner party because she's great craic and I miss her.
Sad loss: Caroline Curran with her late friend Julie Maxwell
Q. The best piece of advice you ever received?
A. Always do what makes you happy.
Q. The unlikely interest or hobby that you love?
A. I love true crime and serial killer documentaries. It used to be books, but now there are documentaries coming out of everywhere and you get to see a lot more.
When They See Us is one of the best things that has been made in the past few years.
It's about the Central Park Five - it was just mind-boggling what happened to those fellas. It goes back to me saying about injustices. My blood was boiling watching these kids get convicted for something they didn't do.
Q. The poem that touches your heart?
A. Footprints In The Sand. When you begin to lose loved ones, it's one of those verses that you can just relate to.
Q.The happiest moment of your life?
A. Having Molly is the obvious one. Becoming a mother was an insane feeling. Everyone tries to tell you that your life will change, and you know it will, but nothing prepares you for having a small human being with two little eyes looking at you 24/7. She's amazing. She's going to be something else.
Then, the first time I sold out the Grand Opera House in Belfast. Seeing, like, 1,000 people clapping and cheering was just unreal. I thought the roof was going to come off. There was an almighty roar and I heard all the seats thudding as people stood up to clap. It was unbelievable.
For both moments my heart felt full and I was bursting with pride.
A. Julie dying last year. I've had a lot of friends and family die, but it was nothing like losing Julie. She was only 36 and she died so suddenly. I keep saying to people: "I feel like a part of me is missing."
It's hard to describe, but when Julie died I knew what it felt like to have my heart broken.
She'll be a year gone on my birthday next month and I still find myself reaching for my phone to text or call her.
Q.The one event that made a difference in your life?
A. I'm going to have to go back to having Molly again, because when she reads this I'll have to make sure she knows she's number one.
Having Molly has changed me as a person, but it didn't change my drive or my ambition in work.