An actor’s life might not have been the most obvious choice for Wexford’s Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Murphy – her parents owned a hair salon, the wonderfully named Scissors Empire, and up to her late teenage years she and her siblings worked part-time in the family business, folding towels and sweeping up leftover locks.
We don’t like to say we told you so, but, well – we told you so… As far back as 2007, when 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Atonement (the film adaptation by director Joe Wright of Ian McEwan’s 2001 shortlisted Booker Prize novel), the writing wasn’t so much on the wall as all over the sky: the girl is going to be a star – simple as.
Pity the comic actor or stand-up comedian that has to go about their daily routine secure in the knowledge that at some point in their day they will come face-to-face with a member of the public. And not just an ordinary member of the public, but one who is an avid fan, and whose life will be enhanced a thousand-fold by not only meeting their hero but also by the hope of engaging in a sizeable portion of comic dialogue or witty banter with them.
There are few actresses for whom the word ‘luminous’ genuinely applies, but Australia’s Cate Blanchett is one of them – although by now she is probably weary of the description. And yet it’s true; there’s something about the way she looks up close and on the screen that makes you want to reach out and touch her skin to check if it’s as other worldly as it seems.
The first thing you notice about 30-year-old, six-feet-plus Irish actor Domhnaill Gleeson is the shock of unruly red hair that announces itself without so much as a beg-your-pardon. The second thing you notice is a certain casualness of demeanour that comes with not really noticing that members of the public are looking at you; and the third is just how much of a nice guy he is.