Sunday 22 July 2018

Charlene McKenna's Hollywood dilemma

Charlene McKenna as Rose in BBC's Ripper Street
Charlene McKenna as Rose in BBC's Ripper Street
The Irish actress is weighing up a potential Holylwood move

EIMEAR RABBITTE

She once said the glitz and glamour of Hollywood was not for her.

But as the US pilot season draws closer once again, actress Charlene McKenna says she would go anywhere for her career -- even back to Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, the 28-year-old admitted she was "shocked" by the high-paced, in-your-face lifestyle of the sunny US state and vowed never to return.

During the fiercely competitive pilot season, actors head over to Tinseltown where they audition for pilot programmes that are purchased by American networks. If they are a hit with the audience, the pilot is developed into a series.

If not, it's dropped.

"I know what to expect now so I hope that it wouldn't be as shocking as last time," Charlene told the Herald.

"I'd like to think I would go back better prepared and mentally tougher."

At the time, the Monaghan native, who is a self-confessed country girl, said she didn't like LA because it was "a little too awesome for me".

"The amount you have to do and the stress levels are quite high so I'm a bit more prepared for all that," she said. "I am a real home-body and I love nothing more than going home to see family and friends."

The Ripper Street star is waiting to see whether her schedule will allow her to return to the US as she has a high profile film project in the UK in the pipeline.

"I am happy to go but I don't know yet because I am supposed to be doing a film," said the petite brunette.

"I can't say what it is yet, but filming will be either December or January, although I'm hoping it will be January so I can have a break."

Charlene, who is currently on stage with hit production Ghosts, says she could well be footloose and fancy free after Christmas.

"I literally had a day and a half off between Ripper Street ending and the play starting," she said.

"So I wouldn't mind a break, but saying that I love working."

The former Raw Star is enjoying life in London as the second season of Ripper Street kicked off on BBC1 last night.

And Charlene, who plays prostitute turned stage performer Rose on the Bafta-nominated show, feels this year's series is better than the first.

"It's so good: I thought the first one was really good, but it has doubled and tripled this series. It has you from the get go."

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