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'I have dealt with unrequited love and rejection', says Limerick star Leah McNamara

The up-and-coming Limerick star has acting coursing through her veins - thanks to her family, writes Donal Lynch

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Leah McNamara pictured in her starring role as Rachel in ‘Normal People'

Leah McNamara pictured in her starring role as Rachel in ‘Normal People'

Leah McNamara pictured in her starring role as Rachel in ‘Normal People'

When Leah McNamara lit up screens in Dublin Murders last year, her acclaimed performance as the manipulative and possibly psychopathic Rosalind was the result of research into a world and a mindset that was alien to her. For the part of Rachel in the television adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People, by contrast, the Limerick-born actress was better able to draw on her own life.

"This character is a lot closer to home," she says. "I was definitely able to cast my mind back to school, and all the cliques and little dramas. School is such a pressurised place and you've all the hormones and insecurity."

The buzz around Normal People, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, has been palpable. The Daily Telegraph called it "a riveting romance for the millennial age" and it has been hailed for capturing the magic of the novel.