Sunday 22 September 2019

'I’m not familiar at all and that’s worked to my advantage' - Sarah Bolger says anonymity is secret to her success

Actress Sarah Bolger attends the premiere of
Actress Sarah Bolger attends the premiere of "Emelie" during the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas on April 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rommel Demano/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)

Stephen Milton

While she lacks the international fame of closest rival, Saoirse Ronan, actress Sarah Bolger believes her anonymity and unrecognizability has been the secret to her success.

Best known for turns as rosy-cheeked princesses and damsels in distress in primetime series’ The Tudors and Once Upon A Time, the Dubliner has gone on to carve a decent Hollywood career, with notable mentions teen drama As Cool As I Am with Claire Danes and creepy horror, The Moth Diaries alongside model, Lily Cole.

But the 24 year-old reckons, fame will work against her.

“Anytime you’re watching me on screen, you never think, ‘That’s Sarah Bolger playing that character,” she explains. “I look different in everything I do. I’m not familiar at all and that’s definitely worked to my advantage. Means I can play all these different characters. And you’re looking at the character. I change my hair, change my look, change my accent. I want you to look at the character, not me.”

Unfortunately, this may all change thanks to a badass performance in chiller, The Lazarus Effect which sees Bolger’s plucky med student square up against a demonic possessed Olivia Wilde.

And while flexing her muscles for the first time on screen, the Irish actress didn’t look at tough as nails movie stars, Angelina Jolie or Michelle Rodriguez – she instead found inspiration from the late great Maureen O’Hara.

“Angelina is obviously an amazing actress and so good in those types of roles but to play a strong, tough woman, I look to someone like Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man.

“She was able to portray such strength and power with the littlest of effort and would be my inspiration to playing a resilient character. She will always be one of my favourites.”

Getting her big break in Jim Sheridan’s In America when she was just nine, Sarah was also equally enamoured with her A-list co-star Wilde, who plays a doctor tinkering with the natural laws of mortality.

“Olivia’s so smart, she’s beautiful, she’s in great movies and is ultimately, really cool. She has the career that I want. She’s a great role model and a great career that will last for years. Plus she went to the Gaiety School in Dublin and spent so many years in Ireland, so we had so much to talk about.”

And while The Lazarus Effect has gone onto scare over €60million at the US box office, Sarah admits working on the creepy warehouse set in LA was a complete howl.

“There’s a comedy element to the whole thing. You end up doing such outlandish crazy stuff on set, you just break into laughter all the time. Which was bizarre, you’re in some terrifying old warehouse outside of Los Angeles and but it felt so ridiculous. The director would be playing opera music while we’re standing there in the dark. You couldn’t help but laugh.”

The Lazarus Effect is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment

Back to top