'I've had to work hard to be taken seriously as an actress', says Nadia Forde
She's gearing up to take to the stage in Belfast's Aladdin panto, but Nadia Forde has admitted she feels she's had to work harder to be taken seriously as an actress after starting out as a model.
The Dubliner (28) has appeared in several theatre productions in the past few years and will be making her film debut in Once Upon A Time In London, which is set to be released next spring.
While Nadia still dips her toes into modelling every now and again, she's glad she can now focus on an acting career.
"I have my calendar out and I still do that. We shot that over two days and it was lovely," she said.
"It's going back into your old skin a little bit. I love modelling, but it doesn't challenge me like the other stuff does.
"Also, having come from the background that I come from, I've kind of had to persevere a little bit to have people actually take me seriously, to an extent.
"Barriers are there to be broken, so I don't really mind, it just makes me work harder."
Nadia, who found wider fame after appearing on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! In 2014, has relished being able to work on her first film, a crime drama set in 1940s London. It follows notorious gangsters Billy Hill and Jack Comer, with Nadia playing Jack's wife Rita.
"It was a pretty amazing experience. It's based on a true story and a real court case that happened," said Nadia.
"Film and theatre are very different. I've learned that in the last couple of years. With film you're living in a bubble and working creatively with the team around you.
"You can retake it 10 or 15 times until you and the director are happy, whereas in theatre it's live and you get that reaction straight away. It's nice to be able to go from one to the other."
Nadia will star as Princess Jasmine in the Belfast panto.
"I love pantos - it's a great way to spend Christmas," the Clontarf woman told the Herald.
"It's two weeks of shows and I get to be in Ireland for Christmas and go down to my nana and my brother, so that was another big incentive for me to want to be involved.
"Panto was my introduction to theatre when I was a little girl. I love that there's all these little girls and boys that come and believe in it."
Aladdin runs at the SSE Arena Belfast from December 14 to 27. Tickets are available on ticketmaster.ie.