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Shadow And Bone’s Danielle Galligan — ‘No one owes you anything in this world. One big success does not a career make’

Actor Danielle Galligan comes from a family of strong, self-made women, and it shows. With her standout performance in Netflix hit Shadow And Bone; sharing representation with big names; and a role written for her in RTÉ’s Kin, her star is ascending — yet, she’s struggling to get a mortgage

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“I was like, ‘I don’t need a publicist, I’m not a lead [in Shadow And Bone], I’m not even really in it that much’. Ultimately I was told to stop playing it down.” Danielle Galligan wears blazer; Mithridate. Jewellery, By Alona. Photo: Lee Malone.

“I was like, ‘I don’t need a publicist, I’m not a lead [in Shadow And Bone], I’m not even really in it that much’. Ultimately I was told to stop playing it down.” Danielle Galligan wears blazer; Mithridate. Jewellery, By Alona. Photo: Lee Malone.

"My nana created our lives. I’ve such a sense of pride of what she has achieved.” Danielle Galligan wears dress, Nynne; gloves, Sportmax; shoes, Agne Kuzmickaite; jewellery, Missoma. Photo: Lee Malone.

"My nana created our lives. I’ve such a sense of pride of what she has achieved.” Danielle Galligan wears dress, Nynne; gloves, Sportmax; shoes, Agne Kuzmickaite; jewellery, Missoma. Photo: Lee Malone.

"We’re most alive when our creativity is being fired, and when work ends, for sure you can feel alone and down." Danielle Galligan wears jacket, Esaú Yori. Photo: Lee Malone.

"We’re most alive when our creativity is being fired, and when work ends, for sure you can feel alone and down." Danielle Galligan wears jacket, Esaú Yori. Photo: Lee Malone.

"You might be working on something that’s so important to you and well respected within the theatrical industry, but the one question your nana will ask you is: ‘Are you getting paid for it, though?’" Danielle Galligan wears dress, Nynne; gloves, Sportmax. Picture by Lee Malone.

"You might be working on something that’s so important to you and well respected within the theatrical industry, but the one question your nana will ask you is: ‘Are you getting paid for it, though?’" Danielle Galligan wears dress, Nynne; gloves, Sportmax. Picture by Lee Malone.

Danielle Galligan wears jacket, Esaú Yori. Shoes, Ajoy Sahu. Photo: Lee Malone.

Danielle Galligan wears jacket, Esaú Yori. Shoes, Ajoy Sahu. Photo: Lee Malone.

"I felt that intently during the pandemic. ‘If I don’t have my job, my purpose, what is left?’ Danielle Galligan wears: Blazer, Michael Kors. Dress, Nadya Dzyak. Shoes, Roger Vivier. Jewellery, Missoma. Zipped jacket, stylist’s own. Photo: Lee Malone.

"I felt that intently during the pandemic. ‘If I don’t have my job, my purpose, what is left?’ Danielle Galligan wears: Blazer, Michael Kors. Dress, Nadya Dzyak. Shoes, Roger Vivier. Jewellery, Missoma. Zipped jacket, stylist’s own. Photo: Lee Malone.

Danielle Galligan wears blazer; trousers, both Mithridate. Shoes, Ajoy Sahu. Jewellery, By Alona. Photo: Lee Malone.

Danielle Galligan wears blazer; trousers, both Mithridate. Shoes, Ajoy Sahu. Jewellery, By Alona. Photo: Lee Malone.

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“I was like, ‘I don’t need a publicist, I’m not a lead [in Shadow And Bone], I’m not even really in it that much’. Ultimately I was told to stop playing it down.” Danielle Galligan wears blazer; Mithridate. Jewellery, By Alona. Photo: Lee Malone.

How difficult is it for a professional actor to secure a home loan, I ask Danielle Galligan. She has relocated to Dublin, after a couple of years in London, with a desire to clamber on to the property ladder. “I did London,” she says. “I went, I saw, I got the T-shirt. I’m a homebird. I’m here for now and, in an ideal world, I’m trying to get a mortgage.”

As a first-time mortgage applicant, one would safely assume the insecurity of the 29-year-old actor’s job could prove tricky for financial institutions. But working on a successful Netflix series must grease the wheels of her application, right? “Does not matter,” she answers wearily, wincing in defeat. “But we’ll see. If it’s not this year, maybe it’s next year.”


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