Saturday 24 August 2019

'When you're younger you play the wallflower' - Aoibhin Garrihy expects roles to get grittier as she gets older

Aoibhin Garrihy at the Vodafone Comedy Festival 2017 launch at The Odeon, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Aoibhin Garrihy at the Vodafone Comedy Festival 2017 launch at The Odeon, Dublin. Picture: Brian McEvoy
Aoibhin Garrihy

Sean O'Grady

While lots of actors worry they will get less work as they get older, Aoibhin Garrihy is confident things are only going to get better.

Although many female thespians have said there are not many good roles for women once they can no longer play the ingenue, Aoibhin is looking forward to getting her teeth into "gritty" roles.

"I think they're more interesting, they become more complex. When you're younger, it's the wallflower," she said.

"It's great to be cast at all, let alone typecast, but I think the retiring shy wallflower as a younger actor is certainly not as interesting as the gritty woman with demons.

Denis McCormack
Denis McCormack


"They come with a lot more interesting stories to tell. I think the older you get, the more you have to sink your teeth into."

Aoibhin's thoughts echo fellow Dancing With The Stars finalist Denise McCormack.

The Love/Hate actress has said she found it difficult to get regular work as a young actress because she had little experience to show for herself in auditions.

"It's probably got easier as I've got older," Denise said.

"I couldn't get a part when I was younger. I couldn't get in the door.

"You're only as good as your last job and if you don't have a last one, building a profile is very difficult."

Aoibhin (30) found success quickly when she left college, landing a role as striking Neasa Dillon on Fair City.

She joined the soap in 2010 and was a regular on the cobbles of Carrigstown for three years before leaving to pursue other projects.

She soon found a role on BBC drama The Fall opposite Jamie Dornan and has also appeared in numerous theatre productions.

"I have such a love for the theatre. It's where I trained and what I love," she said.

"I love the idea of working on projects that you are passionate about.

"There's loads of things that I would love to get my teeth into."

The Castleknock woman, who has also been trying her hand at presenting, reckons the acting business is a tough one, no matter what age you are or where you are based.

"I think it's tough everywhere. I think it's tough here, it's tough in the States, it's probably tough in the UK as well," she said.

With rejection part and parcel of the job, Aoibhin believes a strong sense of self is vital for success.

"I think mentally, if you're not looking after yourself, it can be trying," she told the Herald.

"I started before I left school, it was something I always loved.

"I trained in Trinity and did the three-year actor training programme and I've been acting since I graduated so it's been eight years.

"It's flown by, it's mad how quickly the years go by."

Aoibhin has kept busy in the last few months, teaming up with her husband John Burke to found children's charity Elevate.

The initiative will encourage children's creativity while also keeping them mindful of the dangers of using social media.

"John had wanted to do it for ages and it was for something that is close to our hearts," she said.


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