Thursday 18 July 2019

The loves of my life... actress Norma Sheahan


Actress Norma Sheahan
Actress Norma Sheahan
Chloe Brennan

Chloe Brennan

The actress chats about her favourite people, places and things

The person

I'm not going to pick between my husband, two parents, three kids, and four sisters - so I'll take Whitney Houston's advice, and love myself. If you're kind to yourself, then you'll have oodles of love for everyone else.

The memory

I have a very clear memory from 2009 of standing on the red carpet at the Oscars and time slowing down [Norma acted in New Boy, which was nominated in the category of Best Live Action Short Film]. The experience was mind-blowing - hovering around Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce, Sophia Loren, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman, etc… I meandered around absorbing the atmosphere for so long that one presenter thought I was Anne Hathaway's publicity agent, and asked me to guide the actress their way. I did, and then ran inside.

The moment of the day

I'm not the most tactile person, at all. But I cherish the bedtime hugs with my three daughters, Jessica, Isabelle and Jodi, when the lights go out.

The song

I'm a song-aholic. As in, about every fifth song is my favourite song. So whatever cheesy tune makes me bop in the car, or bop in the shop, or bop in the kitchen, is the best song ever! Michael Jackson's performance of Bad at Pairc Ui Chaoimh 30 years ago blew my brain. I was 11. It was my first concert. But I'm sure I had a new favourite song the next week.

The movie

The old Annie movie had a big impact on me. I knew every word and song. That said, we only had about 10 videos at home to rotate. When I was 13, I played Miss Hannigan, the drunken orphanage owner, falling around the stage with a bottle of vodka.

The book

I love pictures. If there are too many words, I get bored. Scripts are ok, because it's mainly dialogue and some paragraphs of action prose. I love those pocket books that you can open on any page and get an insightful nugget. I read them if they're in other people's toilets. They are probably filthy!

The hero

I got lucky with my godparents, actually. Uncle Liam Sheahan and Auntie Eily O'Doherty have always been so warm and kind to me. They are two very honest people who've had plenty of challenges thrown at them in life, but they always rise above.

The piece of advice

My mother had a great one last year. She received some bad health news, and said with a smile, 'It's not hard to die when you know you've lived'. She's a force! And she's still getting the most that she can out of every single day.

The outfit

Lycra is my comfort zone. If a material restricts me, it won't last long on me.

The accessory

A baseball hat, as it covers the greasy hair; or sunglasses, as they cover the tired eyes. Both go well with my Lycra look. I don't like the feel of jewellery unless I have to dress up for an event or meeting.

The gadget

The iPhone 5, with a chunky OtterBox cover. I had a newer version, but I went back to the 5 because it's heavier and smaller. The newer, larger, lighter ones kept slipping and smashing.

The friend

I find human interaction great, and I love the chats, but I don't do BFFs. I'm fascinated at how demented most people are when you get a few minutes into a conversation. I suppose my husband would have to be my 'love of my life' friend, for his sheer tolerance to stay married to me for 18 years.

The beauty product

Mariga Sheedy is the best skin expert in Ireland. She'll design a skincare programme that is unique to your needs. Her products are magic. She has done amazing non-invasive, anti-aging treatments on me.

The holiday

'Work' is my holiday. When I'm acting, filming, in studio, writing, creating, I'm charged up. Sitting on my arse, burning and boozing doesn't excite me. But we did do a convoy of camper vans across Australia last year with my in-laws, and that was some adventure. Or I did a long weekend in Rome with my parents, and that was jaw-dropping!

The part of my body

I've lovely arms. Probably from my yoga and swimming. Apparently, I've a lovely bottom too, but I never really get to see it.



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