Wednesday 21 August 2019

The loves of my life: author and actress Claudia Carroll


Claudia Carroll
Claudia Carroll

The bestselling author and actress chats to Chloe Brennan about her favourite people, places and things

The person

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Am I allowed to have two? It has to be Mum and Dad. We lost my darling dad back in January, but believe me, I know how lucky I am to still have Mum.

The memory

Holidays in the sun with the folks. Dad on a sunlounger, drinking G&Ts and giving out to me because there's a tiny bit of cloud cover, and Mum reading an Agatha Christie under an umbrella, and complaining that the food is too spicy. Happy, happy days.

The moment of the day

Early morning. After 10pm at night, I'm useless to you.

The movie

It's got to be Casablanca. Because it's everything in one, isn't it? It's a love story, an espionage thriller, a propaganda drama and even, in some parts, a musical. The battle of the anthems scene sends shivers down my spine to this day.

The book

Pride and Prejudice remains the most perfectly constructed novel in the English language, if you ask me. And to think Jane Austen wrote it when she was 21! I could barely cross the street at that age.

The accessory

Mum's watch. She gave it to me when I celebrated, ahem, a recent 'significant' birthday, and I literally never take it off.

The hotel

The Moon Palace Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. Sheer all-inclusive bliss. I started going there years ago, and the concept of 'all-inclusive' melted our brains. Technically, you could soak your feet in Champagne. Technically.

The drink

A good eye-opening Americano. I got a Nespresso machine a while back, and if my house was on fire, I think that's probably the only thing I'd save.

The pet hate

Unpunctuality. To me, 8pm means 8pm at the latest. To some people, it means any time from eight-ish on, depending on the parking. Drives me insane.

The celebrity

I always loved Princess Diana. More sinned against than sinning, I always felt. And the patron saint of single women, back in the 1990s.

The friend

Clelia Murphy [actor, best known for her role as Niamh in Fair City]. A friend will help you move house. But a best friend will help you move a body, and then never speak of it again. That's Clel for you.

The beauty product

I have desperate psoriasis, and your only man is a big industrial tub of this stuff called Dovobet. Not very glam, but hey, it does what it says on the tin.

The advice

Be polite. Read a lot. And don't put off until tomorrow what can easily be done today.

The bar

The bar in the Trocadero is my happy place. Especially when [co-owner and maitre d'] Robert [Doggett] is there. I don't drink, so people tend to think I'm Ms Boring at any bar, with a fizzy water in front of me. But actually, the crack is exactly the same, and you remember everything the next day.

The hobby

Pilates in the gym. It's doing sod all for my weight, but it's as sure as hell lovely and soothing for your mind.

The part of my body

My Dad used to say, 'You have a lucky metabolism and you get it from me.' So cheers, Dad. Thank you.

The smell

Stock flowers. They only last for approximately 20 minutes, but the smell is so sweet and gorgeous.

The taste

Nutella. Eaten straight out of the jar with a spoon. Calories, be damned.


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