I just love playing nasty, oddball roles, says Utopia actress Fiona

Actor Fiona O'Shaughnessy. Picture By David Conachy. 7/3/07

Kirsty Blake Knox

ACTRESS Fiona O'Shaughnessy just loves to be hated.

Fiona (33) plays the leading character of Jessica Hyde in Channel 4 hit drama Utopia.

And the Galwegian told the Herald that she prefers playing darker, sinister roles and characters that no one actually likes.

"I like being an unlikeable character," she says. "Which is a good thing because I always seem to end up playing them. I'm drawn to them or maybe they're drawn to me."

Initially Fiona was reluctant to take 'nasty' parts, but as her career has blossomed, so to has her love for the more wicked roles.

"I used to resist those type of roles but now I've embraced them. I like the unlikeables. No one else might like them, but I do," she laughs.

Thriller series Utopia finished its run on Channel 4 last night – but TV insiders have tipped it for a second series after its success.

"Jessica annoys people without meaning to. As soon as my agent heard that, she thought of me," she jokes.

"She's an oddball and rubs people up the wrong way."

Fiona started her career as a dancer before treading the board in Dublin's theatre scene.

She received rave reviews for her portrayal of Salome and Maggie in the Gate Theatre's production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

But Fiona says she wants to focus on her film and TV work in the coming year.


"I'm splitting my time between Dublin and London and this year I definitely want to do more film," she says.

"I feel really proud to be have been part of Utopia. It's a great show.

"It's always a bit strange when you've acted on film because you never know exactly how it's going to look. But I was really happy when I saw it."

The actress says she has grown more confident in her skin and feels completely at ease infront of the camera lens these days.

"And let's be honest; the theatre has rinsed me dry," she roars laughing.

"I'm all about screen work these days."

Utopia may have been Fiona's first big UK gig but we've got a feeling it definitely won't be her last.