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Simone Through the Looking Glass

IRISH actor Simone Kirby has landed a role in the sequel to Disney blockbuster Alice in Wonderland.

Kirby, who previously appeared in RTE hit series Love/Hate, will star alongside Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowka and Helena Bonham Carter in director Tim Burton's Through the Looking Glass.

Kirby will play the part of the Mad Hatter's demented mother Tyva Hightopp in the film, which is due for release in May 2016.

Alan Rickman voices the louche Blue Caterpillar, Stephen Fry will take on the Cheshire Cat, and Michael Sheen is the habitually late White Rabbit.

The film is being produced by Tim Burton and directed by the man behind The Muppets Most Wanted, James Bobin.

Production on the film began last week at Shepperton Studios in the UK and Kirby says it has been a "great experience" to date.

"It's fun and exciting and very different to anything I have ever done," she said. "I've only started on it, but it's fun. It's Wonderland, so it's got to be."

Kirby most recently starred in Ken Loach's drama highly regarded feature film Jimmy's Hall. The Ennis native played the part of Oonagh alongside Sherlock star Andrew Scott and Barry Ward.

She has also appeared in Pure Mule and BBC drama Peaky Binders with Cork native Cillian Murphy.

"I have no feckin' idea what possessed me to choose this career," she said. "The best answer I can grapple is that it chose me. I just love telling stories, and have always been drawn to that.

"I have sore arms from pinching myself. Acting is a tricky career to navigate so when times are good you have to be very grateful."