Aoibhinn McGinnity was supposed to be on holiday in New York this week, but instead she's just been to Tesco in Monaghan town, where she's isolating with her sister and parents.
"The glamour!" she laughs. "I'm trying to make the best of it - what else can you do really? I'm doing yoga and walking the dog every day. It's been nice, in a way - it's one of those moments in life where you just have to take a little break and try to enjoy it.
"I'm missing wearing nice dresses and looking like a normal human being, but I'm not missing make-up - it seems like such a pointless pain now; how are we ever going to go back to wearing it?"
The success of Normal People might bring a sense of deja vu for the cast of Love/Hate, which ten years ago was a similar broadcasting hit for RTE. Aoibhinn was one of the stars of the series: she played Trish, the gangster's moll to Tom Vaughan-Lawlor's Nidge and, while her performance was acclaimed, she says that for a while the show was something of a double-edged sword.
"I definitely had that fear for a while afterwards. When you've been in a part in a series like that which has been so successful, there is always a danger you'll be seen in terms of that role. I have played more parts of late which were softer around the edges. Everyone has a bracket in the casting department and the characters tend to follow a similar thread. People don't see me as the good girl or in the love-story part."
After Love/Hate, Aoibhinn parlayed its success into a move Stateside, where she starred in a HBO drama called Quarry, which followed a US marine in the 1970s who returns to his hometown of Memphis after fighting in the Vietnam War. Despite a positive reception from critics, the series failed to attract a large audience and it was announced in mid-2017 that it had been cancelled after just one season. Despite this Aoibhinn looks back on it with a certain fondness.
"It was shot in New Orleans. I turned 30 while I was there, so it was a special time in my life," she recalls.
Aoibhinn McGinnity with Love/Hate co-star Tom Vaughan Lawlor as gangster boss Nidge
She says there was an inkling that the show would be cancelled. "Everyone was wondering what was happening and then the director wrote a letter to everyone explaining that it wasn't being continued. There had been a handover of bosses at HBO so it was really unfortunate. My character was badass and there was gun training and everything. I really loved it."
Growing up in Monaghan, Aoibhinn had an outdoorsy streak. There was no real history of performing in her family but she started doing dance classes when she was 11 and then took up acting classes, and her parents always encouraged her. After school, she went to the College of Dance in Dublin and then on to study musical theatre in London (she's sung on the Late Late and has a powerful singing voice). Early in her career she starred in a number of TV movies and won a part on Moone Boy alongside Chris O'Dowd. She says there was also a fair share of rejection during these years, but with time she has learned to handle that better.
"I think as time has gone on I've allowed myself to be sad when I don't get things. When I was straight out of college I was so about trying to be strong and shrugging any setback off, but you have to process things and give yourself time to do that.
"As a rule you have to have a thick skin. Sometimes you can think you do terribly in an audition and you end up getting the part, but sometimes you can really want a part and build yourself up to get it and you might not get it, and that's when things can be really tricky."
She says that early on in her career she lacked the confidence to stand up for herself when she felt uncomfortable. "On one of the early things I worked on there was something that should have been discussed - I don't want to say what it was - and it wasn't and because I was so young I didn't want to make a fuss. Since then I've grown in confidence and I'd say something."
She says she has a few long-term relationships over her shoulder - "I'm a bit too long in the tooth not to have had a few of those" - but she remains coy on her current relationship status. She says that men can sometimes be too shy to chat women up.
"I thought the #MeToo movement changed a lot of things, some good and some bad. When it began first I think it made men afraid to even give a compliment to women. Irish men can be very awkward with women and I think it made that worse in a way too. I think with time there has been a bit more equilibrium, however."
Right before the beginning of lockdown Aoibhinn had begun teaching yoga in Dublin and she hopes to return to that at some point. For the moment, though, she's focused on making audition tapes, with the help of her sister, and staying sane during the long days at home.
"There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment," she says. "There are things that are due to go into production but you'd wonder if they are being optimistic with their plans. I'm looking forward to getting back to normal. I've overdone the tracksuits lately. It will be great to wear dresses. I'll never take that for granted again."
RTE One is airing Love/Hate again this summer on Friday nights (time changes): Episode 2 will air at 11pm on Friday, June 12