Tuesday 24 April 2018

Linda Breathnach

She's starring in the hottest new Irish-language drama around, Seacht, a racy new show currently hitting our screens on TG4. It explores the lives and loves of seven students attending a performance arts college in Belfast.

She and her co-stars are leading a campaign to sex up Irish-language television. Their realistic portrayal of the lifestyles of contemporary young adults is proving to be a hit with the elusive 18 to 35-year-old viewing audience.

Life was one long show when she was a child. As a publican's daughter growing up in the gaeltacht, she quickly learned the importance of being able to stand up and perform on demand. She entered local competitions as a child, and when she turned 18 launched her career as a professional actor.

Her first proper job was a starring role in a soap opera, Ros na Run. She had only studied acting for three weeks on an Irish-language course in Scotland when she landed a role.

She lives a double life. Linda graced our screens as a young tearaway, Roise, in the soap for four years, before heading off to experience the lifestyle of a resting actor Stateside. There, she worked in restaurants and bars, but now she's back, reviving her old role, stirring up trouble in the village again.

She's juggling her career in TV with life as a full-time student in Arts at UCG. But the professional demands of a soap opera have given her a formidable work ethic. Going back to do her degree as an older student means she's not afraid to work hard. "I've been really thriving on learning stuff. Getting a degree is just something I always needed to try," she says.

She's the kind of person who thrives on new challenges. When she was hired for a one-off job as an actor with a children's entertainment company, she turned the opportunity into a whole new career sideline as a puppeteer.

If things don't work out long-term for her in acting, she'll probably become a lawyer. Being fluent in Irish has given her a useful specialism as an actor, but with more than one string to her bow, she doesn't waste her time worrying about whether or not she'll make it to the big time.

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