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Interview of the Month – Jane McGrath

Jane McGrath graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting Full Time Acting Course in June 2009. She appeared in Gabriel Byrne’s dark thriller Quirke last year, RTE’s mini series Amber, and is the latest face to join the cast of the HBO phenomenon Game of Thrones. Jane was nominated for an IFTA (Best Actress in a Lead Role in 2014) for her part in ‘Black Ice’, opposite Killian Scott. Black Ice was Jane McGrath’s first major role in a feature film, following on from a series of impressive short film appearances. Jane is to star as ‘Claire’ a lead character in Brian Friel’s Aristocrats coming to the Abbey Theatre later this month (from 18th June).

1. Did you always want to work in the film/acting business? 

Ever since I was about 5 years old I was always drawn towards Art, music, dancing and always doing little pretend magic shows and puppet shows for my relatives and little funny skits with my friends. I think “playing house” was one of my favourite child hood games so it’s amazing that I get to perform for a living!  

2. How did you start off in the business?

 I started Drama classes when I was 11 years old and I LOVED it! We did exams and the drama Feis for the Leicester School of Music and Drama. I was delighted to leave school and go to GSA and study what I really wanted to do which was to be involved with Film, Theatre and Television. 

3. Any tips for aspiring actors/film makers? 

I am still learning but from my own experience I will say… Stay in the “now” and try not to worry about future things to come. I believe everything happens for a reason but still keep the hunger and drive towards your dream. Try not to compare yourself to anyone else and I don’t mean just people in the acting world, you are you, keep following your heart and have faith in yourself. Don’t be afraid to take help from others. If you are ever lost in a performance (I have felt this before) just listen and breathe. Being in the ‘now’ has helped me very much.

4. What did you like most about being at The Gaiety School of Acting?

 Finally studying something that I loved and being around people with different age ranges and life experiences. I really miss mime class I have to say.

5. Favourite actor?

 To name a few… I thought Charlize Theron was Incredible in ‘Monster’. I thought Sam Rockwell was amazing in ‘Moon’ Dylan Moran always puts me in a great mood. Gas man.

6. Favourite writer?

 I am dying to do a Martin McDonagh play/film.

7. Favourite film?

 That’s a hard one but I’ll just say my childhood favourite movie, which is Fern Gully. 

8. Who has been the most influential person in your life so far? 

My beautiful family and friends. They have been there for me since the beginning. Their support is so incredible. 

9. Earliest memory? 

Flying around the milking parlour in Kilteely, Co.Limerick on a go cart made out of rubble with my brothers and my cousins. Then we drove into the dog Foxy who jumped up my face and gave me a nice bump on my head! 

10. What would be your idea of the perfect day? 

When St. Chocolate drives all the spiders out of Ireland.

Jane McGrath_Black Ice

Check out our other Alumni interviews here

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