Interviewed by Amanda Lenker Doyle, CSA
1. Has there been a casting director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?
I think it’s only fair that I get two – one Irish and one American!
In Dublin, the wonderful Maureen Hughes gave me some incredible opportunities. Right after graduating from the Gaiety School of Acting, she cast me opposite Andrew Scott in the feature film “Dead Bodies,” which is still one of my favourite roles to date. Then, a few years later she cast me as a series regular on the comedy sketch show “Stew,” which ran for two seasons and gave me the opportunity to play everything from a p*ssed-off teenager to a gun-running nun. These roles played a big part in my successful application for an O-1 visa to live and work here in LA, so I owe her a lot.
In LA, I’d have to say YOU Amanda Lenker Doyle (and Chrissy Fiorilli-Ellington!). You’ve always thought of me. Sometimes for a one-line co star, sometimes to help on a table read, and other times for a three page monologue for a recurring guest star. You’ve always provided a warm, supportive room for me to do my best work in and regardless of the outcome, I know that you’re rooting for me. The longer I’m in LA ,the clearer it becomes to me that my job is to make fans and then the work will follow. I feel so lucky to have you as a fan.
2. What work are you most proud of?
The work I’ve booked since having my son. I’m forever changed by him as a person and an actor. I didn’t think it was possible, but I feel even more proud of anything I manage to book while also taking care of him! I was a lead in the College Humor show “Troopers” last summer, and was in Edward Norton’s latest feature “Motherless Brooklyn” this past November. I filmed both projects while still nursing my son. Learning pages of dialogue while pumping on set has never made me feel more like a superhero. And of course that fact that my son will some day to get to watch those projects makes it even sweeter.
3. What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?
Honestly, I never remember a time before wanting to be an actor. In fact, my earliest memory is at the age of three asking my dad to “give” me an audition because I thought it was something that he could physically give me that would make me an actor. At age five, I remember watching Australian soap operas at lunchtime and then rewatching the repeats at dinnertime to see if I could catch the actors doing something differently. So I suppose I’ve always had a fascination with the world of acting and performing. When I was 12, I started taking speech and drama classes at The Betty Ann Norton Theatre School that also acted as a children’s agency in Dublin. They got me my first audition (which I booked!) and the rest is history!
4. What was your first IMDb credit and how did you feel when you saw it?
My very first IMDbPro credit was the children’s feature film “My Friend Joe” alongside Joel Grey and Schuyler Fisk (fun fact: Joel Grey taught me to juggle on set!) I was 13 when shooting that film, so it was before IMDbPro even existed I believe? But when I became aware of the site and plugged my name in, I had an immense feeling of pride seeing all those credits already listed there.
5. How has IMDbPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?
Simply having one page containing all your industry recognized credits alongside contacts, photos, and a reel is such a helpful tool for anyone in this business to access you. I especially love the “Network” feature that shows you the people you have in common with whomever you’re searching for. In this industry, reputation is everything.
6. Any funny casting stories?
Wellllllll, it seems only fitting to tell one involving Amanda…
As an Irish actor who goes in for a lot of American roles, I always enter the casting room with an American accent and only let the room know that I’m Irish afterwards if it seems appropriate. When I went in for the role of Valkyrian Prime on “Troopers” (which had a LOT of heady, sci-fi dialogue), I did my sides in my prepared American accent. I was about to leave when Amanda whispered to the director and producers that I was Irish and maybe they’d like to see me do it with my own accent? I jumped right in and needless to say my brain melted and I started doing a half Irish/half American who knows what kind of accent. Thank god I had the sense to ask to start again, because not only did I book it, but they also changed the part to Irish just for me! A win/win for us all, eh Amanda?!?
7. Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting.
I didn’t know what to say here, so I asked my husband. He said there were two fun facts I had to mention…first, he’s a New Yorker and said that he only married me because I could eat a whole pizza (even though I don’t eat the crust). Second, that I am an All Ireland Irish dancing champion, but have only ever danced for him on our wedding day.View on IMDbPro More Actors of the Month