Irish actress Jessie Buckley has been working solidly for the last 11 years, but her latest film and television projects are sure to send her career into the stratosphere, writes MEG WALKER.
BORN IN KERRY, JESSIE BUCKLEY BURST ONTO OUR TV SCREENS IN I’D DO ANYTHING WHEN SHE WAS 18. Today, she’s an acclaimed actress with a CV boasting award-winning films and television series. This month sees her showcasing her vocal and acting talents in a starring role that is sure to not only move audiences, but have viewers sitting up and taking serious notice. WHAT DREW YOU TO YOUR NEW FILM, WILD ROSE? “Working with the director, Tom Harper, again. We worked together on War & Peace. It’s exciting when you meet a creative collaborator like that, where you have a trust and push each other. Then there was this amazing, honest, unruly, humane script by Nicole Taylor, with this bold woman, Rose-Lynn, at the front and centre of it. I hadn’t sung for a long time, so it was nice to meet that again and find a freshness to what singing meant to me and work with these musicians that have changed my whole outlook on singing and acting and storytelling.” WILD ROSE SHINES A WARM LIGHT ON COUNTRY MUSIC – HAS YOUR APPRECIATION FOR THE GENRE GROWN? “I had no relationship to country music before this film. Then the minute I found the real stuff – the lyrics and characters that live within these songs, which have a way of getting into your heart, saying something universal… I love it now.” HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT ROSE-LYNN’S CONFLICT BETWEEN BEING A MOTHER AND FOLLOWING HER DREAM TO GO TO NASHVILLE? “It’s honest. When your identity becomes split and belonging to other people or passions, it’s a struggle that throws
up complex feelings. Rose-Lynn is an emotional person – when she comes out of prison, her emotion is like fire and she feels she has to burn down the walls that have been put around her and run as far away from who she is in order to take hold of what she wants in her life.” WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT IN CHERNOBYL ON SKY ATLANTIC IN MAY – TELL US ABOUT THAT? “I play Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the wife of one of the first firefighters who went into Chernobyl after the explosion. It’s such an important and poignant story. Craig Mazin wrote this amazing, honest script, and Johan Renck, who directed it, was ruthless in uncovering that truth and being provocative with it. And I got to work with people I admire – Emily Watson, Jared Harris, Barry Keoghan and Stellan Skarsgård. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve done.”
AND THEN YOU’LL PLAY ROSALYN WILDER IN JUDY… “Judy Garland was the first person that opened up my eyes to film and the power of performance, and Renée Zellweger is extraordinary as Judy – one of the most incredible performances I’ve ever witnessed. It was a privilege to watch that happen. I’ve been very lucky to work with really great people.” YOU’LL BE 30 ON YOUR NEXT BIRTHDAY – WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
“I don’t plan anything – I go with my gut and see what makes me happy.
I just want to keep being curious and working with people who inspire me.”
“I don’t plan anything. I go with my gut and see what makes me happy. I want to keep being curious and working with people who inspire me.”
Wild Rose is in cinemas April 12.
Jessie Buckley as Rose-Lynn in Wild Rose