JESSIE'S WHIRL

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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

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