Irish Daily Mail
‘My shock at backlash over my figure’
BEING cast in a new blockbuster Netflix fantasy series – hailed as ‘the next Game Of Thrones’ – is every up-and-coming actor’s dream.
And for Dubliner Danielle Galligan there was a ‘pinch-me’ moment as she stepped onto the sweeping set of Shadow And Bone.
However, what she didn’t expect was the initial backlash from die-hard fans who thought she wasn’t curvy enough for the role.
Ms Galligan, whose previous credits include Game Of Thrones itself and Cold Courage, plays Nina Zenik in the adaptation of author Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling Grishaverse novels. The spellbinding literary franchise is set to start on Netflix next Friday, April 23.
However, months before the streaming service shared even a first look at the eight-part series, Danielle came under fire from militant fans who didn’t think that the actress was the right fit.
The 28-year-old told the Mail that it all came as a shock to her when fans reacted negatively to the casting news, and one point, she even made the decision to step back from social media.
She said: ‘I’d never been talked about in the media before, at all, so I was just treading water and trying to understand where they were coming from.
‘And of course, I can understand where they’re coming from.
‘We live in a society where the female experience and the length and breadth and width of all the different women aren’t fully represented on screen yet. And I have felt restricted in my career and my life, and when I saw Nina I thought, “Oh my God, I feel some representation.” And I would hope other people feel that, not just through Nina but through all the characters.’
Danielle trained in Trinity College’s The Lir, which boasts an impressive roll call of alumni, including Paul Mescal and Conversations With Friends star Alison Oliver.
However, acting wasn’t something that was always on the cards for Danielle, who initially was ‘hellbent on medicine’ and then pondered becoming a pilot.
She comes from a family of beauty therapists, but she always knew that she didn’t want to follow that career path. She told the Mail: ‘I was hellbent on medicine and then I wanted to be a pilot. Then I wanted to do psychology.’
She got the ‘call’ in her transition year when she was cast in her school’s production of Oklahoma. She said: ‘I went to Trinity and got into the Lir. My family have always been so supportive. I wrestled with it for a few years because it’s hard, it’s very hard. Now I’m happier than ever.’
‘Women aren’t fully represented on screen’