‘I’ve relished it’: The Derry Girls talk about their platform for change

Stars of the hit show told The Big Issue what causes they’re willing to fight for in this week’s magazine as Nicola Coughlan heads to Westminster to protest Northern Ireland’s abortion laws

In 2018, TV super smash Derry Girls stopped viewers in their tracks. It showed the joyful mundanity of life that continued even during the Troubles, while telling a timeless tale of friendship between girls. The cast spoke to The Big Issue ahead of the Derry Girls series 2 premiere, and made it clear that their time between filming was certainly not wasted.

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, who plays Michelle Mallon, told The Big Issue she has “relished” being able to use her voice to raise awareness for issues of social justice. “It is one of the perks of the job,” she said. “I am working with an abortion rights charity and on women’s sexual health rights. Abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland and that is something we feel quite passionate about.”

Co-star Nicola Coughlan, who appears as Clare Devlin, agreed. The group were really involved with the Repeal the Eight campaign, she said, which was “an important time for Irish women – and it is still a situation in Northern Ireland”. She also felt a responsibility to champion LGBTQ charities after playing a gay character.

Louisa Harland, Orla McCool in the show, backed her up. “It is still illegal in the North to get married if you are gay. It is legal in the UK which they are part of, and it is legal in the Republic, as is abortion now. So we feel strongly about the North being recognised.

She added: “Nicola’s character Clare wouldn’t be able to get married today. That is ridiculous.”

And mental health is close to the hearts of O’Donnell and Dylan Llewellyn (who plays James Maguire). “Dealing with suicide in young people is quite close to home for me,” Llewellyn explained, adding that he wants to encourage people to address it and be made to feel comfortable expressing themselves.

O’Donnell said: “Mental health is a big issue in Derry and Northern Ireland, especially men’s mental health and suicide awareness.

“I grew up in a town where things like that and substance abuse were quite bad and still are. So I am always happy to help out if I can by using my face from acting, lending my voice. It has affected me personally and probably everyone I know in Derry.” [ . . . ]

Full Story at THE BIG ISSUE: ‘I’ve relished it’: The Derry Girls talk about their platform for change

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‘Fleabag’ to Air on IFC: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Comedy Gets First American TV Run

The Amazon Prime import finally gets a linear run.

Have you still not seen Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed cult comedy Fleabag but maintain a moral opposition to shelling out $12.99 a month to Jeff Bezos for Amazon Prime? Well, you’re in luck. The import comedy is finally heading to traditional American TV.

IFC announced Thursday that the first season of the acclaimed serial, based on Waller-Bridge’s stage play of the same name, is getting its first stateside linear run over the holidays. The six-part first season premieres Wednesday, Dec. 26, starting at 11 p.m. Episodes will repeat in late night.

The series was nominated for a Critics Choice Award and won Waller-Bridge a BAFTA for her performance in the lead role. Oscar frontrunner Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) also stars.

Source: ‘Fleabag’ to Air on IFC: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Comedy Gets First American TV Run | Hollywood Reporter

Graham Coxon talks ‘The End of the F***ing World’ soundtrack

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon speaks to NME about his work on the soundtrack of hit Netflix and Channel 4 show ‘The End of the F***ing World’

Netflix dark comedy The End Of The F***ing World has been this year’s massive breakthrough hit, featuring the most loveable teen misanthropes since Richard Ayoade’s Submarine. Just like Alex Turner’s memorable score for that 2010 film, Graham Coxon has delivered a soundtrack for End Of The F***ing World that delves into the show’s very core: at times angsty, other moments carefree and all the while bewitching.

With Coxon recently releasing the soundtrack digitally (a vinyl release is scheduled for March), he spoke to NME about working on the score, plus upcoming solo material and – of course.

Did you ever think the show would become such a hit?

“I had no idea. I know why I like it but I like all kind of things that no one else likes. It’s not something you can always judge subjectively. People can get obsessed with that kind of stuff and identify with the characters. Obviously I’m not a teenager, it’s not like I can identify so much with the characters but I remember when I was a teenager being the same.

“There’s the characters themselves, for me when I first watched them, they weren’t really likeable. Like there is this ungrateful, gobby girl and then there is this really weird boy who speaks in a detached way. But of course people do identify with it, that’s what is good about it. After series one I liked the characters more, and that inspired me more and more. They got a lot nicer and funnier and the boy went less weird. Characters go through a gradual change which you hardly notice. You suddenly think ‘I really like those people’. So it’s more and more exciting.” [ . . . ]

Continue at: Graham Coxon talks ‘The End of the F***ing World’ soundtrack, solo music and Blur – NME