- Film & TV
- 22 Nov 21
"I will never not be in the mood for chipper chips." So says our latest Mad Hatter – Ridley Road star Agnes O'Casey. Read her full Q&A below.
Agnes O’Casey is the stage name of Agnes Eustacia Kenig. She is the great-grand-daughter of the legendary Irish playwright, Sean O’Casey. Born and raised in London, in the UK, she came to Dublin to study theatre at the Lir Academy, founded by Danielle Ryan. Her first major starring role was as Vivien Epstein in the successful BBC One drama Ridley Road, written by Sarah Solemani and directed by Lisa Mulcahy, which premiered on 3 October 2021. Agnes played Lily in the Druid Theatre Company’s production of The Seagull, by Thomas Kilroy (after Anton Checkov). She also starred in the video for ‘Holy Show’, the single released by rising all-female Dublin alternative rock outfit, The Pillow Queens. Among Agnes O'Casey's upcoming film parts is the starring role as Sarah in Longbourne, the cinematic adaptation of Jo Baker’s re-telling of the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants.
Who would be the last person you would invite to your birthday party?
Cate Blanchett – I’d just spend the evening trying to impress her and I’d have no fun.
Who would be the first person you would invite to your birthday party?
Cate Blanchett, on the off-chance she might love me and we could be BFFs.
Live, laugh, love: that’s saved me so many times.
Neil Young – After The Gold Rush.
The First Bad Man – Miranda July.
The Princess Bride.
Sally Rooney and Neil Gaiman.
Michaela Coel just blew my mind in I May Destroy You. I am in awe of her. That performance and show meant so much to so many women. We should never stop singing her praises. Also, all best mates and everyone from my year at drama school. I miss seeing their improvisations so much. Covid got rid of our last plays together and I’m grieving.
Kate Bush or Dolly Parton. I also love boygenius and all of the band members’ solo work.
Most embarrassing moment of your life?
When I was 15, I went to a party I wasn’t invited to because I wanted to kiss a boy who was there, and when I walked in, everyone went quiet. I wanted to do a 180, but I’d committed by that point – and my mum had driven off.
Chipper chips. I will never not be in the mood for chipper chips.
I’ve seen The Thick Of It about six times. It comforts me when I’m feeling homesick. I don’t know what that says about my home – make of that what you will.
Favourite TV personality?
Deborah Francis-White. Her podcast The Guilty Feminist raised me.
Favourite item of clothing?
Levi jeans or anything with a massive Peter Pan collar on it. I just can’t stop buying both of those things.
Most desirable date?
Drinks at Blackbird in Dublin. There isn’t a person in their twenties living in Dublin who hasn’t had a first date there.
Favourite method of relaxation?
A bath. I could have two baths a day if I didn’t feel guilty about water waste.
If you weren’t pursuing your present career, what other career might you have chosen?
I’d have been a really, really bad painter.
Being complimented. I live for validation.
Not getting into drama school three years in a row. By the end, I was like, ‘Please let me in, I promise I’ll be alright'.
Your concept of heaven?
Having a bath and nothing on my to-do list.
Your concept of hell?
An older man deciding to debate #MeToo with me.
What would be your dying words?
That was so nice.
I want to act until I die, and during that time, to have worked with Taika Waititi and Jane Campion. I’d like for me and Emily Blunt to play sisters at some point too, please.
Period of history you’d most like to have lived in and why?
I’d like to have been a musician in the ‘70s, and part of Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt’s gang.
If you weren’t a human being, which animal would you have chosen to be?
I would love to be part of a penguin huddle. I was assigned a penguin for animal studies at drama school and I felt very seen.
If you were told that the world was ending tomorrow morning, how would you react/what would you do?
I’d run to my family and tell them how much I love them, and then make them all come on a sea swim with me.
Your nominee for the world’s best-dressed person?
My mum. She’s got a job working in a shop and she has become so glam!
Favourite term of abuse?
'Fuck', it’s so versatile. But also got to give “Arse Wipe” an honourable mention – it’s a bit of a family favourite.
Being in trouble or people being cross at me. Pathetic but true. I am a huge teacher’s pet.
Humanity’s most useful invention?
The WhatsApp voice note.
Humanity’s most useless invention?
The beauty industry. Not saying I’m above it, we are all in its clutches, but my god what a waste of energy.
• Agnes O’Casey stars in BBC1’s Ridley Road, out now.
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