Actress Jo Donnelly on Mary J Blige, Philip Pullman and snooker legend Steve Davis

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, actress Jo Donnelly

Belfast actress Jo Donnelly who is currently filming Grace and Goliath, the new Cinemagic feature film, which will be released in early 2018

1. When did you think about acting as a career and what were your first steps into it?

I was four years old and I was introduced to a love of Shakespeare and poetry by a wonderful woman called Mae McCartney. I was then involved in the Rainbow Factory School of Performing Arts before training at the Royal Academy of Art.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Neil Diamond in New York, The Songbirds at the Empire and Mary J Blige at the 02 Academy, Brixton. I danced so much that night I couldn't walk for two day.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Miss Cherrie Ontop, the singing drag queen and the Songbirds.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon.

5. And the book?

Grimm's Fairy Tales. I have fond memories of them from my childhood.

6. Top three films?

Boondock Saints, Life is Beautiful, The Ladykillers.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

Boondock Saints. It's so good, it's bad. The accents were terrible, though I have to admit I loved Billy Connolly's performance.

8. Favourite authors?

Robyn Hobb and Philip Pullman. I'm an avid reader and would rather read than watch television. Richard Coxford was directing me in a show and leant me some Philip Pullman books. I read three in the space of two days.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Tennis and snooker. I used to have a massive crush on Steve Davis.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Thailand – I went back packing there for my 40th birthday. It's one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

11. Pet hate?


12. What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Steak and homemade chips.

Dessert? Pavlova.

Drink? Rioja.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

Kellyanne Harvey. She is my big sister so I've known her all my life.

14. Is there a God?


:: Jo Donnelly is currently starring in Graham Linehan's adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy Ladykillers at Belfast's Lyric Theatre, until July 8 ( She is also currently filming Grace and Goliath, the new Cinemagic feature film, which will be released in early 2018.


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