Radio review: Bronagh Taggart on catching the acting bug

Nuala McCann

The Honest Actors' Podcast Episode 10

Actors are always not themselves ... they try on another personality, forever they wear a mask.

In this disturbingly honest podcast, we see them as they really are with the backpack of insecurities that come with the job.

This was refreshingly local – Jonathan Harden chatting to Bronagh Taggart about how she caught the acting bug.

She is known for Gail McNally in The Fall or Best: His Mother's Son? She has also made a name as a writer.

“I don't want to do this and you made me do it,” she mutters at the beginning of the chat.

As an actor, she says she's “never comfortable” talking about herself.

She was four when she first caught the acting bug... fast forward a few years and she's starring as Madonna in her own living room as Top of the Pops blares or pretending to be a cat after her mum took her to a show and a particular performance became emblazoned on her mind.

Hers was never a family of thespians.. “This one is into acting... we don't know where we got her from,” her parents would say.

But when she said she wanted to be an actor, they did what people in Northern Ireland in the 1980s did... they got out the Yellow Pages and looked for anything to do with drama.

It was a journey of highs and lows – the early highs were being in the drama department at St Louise's. Bronagh was a “brown bomber”.

Getting work straight out of university was enervating, but there were times of unemployment too and the reality hit hard.

At 18, she thought there would be non-stop work that it would just flow that way, she admitted.

“Like an undertaker,” Harden joked.

She's no quitter.

Acting is in her blood.

“It's what we want to do ... if it's providing us with moments of fulfilment and joy and achievement... why not? I'll take that. That's a good life,” she said. “Who wants normal?”

Her advice to her younger self was to take more risks, just do it.

I love the relaxed nature of this podcast, the honesty and the humour.

There was a real sense of chemistry. A quick google and it figured... reader, she married him - they're husband and wife.

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