Northern Ireland

Saoirse-Monica Jackson: I got ‘sacked’ from door-to-door sales job on the day I was offered Derry Girls’ part

Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin in Derry Girls, whose fictional diary is the basis for Lisa McGee's new book
Saoirse-Monica Jackson as Erin in Derry Girls.

Derry Girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson says she would “love” to make a Derry Girls film and is delighted with the success of her co-stars.

Speaking to Dish podcast hosts Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett, the Derry actor said her dream job would be to to play Debbie Harry from Blondie in a film.

Saoirse-Monica revealed she was let go from one job on the same day she won the part of Erin Quinn in Derry Girls which was a hit for Channel 4.

There has been speculation about a film version of the TV show which ran for three series and Saoirse-Monica is in favour.

“I think that would be great. It’s so brilliant to see what everybody else went on to do after it.

“It also might be more interesting to revisit these characters at a later date,” she added, leaving the door open for a reunion down the road.

Saoirse-Monica reflected on the extraordinary experience of landing the role straight out of drama school.

“I did like other odd wee bits of telly and I started doing theatre and stuff like that. I was plodding along still doing other jobs. At the time, I was selling door-to-door, which was commission-based and I didn’t make a penny,” she revealed.

“I ended up getting sacked from it. And then I got an email for Derry Girls on the same day. So it felt like all very full circle,” she said.

On the same day she lost her sales job, a friendly Irish builder overheard her crying on the phone and offered her work at his construction site. She accepted and started work that very day.

“I was having the time of my life and then I came out of the building site and looked at my phone and I had an email that was like, ‘There’s an audition for this thing called Derry Girls.’ I was like, ‘What a day. I’ve been up since 6am and I’m on my third job’.”

She credits much of her success to writer Lisa McGee.

“One of the best things that’s ever happened to me is meeting Lisa McGee. That there’s sort of this amazing example of this woman from my hometown that we can all look up to. It made such a huge impression on me.” she said.

As for dream roles, Saoirse-Monica confessed she has always wanted to play Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry on film.

“Do you know what’s a nightmare with me, with biopics? It’s my nose. I’ve never met anybody that’s not in my gene pool that doesn’t have this nose,” she laughed.

Since the podcast is centered around food, when asked about ice creams, she reminisced about childhood trips to Derry ice cream parlour Florentini’s with her grandparents.

“If I got 10 out of 10 on my spelling test, my grandparents would take me home for knickerbocker glory. And I would love it. Lovely, wholesome memories.”

She also mentioned her upcoming projects, including roles in the period drama The Decameron on Netflix, which is set during the Black Plague, and the Paramount+ period thriller The Doll Factory.