This much I know: Kelly Gough

I never wanted ‘to be’ an actor — I always was one. It just took other people longer to realise it.

This much I know: Kelly Gough

I have never wanted to do anything else. I’ve done other things, but I’ve never wanted to.

I finished school relatively young and went straight into an actor-training programme in Trinity. I always ‘felt’ like an actor and training re-wired my brain and got me ‘thinking’ like an actor.

Raw was a job like any other. I approach any job I do with the same spirit and work-ethic, it creates a sort-of consistency and stability that is hard-won as an actor.

I think I flirted with every state of being growing-up. I’m one of 11 children and an identical twin, both of which made it more difficult to establish myself as an individual.

My earliest memory is walking ‘The Bull Field’ with my Dad and my twin Ciara. We adore(d) him. I have a very distinctive memory of him on a stone wall — the sun is shining, he is brown as a nut and wearing a short-sleeved shirt and grey trousers. I love my parents to pieces, and the older I get the more I appreciate everything they have done and continue to do for me. They both appear in so many of my best memories, not always as the protagonists, but always there. My overwhelming memory of childhood is a feeling of being loved.

I think its easier to find a work/life balance as an actor simply because you feel lucky to have the work. It’s also a much easier equation to balance when you know that inevitably you will have some ‘downtime’ to contend with.

I’m very health conscious. I very rarely drink, don’t smoke and try to eat as healthily as I can. I think that we greatly underestimate the effect our diet has on the quality of our lives, and I make a conscious effort to get as much as I can out of what I consume, be it mentally or physically.

My life lacks consistency and I take it or create it wherever I can. I have to set goals for myself because no one else will — it’s why I love to run. I can always be a bit faster but if I want it I have to work for it.

The best advice I ever received is “Read Thinking Fast, And Slow by Daniel Kahneman”. My sister Ciara told me to. Everyone should read it.

The trait I most admire in people is kindness. It is so simple, so human and so selfless.

I’m too critical of myself, to the point where it has been very destructive at times.

My idea of happiness is living by the sea. It’s that simple and that hard — there are very few theatres by the sea.

My idea of misery is being bed-bound. I love being active — it would test me beyond words.

I think the fact that students learn Irish from age four until age eighteen, but leave school with a tenuous grasp of the language is depressing. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. The system needs to change.

What I most appreciate in my friends is their constancy.

If I could be anyone else it would be Katie Taylor — she kicks literal and metaphorical ass.

If I could change one thing about Irish society, it would be our association with alcohol and our casual acceptance that drinking until we are incapacitated is a good thing.

The Celtic Tiger is dead. She is survived by a barely-weaned Celtic Kitten. The mourning period is over. Let’s focus on getting this thing growing.

My morning run is my favourite time of the day.

Life (and Clementine Paddleford) has taught me to “never grow a wishbone where your backbone outghta be”.

Kelly is nominated for the Actor of the Year Award at the Oireachtas Irish language media awards which will take place in Galway on May 17.

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