Five minutes with... Daisy Edgar-Jones

Georgia Humphreys chats to Daisy Edgar-Jones about the TV adaptation of Normal People.
Five minutes with... Daisy Edgar-Jones

Georgia Humphreys chats to Daisy Edgar-Jones about the TV adaptation of Normal People.

What do you think Normal People is about?

It’s about being a human being and growing up from the age of 17 to 22; those years in your life are so massive.

At 18, I thought I knew it all and people would say how I would feel different when I’m 21.

The book is so beautifully written in so many tiny moments that at the time feel so insignificant, but can change the course of your life.

In the series, Connell says something along the lines of how “the smallest thing can change everything” and that’s what the book is about — being a young person.

Why do Marianne and Connell have such a hold on each other?

Probably familiarity. At times they are toxic and don’t communicate.

But when they do, they speak to each other in a way that they can’t speak to anyone else and it’s rare to find those people.

They also really fancy each other!

How is life in Dublin different from Sligo for Marianne?

For Marianne, it’s a massive difference.

In Sligo, she’s a loner, an introvert, she’s very much her own person. She sees the social ladder as something she isn’t a part of.

When she goes to Trinity, everything that made her unique and stand out in the wrong way in Sligo makes her interesting, and people are drawn to her because she has confidence — she doesn’t care about being part of social structures.

But we slowly realise at Trinity that she’s still very much alone among other people until Connell comes along.

She still has the same anxiety and lack of self-love.

How was working with Sally Rooney?

Sally was amazing. I don’t know how she does it. She has this amazing story and trusted us to deal with it.

Meeting her at the read-through was so cool. She said we were making our own version of the story.

Sally works so well with [directors] Lenny [Abrahamson] and Hettie [Macdonald].

I listen to a lot of her podcasts as her accent was something I wanted to try to feed into Marianne.

She’s from Mayo and Marianne is from Sligo but slightly posher and more anglicised version, which is what Lenny said, so I was trying to get her accent in there.

And how was filming in an Irish accent?

My dad’s Scottish and my mum’s from Northern Ireland so I’ve always had accents in my house.

My mum and I always speak in accents with each other — and everyone always asks me where I’m from!

So, I’ve always been tuned into accents.

It’s kind of like singing, once you know the tune and the rhythm of it.

I also had a brilliant accent coach who helped me, and I listened to Paul [who’s Irish] speaking, which really helped.

Normal People starts on BBC One on Monday and RTÉ on Tuesday.

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