The shape I'm in: Ann Skelly, actress

Ann Skelly knew from a young age that formal education wasn’t for her. 

Acting is known as a stop-start profession with no guarantee of when the next job will come along. 

But Red Rock’s Ann Skelly, who plays the role of teenager Rachel Reid in the TV3 drama series, hasn’t stopped working since she started three years ago.

“I’m very lucky,” says the 20-year-old, adding it was a career path she always knew she would follow. 

One of her earliest memories of being on stage was when she appeared in a school nativity play. 

“I had the interesting role of the cranky innkeeper. I was aged six or seven.”

She also knew from a young age that formal education wasn’t for her. 

“I didn’t like school — I always liked learning on my own. I found school got in the way of your own kind of learning.”

After third year she took a year out and home schooled herself. During this time her parents — both artists — decided to take Ann and her younger brother on a road trip across Europe in a van-turned-campervan.

Though there were a few hair-raising moments on mountainous hairpin bends — “I just closed my eyes”— she loved every minute.

“We travelled through France and the length of Italy. I really enjoyed it. My family are all best friends.”

* Ann is an ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s One in 1,000 campaign which aims to recruit one thousand women to take part in the VHI Women’s Mini-marathon on June 5. 

Sign up to support Cystic Fibrosis Ireland before April 28 by telephone on LoCall 1890 311 211, by email at fundraising@cfireland.ie, or by visiting www.onein1000.ie

What shape are you in?

All right — I’ve been going to the gym to try and train for the mini marathon that’s coming up in June. I’m hoping to jog throughout but, of course, if I’m not in that kind of shape then I’ll just walk some of it. 

I’m actually more fit than I thought I was because I hadn’t exercised properly for a while. I try to go to the gym three times a week in the evening. I just run and do some free weights.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

I’m vegetarian — I think that helps. I don’t eat takeaways or processed foods. I never ate meat — I didn’t really like it. My family were never big meat eaters. Now we are all vegetarian.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

Watching Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone tells you to watch it, so I tried to rebel as long as possible. But now I just binge watch it all the time.

What would keep you awake at night?

Thinking about what I have to do the next morning or having to get up early.

How do you relax?

I find the jogging surprisingly relaxing, it takes your mind off things. Or something mundane like washing the dishes.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Al Pacino, George Harrison, Stevie Nix, Yoko Ono. I only like the 70’s stars — I got that from my parents.

What actors do you most admire?

I love Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux.

What’s your favourite smell?

Caramel — it’s really warm — and the sea.

What would you like to change about your appearance?

I’d love to have mad curly hair.

When is the last time you cried?

Probably yesterday. I cry for all emotions — happy, sad, everything. I’ve aqueducts for eyes.

What traits do you least like in others?

When people look at their phones when I’m talking to them. I feel like I’m in the series Black Mirror.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

I’m really impatient. I hate waiting around. I’m an actor and I have to wait around a lot. You always have to read — you have to fill your brain.

Do you pray?

No, I don’t.

What would cheer up your day?

Any nice food. I always bring snacks with me wherever I go. My favourite is Fruit Winders.


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