Siobhán McSweeney: Playing Sister Michael has been 'a deeply sensual experience'

The Cork actress said when viewers watch tonight's special episode they'll realise why the show has reached its conclusion 
Siobhán McSweeney: Playing Sister Michael has been 'a deeply sensual experience'

Siobhán McSweeney says Sister Michael is the best character she has ever played. Picture: Peter Marley

Siobhán McSweeney has said Sr Michael is the best character she has ever had the privilege to play - and the sexiest one too.

The Cork actress was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour today ahead of the final episode of the Channel 4 show tonight. 

"Playing somebody who is so herself and has no filter and is so confident in herself and in her way in the world is a deeply sensual experience," she said. 

"I'm immensely grateful to Sr Michael and to all her oddness," she added.

McSweeney, who plays the iconic Derry Girls nun, said tonight's hour-long special is "the end of an era" and the end of something "very beautiful, powerful and moving."

Siobhán McSweeney. Picture: Moya Nolan
Siobhán McSweeney. Picture: Moya Nolan

Asked why she thinks Derry Girls has been so successful, she said she believes there are a couple of reasons.

"First and foremost is the quality of the writing and the quality of the jokes. It's extraordinarily done. 

"Secondly, I have learned that the more specific and authentic an experience the more universally, it can be enjoyed.

"I think there was an audience waiting for Derry Girls," she said.

There was an audience waiting for a comedy with deep heart, deep intellect and deep authenticity about a population that's neglected.

The Aherla actress also praised the show for giving girls "comedic role models" to aspire to.

"We never got to play the main eejit in our own lives," she said, "we were the satellite to the eejit." 

"With Derry Girls, the gang of girls, and I include of course the wee English fella always in that, they get to be the main eejits in their own lives."

"There was an audience waiting for it. There was an audience waiting to see women be silly, be stupid, be centre of their own lives."

Father Peter (Peter Campion) and Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney)
Father Peter (Peter Campion) and Sister Michael (Siobhán McSweeney)

Ahead of the hour-long special tonight which will take place against the backdrop of the Good Friday Agreement, McSweeney said viewers will understand when they watch tonight's episode why the show is coming to an end now. 

"We're done now," she said. 

"What's next for [Sister Michael]? I don't know but I wish her well whatever she gets up to," she finished.

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