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jessie buckley

Ahead of her appearance on tonight's Late Late, here's everything you should know about Jessie Buckley

The actress from Killarney who even Keira Knightley is obsessed with.

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THERE’S NO DOUBT that there are plenty of very talented Irish women on our screens at the moment. We’ve got Seana Kerslake, Saoirse Ronan and Ruth Negga out there doing us proud, and in recent months, you’ve probably been hearing plenty of buzz about a 29-year-old actor from Killarney named Jessie Buckley. 

Brought up by a vocal coach, it was fairly likely that Jessie was going to end up in the spotlight one way or another, and during her secondary school career she took on a couple of male roles in her convent school’s musical productions. In 2008, she took part in the talent show I’d Do Anything, which was presented by Graham Norton and judged by celebs like Andrew Lloyd Webber, Denise Van Outen and John Barrowman (to name a few). The show sought a new lead to play Nancy in a London West End revival of the musical Oliver.

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Jessie made it to the final, but finished in second place. Jessie’s career in acting really began to take off after this. A couple of months later she performed at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Birthday in the Park in Hyde Park, before she joined Aoife Mulholland to perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in the National Concert Hall at a night dedicated to Lloyd Webber. 

Jessie’s career remained in theatre for a number of years, and the young woman performed in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and in London’s West End, and even worked alongside Jude Law. No big deal. 

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In 2016, Jessie’s future as a screen actor began to unfold, when she took a role in BBC’s War & Peace. In the years since, the 29-year-old has worked on a number of other TV series, including Taboo, The Last Post, and The Woman in White.

Then, Jessie starred in Beast, the 2018 film that received some very impressive reviews. With a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, Beast had Jessie hailed as a ‘gripping’ newcomer by Empire, and a ‘riveting’ actress by The New York Times. She has come a long way since her days in I’d Do Anything, and her potential seems endless. 

Rapid Trailer / YouTube

The last time she checked in with The Late Late Show was in April 2018, when she mortified her younger sisters in the audience during the promotion for her film Wild Rose. 

The Late Late Show / YouTube

In the coming years, Jessie’s all booked out, working on a mini series about the Chernobyl disaster, a Judy Garland biopic and the 2020 movie Misbehaviour in which she works with Keira Knightley and Suki Waterhouse to tell the story of the 1970s Miss World competition which was interrupted by Women’s Liberation protesters. Very recently, Keira Knightley told RTÉ that she’s a huuuge fan of Jessie:

She’s great! I love Jessie! She was fabulous, I loved working with her.  We share an agent so I know a lot of people who absolutely adore Jessie. I have to say I’m one of them and I can’t wait to see Wild Rose. 

So, if you weren’t excited enough for tonight’s Late Late Show due to the presence of the Derry Girls, you definitely won’t want to miss Ryan’s chat with one of the nation’s favourite Kerry girls. Sorry, we are cringing at that as much as you are, but still could not resist. 

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