herald

Wednesday 17 October 2018

My mother is mortified after our Late Late appearance – Charlene

HOT PROPERTY: Actress Charlene McKenna is not short of work
HOT PROPERTY: Actress Charlene McKenna is not short of work

She is hot property on the acting scene, both in Ireland and Britain, but Charlene McKenna's parents are mortified.

The 28-year-old Ripper Street star has come along way since appearing in the Monaghan Youth Theatre production of Oklahoma at the age of 11.

With five older brothers, Charlene says her success is still strange for her family, especially for her parents, who were baffled when they appeared on camera during her appearance on the Late Late Show last week.

"Mummy is still mortified, mortified. She is like, 'Oh I can't believe the camera'.

"I think they still get a bit like 'This is mad, just mad, what am I doing here'.

"But they love it and they're proud that I am doing well."

Charlene recently visited her old school to talk to the students and warned them that acting is a fickle business.

 

College

"I have gone back to my school and I have done talks with them, just because it shows that you can bridge the gap from starting there to getting here," Charlene said.

"But it's a lot of luck as well. You can't really go, this is the formula.

"We just go from job to job so you just never know."

After studying religion and music in college in Dublin, Charlene first hit our screens as Jennifer in racy RTE drama Pure Mule in 2005.

A steady stream of success followed and the petite brunette went on to win an IFTA for her portrayal of JoJo in kitchen drama Raw, before landing a part as prostitute Rose in BBC hit Ripper Street.

She also enjoyed a prominent role Channel 4 hit Misfits.

Now based in London, it is a long way from the quiet country pub where she grew up.

Filming on the second series of Ripper Street kicked off in Dublin last Monday, but it will be another two weeks before Charlene joins the cast.

Set in London in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders, Charlene says she loves playing the role of the feisty lady of the night, even if the film contains more gore than she is used to.

The role will keep her busy for the next five months, but she will not be short of work once it finishes up.

"I am filming through to September and I think after that I am going to be doing some theatre in London," Charlene told the Herald.

Speaking about the success of the show she said: "It is amazing; the show is up for Best Drama, so everyone is very excited."

hnews@herald.ie

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