Bborn in Dublin, Dervla Kirwan, 52, starred in her first television series at 15. From 1993, she starred in three series of Goodnight Sweetheart, and in 1996 she began appearing in the drama series Ballykissangel and was named Most Popular Actress at the Academy Awards. National Television Awards. She won the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards in 2010 for Ondine and in 2021 for Smother. Her stage roles include Lady Macbeth at the Chichester Festival Theater in 2019. She is starring in Dear England at the Prince Edward Theatre, London until 13 January 2024. She is married to Rupert Penry-Jones, has two children and lives in Hampshire.
When were you happiest?
A few weeks ago I was walking on the beach in Anglesey with my dogs and my husband.
What is your biggest fear?
Ironically, it involves talking to hundreds of people in a room.
What trait do you deplore most about yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Recently I sent a negative text about someone to this person.
Describe yourself in three words
Warm, intelligent, accommodating.
What would be your super power?
To heal people.
What does love look like?
What scares you about getting old?
Pain and loneliness.
What is the worst job you have do?
About five years ago, I was in a room that was an absolute disaster. I had to rally the troops and go out every night.
What makes you unhappy?
The tendency of human nature towards chaos, destruction and violence.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
What is your most unpleasant habit?
Allowing fear to keep me from having fun.
What book are you ashamed of not having read?
I never survived Ulysses.
What did you want to do when you grew up?
A medical examiner.
What is the worst thing you can do told you?
That I’m a bad actor.
Who would you most like to apologize to, and why?
My younger self, because I was very, very hard on myself.
What words or expressions do you overuse the most?
Fundamentally and effectively.
When was the last time you cried and why?
At my mother’s funeral last year.
How often do you have sex?
What would you like to leave to your children?
What thing could improve the quality of your life?
A little more self-confidence.
Would you rather have more sex, money or fame?
I’m pretty happy with what I have.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a decent human being.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Know yourself, as Shakespeare said.
Tell us a secret
I believe in ghosts.