Sister Act


Nora Jane as Aoife Stacey in TV3's Deception


By David Hennessy

Nora-Jane Noone will be familiar to many from her lead role in Peter Mullan’s hard hitting study of institutional abuse, The Magdalene Sisters in 2002. She won plaudits for her performance as Bernadette alongside Anne-Marie Duff’s Margaret. What made the teenage actress’ performance even more impressive was that it was just her first screen role. 

The Magdalene Sisters earned widespread critical acclaim with its director taking the Golden Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival. Did Nora-Jane feel a little pressure following her first screen role making such an impact? “It was a shock how big it was when it came out. I was 17 so I didn’t know how realistic it would be to pursue an acting career and I think once that had happened, I then had to do my learning so for me it was backwards: that happened and I started doing as many things as I possibly could to try out different characters and work out different ways of working and training myself up in the meantime, that’s the journey I was on after that.”

Mullan, the star of Channel 4’s brilliant, recently-screened The Fear, also starred in Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur. How was the award winning director to work with? “He was amazing, he was great and I guess, because I was so raw and didn’t have training, he was so amazing at guiding us through every scene. Obviously because he’s an amazing actor himself, he knew what was needed and that was amazing. He was very patient, very supporting. He just seemed very solid and very calm about the whole thing. He didn’t really talk about that. I think he was so involved in the project, it meant so much to him.”

Since then she has gone on to claim roles in Coronation Street and British horror film, The Descent. Nora-Jane can currently be seen in TV3’s Deception. Set on a ghost estate, the drama is a stark portrait of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and allowed the London based actress from Newcastle, Galway to return to her home county: “It was lovely, it was really nice. We were out in the Connemara Coast Hotel which is beautiful. I could only see the first episode myself so I haven’t been able to follow it as it goes but from what I’ve heard speaking to the producer and all that, the viewings were good for the first episode so hopefully that continues.”

Deception is TV3’s first original drama, is Nora- Jane proud to be a part of it? “Yeah, I guess that’s part of the excitement signing up to it in the first place. Obviously, everybody’s been hit by it (crumbling of the Celtic Tiger economy) so it kind of shows how difficult it is from many different points of view. Obviously you’ve got the main family but I think it’s good to show that broad view.”

We will soon see Nora-Jane share the screen with another member of the Trainspotting cast as she stars in January with James Cosmo: “He’s great, a lovely man. It was amazing, he’s got such a presence. Everyone was lovely on it so it was a great experience. It was a great, kind of an ensemble feature film with six of us in the cast and filmed near Durham in a stately home which was very fun. It’s basically about a young woman who comes home, she’s been in an accident and she can’t remember her past so she’s coming home to her family who are all strangers to her and she’s just realising who she is and where she comes from.”


To read more see the print edition of the Irish World



Sign in or create your account to join the discussion

Register now to keep up to date with all the latest:

  • Irish News
  • Sport
  • Community and Entertainment

Sign up to our Newsletter to be in with a chance to win a snazzy iPad and for all the latest...

  • Email updates
  • Regular features
  • Competitions and give aways