Ten minutes with... Amy McAllister

Ten minutes with... Amy McAllister

AMY McAllister is an award-winning Dublin poet who lives in London. She has been poet-in-residence for Transport for London and at Bang Said the Gun and has had her poetry published in Rhyming Thunder and the South Bank Poetry Magazine to name a few.

She is also a successful actress whose credits include the Oscar-nominated movie Philomena, Call the Midwife, Holby City, and the ITV mini-series The Great Fire. We dragged her away from a film project for 10 minutes...

What are you up to right now?

Digesting mainly...

Who are your heroes?

Pretty much anyone who has ever made it without leaning on their parents or their looks.

What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?

I guess my twenties are going pretty well, but age 0-10 was pretty cool too. I spent my childhood dressed as Michael Jackson, grabbing my crotch and shouting ‘Shamone!’ Bizarrely, I wasn’t bullied.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

Portmarnock Beach. Even though there are tampons buried in the sand...

What makes you angry?

The fact that there are tampons buried in the sand at my favourite place in Ireland.

What book influenced you most?

I’m easily influenced, generally. But The Elegance of the Hedgehog was the first book I ever hugged.

What was the worst moment of your life?

Utterly unmentionable.

Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?

My friend Louise Rooney.  She is a nurse at Tallaght Hospital and works through the night to care for elderly patients: the true definition of a superstar. I don’t see why actors, singers, and reality TV personalities should be getting all the credit and all the free stuff. What about all those people with real jobs!

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

That’s an easy one, but honestly the answer is private. If I could change two things though, the second one would be to have skin that doesn’t burn. I’d never, ever come indoors, and I could retire to Rio.

Can you recommend an interesting website?

Google is pretty versatile. Is Google a website?

What is the best lesson life has taught you?

I bunked off life’s lessons. I’m paying for it now.

What is your favourite film and why?

American Beauty. Dance plastic bag, dance!

What do you believe in?

People. And being really, really earnest evidentially.

What trait do others criticise you for?

If this was a job interview, I would have to say for my perfectionism. But really, I can be a bit particular sometimes, especially when it comes to work. Not so much with my poetry stuff, but with acting.

Where do you live and what are the best and worst things about that place?

I live in Dalston. The best thing is Ridley Road Market. The worst thing is that Ridley Road Market will probably be turned into a bunch of unaffordable studio apartments very soon so that they can finally get rid of the last few remaining actual humans living in the area.

What do you consider the greatest work of art?


What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Feck guilt! My pleasure is anything chocolatey. Special mention goes to all the desserts at Vantra on Oxford Street. Now they really are guilt-free, just so you know. Oh my god...plan hatching. I praise Vantra. In print. I present Vantra with aforementioned printed praise. Vantra give me free desserts for life!

Who is the love of your life?

Seriously? No chance mate.