Ten minutes with… Actress Clare Dunne

Ten minutes with… Actress Clare Dunne

Actress Clare Dunne was born in Dublin. She trained in Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She has written a one woman show, played theatre roles including Barbara in Major Barbara at The Abbey Theatre and  worked in the National Theatre alongside the likes of Sinead Cusack and Ciaran Hinds. She lives between London, Dublin and New York but hopes to settle in Ireland to be near her five sisters and five nieces and nephews.

What are you up to right now?

I’ve just finished playing the role of Prince Hal in an all-female production of Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse directed by Phyllida Lloyd of Iron Lady and Mamma Mia fame.

Who is your hero?

John Lennon.

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

Well I can only really say my 20s as I’m still there and I’d say they are the best because I travelled the world, became an actor and these years are easier than being a teenager definitely!

What record/song sends a shiver down your spine?

I love the first few bars of Come Together by the Beatles….with the right sound system it literally makes the hair stand on the back of your neck. And Florence and The Machine Shake it Out always gets me going.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

It’s mad, but the canal right at Portobello Bridge. I used to love seeing the sun going down over Dublin from the top of the bus every day coming home from college right at that same spot, and then I got to live right there this summer.  It was bliss.

What makes you angry?

Injustice and people thinking they are above someone else in any form. We are all the same.

What book influenced you most?

Other People’s Shoes by Harriet Walter — it made me think I could be an actor. And then she played my dad in Henry IV.

What was the worst moment of your life?

My granny passing away was tough. She brought me on my first trip to the theatre and we were very close.

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

Dominic Stevens — an architect and maybe the man with the answer to our housing problems.

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

To not overthink anything. Which I had to over think about in order to answer this question.

Can you recommend an interesting website?

Who doesn’t like Ted.com for the TED talks? But also because I am writing at the moment I’ve looked at a few articles on this www.brainpickings.org, which is cool.

What is the best lesson life has taught you?

That you can really do anything you put your mind to. And if you feel fear — it’s probably because that is your next leap of faith. Do it!

What is your favourite film and why?

The Snapper. It still makes me wet myself laughing. And Patrick’s Day (which was released last year) by Terry McMahon is stunning.

What do you believe in?

I believe in good mates, family and that laughing cures everything.

What trait do others criticise you for?

Worrying and overthinking things when really it’s not worth the hassle.

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

I live in Southwark. The best thing is I live with the legend actress Dearbhla Molloy. The worst? Well, I have a single bed and I would like a double as I am a lanky gal.

On what occasion is it OK to lie?

When it’s to save hurting someone’s feelings and it’s not a huge deep dramatic secret.

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

That’s too hard! I cried when I saw Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in Rome. But I do love looking at the Caravaggio in the National Irish Museum. I looked at it every day I played the role of Major Barbara.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Dark chocolate covered almonds, from Trader Joes in New York. I could eat a thousand of them.

Who is the love of your life?

My parents and my five sisters.