We caught up with Irish actor Elva Trill to find out how she enjoys her TV time…
Elva, before you sat down to answer these questions, what were you doing?
I am doing an assignment on the role of the brain in cognitive psychology for looming a deadline, so having a great laugh – not. It is very interesting but deadlines are the worst.
You’re appearing in Northern Lights on TG4, give us a teaser for it?
It’s a truly heartfelt story of loss, grief and resilience, beautifully written by and starring Stephen Jones. There are lighter moments too as there always are in Irish tragedies, it’s our humour that gets us through, I think. We had some great laughs in between scenes because of the tension of the storyline at times. Stephen does a great Eric Bana “Chopper “impression that would have us all in fits laughing.
We’ll be watching you on that, but what will you be watching yourself?
I’m watching the Robbie Williams documentary on Netflix. I’m a huge fan of his. It’s a really cool concept for a documentary too because he’s watching footage of himself that he has never seen before while he’s chilling in his bed giving us the commentary on it.
What’s been the best thing you’ve watched recently, be it stage production, TV show or movie?
I absolutely love Succession. It is one of the best shows ever made. I had the pleasure of working with Matthew MacFadyen on Ripper Street. The timing and delivery of his lines makes Tom Wambsgans one of the most wonderfully weird and hilarious characters I have ever seen on TV.
A series that has left a lasting impact on you?
The Handmaid’s Tale, if you haven’t yet seen it, is a dystopian tale of women being totally subservient to men in power. The author of the book took inspiration from historical events and the series just doesn’t let up. It keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is energising and frightening in equal measure.
A movie you won’t ever forget?
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster” Goodfellas is my favourite movie of all time. I have happy memories watching it and it never fails to surprise me with details I have missed every other time I’ve seen it. It’s such a rich tapestry of performances from De Niro, Liotta and Pesci. It’s the blueprint for every gangster movie since and the wisecracks are hilarious.
What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about your career?
My favourite thing is the storytelling aspect. Growing up in the west of Ireland I got to see how honoured the tradition of telling a good joke or story is in our culture. Whether it’s in a pub via a sing-song or someone trying to keep some levity at a funeral, people gather and enjoy the ‘seanchaí’ confidence and tale weaving.
My least favourite is the same answer probably every actor gives when trying to get established, it’s the uncertainty of it, getting good roles be a drawn-out process of several auditions and once you are successful and it’s complete, it’s a case of rinse and repeat.
What’s been the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Nerves are actually a good thing. They can really help you be present, and the camera likes that. Some of the calmer days on set sometimes don’t yield the same energy when you look back at the footage.
Best script you’ve ever read?
Northern Lights, it’s a beautiful heart-felt story so well-written by Stephen Jones. I loved the role of Aine from first reading it, she has so much depth and fire and vulnerability, a complex role that I was blessed to play.
How do you know when a character is right for you?
It isn’t so much about the role being right as it is being up for the challenge of doing justice to the role, whatever it might be. It’s taking the role and making it the best it can be or at least the best interpretation of it you can do.
What’s your personal dream role?
I would love to work with David Fincher. His characters are always so interesting. To play an ethereal role similar to Cate Blanchett’s in Lord of the Rings would also be cool to do- something fantastical with incredible costumes and sets. Favourite festive movie of all time? If I even hear the opening scene music of Home Alone, I drop what I’m doing and run in to watch it.
What do you watch on the telly on Christmas day?
Cat on a Hot Tine Roof is a big contender or Casablanca.
What’s your favourite snack to eat while watching TV/movie?
Snowballs!! You know the chocolate and coconut-covered marshmallow treats? But they have to be the ones with the gooey marshmallow. At Christmas, they last about four minutes in my house. A close second is brandy liquor chocolates or any alcoholic chocolate to be fair!