Hollywood star Katie McGrath says that she doesn’t ‘play on her Irishness’ and is, in fact, forever being mistaken for being British, despite being born and raised in Ireland.
McGrath has become a highly sought after actress after her turn in the blockbuster of the decade Jurassic World earlier this year.
However, after years of playing British roles in The Tudors, Merlin, The Queen, Dracula and W.E., people she meets in America can’t believe she is Irish.
The star, from Co Wicklow, told the Irish Sun: “It seems to come as a big surprise when I tell them, ‘Nope, not from London, I’m from Wicklow.’ They’re like, ‘Get outta here.’ It happens all the time.
“And I have people asking me, ‘Do you play on your Irishness over in Hollywood? They love the Irish there.’ And while I’m sure it’s an advantage for some actors, it’s never, ever played any part for me.
“I think it’s because in all my work, I usually play British and I live in London. They just presume that’s where I’m from.”
McGrath says she is pleased that she has become a success without being pigeon-holed as an ‘Irish actress’.
She continued: “Maybe it’s worked in my favour, though. Some actors, when they come to LA, find themselves pigeon-holed and put into that box. You know, the wee Irish box and it’s difficult to break away. I haven’t had to contend with that.”
Of course the other side of that coin is that producers and fans in Ireland could be making the same mistake, which could be costing her work in the Irish film industry.
She said: “I’ve never played Irish so I think the same thing is happening with the industry in Ireland too. They think I’m British as well and I’d love to work at home. It’s something I’d always love to do but I’ve never been that lucky.”
Despite the lack of work offers back home, there are exciting times ahead for McGrath. She is scheduled to appear in a US TV series called ‘Slasher’ and the movie ‘Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur’.
However, that particular movie choice might not help to stop her being thought of as British, especially as she is staring alongside Jude Law, Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, and it is directed by Guy Ritchie!