Genevieve O’Reilly: On My Culture Radar

The Dublin-born, London-based actress on the appeal of A Private War, why she admires the work of Lucy Porter and singing along to The Greatest Showman

Genevieve O’Reilly: obsessed with the Bowery Hotel’s butter beans with a seared tuna

Current favourite book

I’ve just finished Milkman by Anna Burns, who won the Booker Prize for it. It’s a fictional piece, but partly based on her childhood in Northern Ireland. It was so witty and funny. I was working on The Ferryman in New York at the time I was reading it, and I found it really helpful that the book was written in a Northern Irish dialect. And I’ve just started Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. I think she’s a brilliant woman. I respect what she’s achieved as a person and also what she and Barack have achieved as a couple, so I’m really excited about reading that.


I loved going to Gemma at The Bowery Hotel while I was in New York – it’s a cool little Italian trattoria at the bottom of the hotel. The staff are cool and it’s very old school. I was obsessed with their butter beans with a seared tuna, it rocked my world. Maybe now I’m in London, I’d also recommend Casita Andina in Soho. It’s Peruvian, so there’s lots of ceviches and pisco sours.

I love watching Sharon Horgan. Her humour is completely rooted to her cerebral wit and earthy writing.


I enjoy Lucy Porter, an English comedian. She did a gig recently called Pass It On, and it's very funny, about what you take from your mother and give to you children. So there's emotional points, but there's also things like bad knees. I love watching Sharon Horgan too. Catastrophe is brilliant. Her humour is completely rooted to her cerebral wit and earthy writing.


While I was in New York, I saw To Kill A Mockingbird which was a great thing to see, with Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch. And I have a ticket to see Sweat by Lynn Nottage at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The Donmar is a really special space, and I’m really interested in seeing the work of a great female writer.



When I’m travelling I go to galleries all the time to feed my visual consciousness, but I don’t have a favourite artist. If I was to buy or go to things, it would be for fashion designers like Stella McCartney and Vera Wang. I like designers who play with form and structure within clothing.

We’re still listening to The Greatest Showman in my house, and I end up still singing it each day.


I love musicals and I’m unashamed of it; my neighbours really know how much I love a musical. We’re still listening to The Greatest Showman in my house, and I end up still singing it each day. I haven’t seen A Star Is Born yet, but I’m looking forward to getting into the music from that.


With The Ferryman, I've just come off stage with an amazing group of mostly Irish actors. I worked closely with Laura Donnelly and Paddy Considine so they're close to my heart at the minute; their work is beautifully detailed. And in Tin Star, Tim Roth and Abigail Lawrie are special people and fine actors. It's a joy when you can find fellow actors that you can fizz with – and they have that quality.


I loved A Private War, with Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan, who does some of his best work. It’s about Marie Colvin, a war correspondent who was killed on assignment in Syria. It shows us what these extraordinary professionals do to tell us what’s going on it war-torn regions. It’s a brave, brutal and beautiful film.

TV show

I watched the second series of David Simon’s The Deuce with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco. The first series dealt with the sex industry in New York in the 1970s, and the second series is a few years on, so the industry and women’s positions within it had shifted. It’s a wonderful sometimes tough, sometimes humorous, watch.

 Tin Star continues on Thursdays 9pm on Sky Atlantic. All episodes are available to stream or download on NOW TV.