Angeline Ball: Fame opens doors but it makes you very vulnerable

On the latest Róisín Meets podcast, the singer and actor on poetry, TV and being Imelda Quirke

Angeline Ball (front row, middle) with the original cast of The Commitments at a photocall celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film. Photograph: Eric Luke

Angeline Ball (front row, middle) with the original cast of The Commitments at a photocall celebrating the 20th anniversary of the film. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

“I’d walk in somewhere, to a bar or a shop or something, and you’d hear people whisper, there’s Angeline Ball! I found it very daunting,” recalls the actor of her The Commitments fame.

“I wasn’t in it for the fame. None of us thought The Commitments was going to be so big and because it was, that kind of level of fame or notoriety is pretty… pfff!” she told Róisín Ingle on the latest Róisín Meets podcast.

Ball was 22 when she landed the role of Imelda Quirke in the film adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s book of the same name, directed by Alan Parker. She starred alongside Maria Doyle-Kennedy and Bronagh Gallagher, with whom she remains great friends.

“We were the last three waiting [after the audition]… we were all laughing in a room and apparently Alan Parker walked by and looked in and said, that’s the three,” she recalls of their casting.

“It was amazing, I’m not being negative about it whatsoever,” she said, acknowledging that the role was a launchpad for her career and opened doors in Hollywood. “It was just that [FAME]side of it was quite daunting… It kind of leaves you very vulnerable and very open to everything really.”

Recently Ball has been on Irish TV screens in Red Water, a spin off of Eastenders in which she starred alongside her friend Maria Doyle-Kennedy once again. She is back this Sunday in Acceptable Risk, a new RTÉ drama in which she plays a detective.

Last weekend Ball indulged one of her other passions, poetry, reading a poem by W.H. Auden on stage at The Abbey Theatre as part of the Josephine Hart poetry hour. In this podcast you will hear her perform Auden’s poem, Miss Gee.

To listen to Angeline Ball speak to Róisín Ingle about poetry, growing up in Cabra on Dublin’s north side, the trouble with fame, and more, go to www.irishtimes.com/podcasts iTunes, Soundcloud or your preferred podcast app.

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