First Encounters: Aisling Franciosi and Aoife Page

`I still have the ticket I bought to her first play'


Aisling Franciosi studied in Trinity College while playing the young female lead in TV drama ‘Quirke’. She plays Katie in TV series ‘The Fall’, and went to Cannes this May with ‘Jimmy’s Hall’. This summer she was named one of the stars of tomorrow by ‘Screen International’ magazine. From Cabinteely in Dublin, she lives in London

Aoife and I met when we were about four or five. We’d both just moved to Cabinteely: both our parents are separated and we’d both moved into the same street, seven houses apart. A neighbour who knew my mum introduced Aoife and myself one afternoon and that was it. We ended up going to the same primary school, secondary school and university. We’ve been friends ever since that first day, joined at the hip, basically.

Aoife was very girly: she had blonde, curly hair, was wearing a summer dress and was taller than me. Sometimes you have a childhood friend just because you’ve been put together; we were lucky because we really clicked on top of that. We had similar backgrounds, with parents who had split up, we shared similar worries and helped each other get through those.

As we grew up we got to know each other so well, I’d know if she needed a bit of space, she’d know if I did. There may have been times when our friendship was a little bit challenged but we’ve always been really close friends; even if there are moments when you drift apart, there’s still that same love underneath.

My dad lives in Milan and I go over frequently – I’m very proud of my Italian side. Aoife has visited with me, knows my dad, and Aoife’s mum is like my second mum.

I’m not easily flustered but, when I am, Aoife is the one who knows exactly what to say to calm me down. With acting there are often times when things don’t go your way: you can cry or you can laugh – Aoife always makes sure it’s the latter.

She’s as excited as I am about things like Screen International but when we’re together we talk about nearly anything else; it’s just nice to have someone to talk to about normal things.

Aoife’s got the most wicked sense of humour and the most unbelievable organisational skills – she should be in event management or a PA to some bigwig.

I’ve always said if Aoife and I are still single at 45 we’ll move in together.

I was lucky to find her at a young age. We know each other inside out, got through some rocky patches; this is definitely a long-term friendship. We’re absolutely like sisters, she put me on Facebook as a sister.

I’m gushing, but I would be lost without her.

We talk a lot. My mum says: “I don’t know how you guys haven’t run out of things to say.”

Moving away has been a little bit sad.

Aoife makes me laugh every day, she makes the day better.

Aoife Page graduated from Trinity College with a degree in languages this year. She is working in Foxrock and lives in Cabinteely in Dublin

Aisling and I were both shy initially when we met. The first day I remember being friends with her was one day we were sitting in her driveway: she took out flashcards and started to teach me Italian!

I’m older – by 10 months – and taller than her. She literally looked up to me – she’s petite and I’ve always been about a head above her. When we were 11 or 12 our mums brought us to Disneyland and she couldn’t go on a lot of the rides because she was too small. In solidarity, I didn’t go on Thunder Mountain.

We went to St Brigid’s national school in Cabinteely together. I was quite bossy. I don’t know why I’m admitting to this but I used to try and take advantage of Aisling’s niceness. She was very obliging and for a few months I had a personal little slave – I do regret that now.

I’m in the middle of two brothers, Aisling has two older brothers. She always has been like a sister and a positive female influence – growing up, a lot of girls’ friendships can go to nasty places. Aisling and I always think having older brothers can shape your personality – they tolerate less. Our brothers know what we’re like, we’re always getting slagged by them but they’ve accepted that we’re inseparable.

Aisling was always busy at the weekends with drama classes. I still have the ticket I bought to her first play. I never shared her interest in acting but the dream always was that I would travel with her, handle the organisational aspect of her career – it was where my bossy tendencies would come into play.

She’s so modest, when you’re around her you forget how talented she is. I can’t wait to see season two of The Fall – she has such a racy role.

There’s never a moment when we tire of one another probably because we were honest with each other all along: if we didn’t want to see each other when we were kids, we didn’t, we were just honest from day one.

We blend together well because we do things differently. She’s laid-back and can calm me down. She’s not punctual. If we’re leaving for a bus in five minutes, it’ll always be a few buses after that – she’ll forget her key or her phone.

We went inter-railing for three weeks in Europe two or three years ago, just the two of us. That was a testament to how well we get on. Now we’re planning a trip to New York and Los Angeles early next year.

Aisling’s funny, goofy, has no airs and graces. I’m so lucky to have her as a friend, lucky to have such a positive influence in my life.

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