Daisy Edgar-Jones (‘Normal People’) reveals what 1990s film performance drew her to acting [WATCH]

Claire Danes is inadvertently to thank for the success of the miniseries “Normal People.” Lead actress Daisy Edgar-Jones revealed to Gold Derby (watch the video above) that it was a performance by Danes that inspired her to pursue acting as a career. She explains, “I was 14 and I watched ‘Romeo + Juliet’ for school and I saw Claire Danes do her Juliet and I thought it was incredible because she was similar to my age and I had never seen an actress my age be so brilliant and she has such incredible depth of emotion that I was like, ‘I’d love to be an actor. I’d love to be able to do that’.”

The Ireland-set “Normal People” received four Emmy Award nominations last summer and has recently been a fixture on critics’ lists of the best shows of 2020. TVLine named it the single best, having credited how “Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones’ boldly vulnerable lead performances perfectly captured the intoxicating power of young love.” Rolling Stone‘s year-end recap hailed Edgar-Jones’s performance as undergraduate student Marianne Sheridan as “never less than riveting.”

That a viewing of Baz Luhrmann‘s 1996 adaptation had such a profound effect on Edgar-Jones gets to the heart of what the 22-year-old thinks makes “Normal People” so resonant. “It’s interesting because so much of the story is about the ripple effect on someone’s life of a very small moment that happens,” says Edgar-Jones. She adds about conveying this with her acting choices, “That’s what so beautiful about it, but also, tracking that ripple effect when you’re playing things out of sync was quite a challenge.”

“Normal People” is itself an adaptation by author Sally Rooney of her 2018 novel of the same name. Edgar-Jones recounts, “We weren’t filming in order, so you could always go, ‘Where’s my character’s head at? I’ll just read the chapter,’ which was obviously really helpful.” To the limited series’ credit, Edgar-Jones notes the expansive nature of the 12-episode drama that Hulu released last spring. She reveals, “What’s really interesting about the TV adaptation of the book is you get more of a nuanced depiction of particular characters, like Marianne’s family because in the book, you only get her perspective and obviously, ultimately, it’s a bit biased, but when it comes to the series, you’re able to see those characters living and breathing and actually reacting to Marianne in the moment.”

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