Download Free FREE High-quality Joomla! Designs • Premium Joomla 3 Templates
Home / News / Profile: Sharon Horgan – From turkey farm to the Emmys

Profile: Sharon Horgan – From turkey farm to the Emmys

When the 75th Emmy Awards take place this Monday in downtown LA’s Peacock Theater, all Irish eyes will be on actor, writer and comedian Sharon Horgan.

Along with fellow Irish nominees, Declan Lowney and Dearbhla Walsh, she’ll be flying the flag for Ireland at the prestigious event with two nominations, both for the hit drama/comedy Bad Sisters.

The 53-year-old, who grew up on a turkey farm in Bellewstown, Co Meath, is in the running in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category and for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

Bad Sisters

It once again underlines that the past few years have been a golden age for Irish tv and film with more viewers, awards and nominations for a native industry that has finally arrived after finally taking artistic and creative risks. And Horgan has long been one of its leading lights.

AppleTV+’s Bad Sisters, which is set in Dublin and filmed on location in Ireland, follows the Garvey sisters (played by Eva Birthistle, Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene, Claes Bang, and Anne-Marie Duff), four of whom plot to kill their sister Grace’s abusive husband.

It’s pitch-black stuff that taps into an innately Irish urge to laugh at the most inopportune moments, something that Horgan has made her own over the past two decades on shows like Pulling, Divorce and Catastrophe. She is a very clever writer who serves up sly observation and the comedy of cringe with an amuse-bouche of schadenfreude.

Horgan and Rob Delaney in season 3 of Catastrophe

It’s all there in Horgan’s work – human folly, vanity and our shared talent for self-destruction.

As she told The Guardian over a decade ago, “I think the best comedy is tragicomic. I suppose if you were to look at everything I’ve done, there is a bit of a black streak through all of it. It’s not deliberate: it’s what makes me laugh, and there’s a fine tradition of it, especially in Ireland.”

But will she cut it at the Emmys? She is certainly up against some extremely stiff competition at the annual ceremony, which has been recognising excellence in television since 1949.

Her rivals in the Lead Actress category are Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us), Keri Russell (The Diplomat) and Sara Snook (Succession).

In the writing category, Horgan faces the wordsmiths behind such whip smart tv triumphs as The White Lotus, Better Call Saul and Emmy juggernaut Succession, which leads the pack this year with 27 nominations overall.

Of course, Horgan has already scooped an IFTA and a TV Bafta for Bad Sisters, not to mention an earlier Bafta for writing Catastrophe and a slew of other awards over the years. If she does pick up yet another gong on Monday, there may be a danger of awards fatigue setting in. Then again, any creative type who tells you they don’t like basking in praise and recognition is lying. That, or they’re Bob Dylan.

But as is nearly always the case in the film and tv industry, Horgan was no overnight success. Her rise has been slow and very steady.

One of five siblings, she was born in Hackney, London in 1970 to an Irish mother, who was originally from Midfield, County Mayo, and a New Zealander father.

When Horgan was four, her parents moved the family to Bellewstown, County Meath, to run that turkey farm (“You pluck down. You never pluck up because you rip the flesh,” is her invaluable advice).

She attended the Sacred Heart convent school in Drogheda, all great material for her semi-autobiographical short film The Week Before Christmas for Sky Arts in 2012 in which she played her own mother.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2012 about going to a convent school, she said, “I didn’t enjoy it at all… If you’re taught about the wrath of God when you’re little, it’s not good, especially if you’re a bit of a brat and you think you’ve sinned . . . it was that whole atmosphere of feeling you’ve done something wrong.”

Horgan on Jo-Maxi in 1988

Long before fame and success came calling, an 18-year-old Horgan made her very first tv appearance in 1988 as an amateur back-up dancer for her friends’ band (former Virgin Prune Binttii) on the RTÉ Young People’s show Jo-Maxi.

She graduated with a degree in English and American Studies at Brunel University in London in 2000 and went on to collaborate with British writer Dennis Kelly while they were both working in youth theatre.

Their first comedy scripts went on the win the BBC New Comedy Award in 2001 for sketch writing and performance, leading the way to bigger roles for Horgan, starting with 2003’s Absolute Power, a comedy set in the world of public relations starring Stephen Fry.

She is nothing if not prolific and has built up a very impressive range of writing and acting credits across both comedy and drama since those small beginnings. Horgan has also enjoyed a moderately successful career on the big screen in movies such as Valiant (2005), Death of a Superhero (2011), Game Night (2018), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (2021), and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022).

Her private life is hardly a matter of tabloid speculation. She married businessman Jeremy Rainbird in 2005 and they have two daughters. However, the couple divorced in 2019 and in an interview with UK magazine Red last June, Horgan said she now feels “more in control, independent and happy.”

Last year she also starred in BBC One series Best Interests alongside Michael Sheen in a drama about a husband and wife who face a legal battle with doctors over their daughter’s right to die.

Bad Sisters

Horgan is always busy and right now she is writing series two of Bad Sisters and speaking about its long awaited return, she said, “I’m trying… not to recreate, but to capture something new that can unite people in their anger. I think it’s sometimes good to feel angry.”

2023 was a certainly a new peak for the Irish creative industries and Horgan has said she was not one bit surprised. “The Irish have always produced incredible acting talent historically. It’s a small island and it just needed a bit of focus on it.

“You have to ride those waves, don’t you? Who knows what will happen? But it can only get better. All the talent is there.”

The 2024 awards season has already got off to a fine start with Cillian Murphy winning a Golden Globe for his towering performance in Oppenheimer and who knows, next week Horgan could be waltzing away with her own dinky gold Emmy – a statuette of a winged woman holding an atom.

We need your consent to load this comcast-player contentWe use comcast-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Asked by RTÉ Entertainment at last year’s IFTAS about how work was going on the new season of Bad Sisters, she laughed nervously and said, “Well, you know, I think it’s going well but writing anything is incredibly difficult so I’m a bit like up and down. If you’d asked me last week I’d have said it’s great but this week it’s really hard.”

Too modest? Well, put it this way, whatever way you pluck it, Horgan has yet to make a turkey of a show so she may have to make even more space on her mantlepiece – or downstairs loo – for yet another gong.

Alan Corr @CorrAlan2

Source link

Check Also

Justin Timberlake’s lawyer will ‘vigorously defend’ him

Justin Timberlake’s lawyer has said he is looking forward to “vigorously defending” the US singer …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *