After the first installment analyzing the best Irish actors, we’re now looking at the best actress on our lovely little island. There’s certainly no shortage so here we go.
Ruth Negga gained international recognition for her portrayal of Mildred Loving in Jeff Nichols’ 2016 Biographical film Loving alongside Joel Edgerton, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Her performance was subtle but she manged to perfectly encapsulate Mildred’s character.Before that, she had roles in World War Z and Breakfast on Pluto. She’s also a very prominent actress on our TV screens and stared in Agents of Shield while she currently plays Tulip O’Hare in Preacher. Ethiopian born Negga is set to star opposite Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones in Ad Astra, which is scheduled to be released in September of this year.
It’s quite hard to believe that Saoirse Ronan is still just 25 considering how much shes done. Ronan broke onto the scene in the Atonement for which she received an Oscar nomination, aged just 13. It was the first of three Oscar nominations, the other two being for Brooklyn and Lady Bird. The Carlow native also received critical acclaim for her performance in The Lovely Bones, directed by Peter Jackson. American born Ronan still has a very long and exciting career ahead of her so expect the big roles to keep on coming.
Fricker is a veteran of Irish cinema with her first film role dating back to 1964. Since then, she has gone on to appear in dozens of TV and film productions up until her retirement in 2014. She won an Oscar for her performance as Mrs. Brown in the critically acclaimed My Left Foot. She plays the lovable ‘Pigeon Lady’ in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York as well as appearing in Veronica Guerin and Albert Nobbs among many, many others.
Flanagan is also a stalwart of Irish cinema and is an established actress both at home and abroad. Her first feature film was Uyllsses opposite the late Milo O’Shea and has since proven herself to be a very talented and versatile actress appearing in Irish films such as Man About Dog and The Guard opposite Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle as well as Major international productions such as Yes Man with Jim Carrey, The Invention of Lying and Kill the Irishman. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta for her role in The Others. Dubliner Flanagan also featured in the hit TV series Lost.
Tipperary native Condon has come a long way since first appearing as Theresa Carmody in Angela’s Ashes. Condon is the very recognizable voice of F.R.I.D.A.Y in The Avengers. She appears in Ned Kelly alongside Heath Ledger and Orlando Bloom and also has a small role in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. As well as film, Condon has also had roles in TV series’ such as Better Call Saul, The Walking Dead and Rome.
Cassidy made a name for herself in one of her first film roles, The Others, alongside Nicole Kidman and the aforementioned Fionnula Flanagan. She had a starring role in the 1999 film Felecia’s Journey back in 1999. She’s also appeared in Disco Pigs alongside Cillian Murphy, And When Did You Last See Your Father? with Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth as well as the Lance Armstrong biopic The Program. She’s also had an extensive career in TV with roles in Harper’s Island, the police drama No Offence and the RTE drama series Acceptable Risk
At 28, Sarah Bolger already has an extensive list of film credits including the Academy Award nominated In America and the star studded Stormbreaker alongside Damian Lewis, Ewan McGregor and Bill Nighy among others. She has a starring role in the 2008 fantasy film The Spiderwick Chronicles and also appeared in the horror films The Moth Diaries and The Lazarus Effect, the biographical drama My All American with Aaron Eckhart and Tara Road, a film based on the novel by Maeve Binchy. Bolger has also a huge amount of television work with notable roles in The Clinic which features numerous major Irish actors including Aidan Turner, Amy Huberman and David Wilmot, as well as The Tudors, Once Upon a Time and Into the Badlands.
Balfe is perhaps best known for her Emmy award nominated portrayal of Claire Beauchamp in Outlander. She’s also appeared in major Hollywood productions such as Now You See Me alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Melanie Laurent among others, Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jodie Fosters 2016 thriller Money Monster starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Balfe is set to star in Ford v Ferrari alongside Matt Damon and Christian Bale, which is set to be released later this year.