Turns Out One Of The Teenage 'Derry Girls' Is Actually 31 Years Old
After hitting our screens for the first time a couple of weeks ago, Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls has been well-received by both the critics and the discerning telly fans of the UK. But what if we told you that one of the teenagers, Clare, is played by a woman in her 30s?
Credit: Channel 4/Derry Girls
The family-centric series is set in mid-1990s Northern Ireland during the Troubles - the 40-year period of conflict that didn't end until the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 - and is based on co-writer Lisa McGee's own experiences as a teenager, which involved police in armoured Land Rovers and British Army check points.
Revolving around 16-year-old Erin (Saoirse Monica Jackson) and her school pals, you'd expect most of the cast to still be working on getting their driving licences, but it turns out most of them are actually already in their 20s.
However, Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare, can beat them all to it. According to Coughlan's IMDB page, the actress was born on 9 January (happy birthday for t'other week, by the way) 1987 in Galway - making her, indeed, 31.
Sure, still being asked for I.D. when you're in your 30s could be a little patronising, but imagine looking that youthful while the rest of your friends wither away.
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And it's hardly the first time this has happened in TV and film - far from it, in fact.
Just look at another of Channel 4's school-based comedies, The Inbetweeners. Joe Thomas was born in 1983, Simon Birdin 1984, Blake Harrison in 1985 and James Buckley in 1987, meaning that all four were well into their 20s by the time they had to don their Rudge Park Comprehensive uniforms for the show.
Elsewhere, in the world of Hollywood high school characters, Rachel McAdams was nearly a decade older than her Mean Girls character Regina George, who was supposed to be a 17 year old.
Andrew Garfield - who played teenager Peter Parker in the Spider Man series - was also 31 when he clambered into the red and blue lycra, while Benjamin McKenzie was 25 when he played The OC's resident brooding 17-year-old, Ryan Atwood.
The reason why casting directors often choose older actors is actually pretty simple - it basically all revolves around the fact that younger actors are often subject to different labour laws, and have to work shorter hours because of schooling. If you hire someone in their 20s or 30s, on the other hand, those limitations obviously aren't an issue.
Still, fair play to Coughlan for doing one better than them all and passing off as a teenager when she's 31. Not bad going at all.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 4
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