Who is Eileen O’Higgins?
Eileen O’Higgins is an actress from Northern Ireland. She is best known for her supporting roles in Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Irregulars.
Castlewellan, Northern Ireland, UK
O’Higgins grew up in Castlewellan, Northern Ireland. She studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Cardiff.
The actress debuted in 2009 on the BBC miniseries Emma, which adapted the eponymous Jane Austen novel. She also appeared in Enid, a film about Enid Blyton with Helena Bonham Carter.
After this experience, she moved to theatre. Eileen appeared in And Then There Were Four Little Beats of Four Little Hearts on the Edge of the World at The Old Vic theatre and later in Hold Your Tongue, Hold Your Dead. The actress has appeared in other plays as well and has been acknowledged for her strong presence on stage. She has focused on theatre as well as on-screen and has established herself in this world with many roles.
This latter role became a breakthrough role for the actress, as she was noticed and recognized for her performance. Next, she was cast in the film Brooklyn in a supporting role, which was her first part in a film. This movie starred Saoirse Ronan, and the two actresses became friends.
For O’Higgins, this was followed by My Mother and Other Strangers, a 2016 BBC series. O’Higgins also got to act alongside Saoirse Ronan once more in Mary Queen of Scots, where she appeared as Mary Beaton.
The actress was in Dead Still in 2020. in 2021, she played Alice in the series The Irregulars. The show received mixed reviews. Reviewers praised its original take on the Sherlock Holmes character and world, which was infused with fantastical elements.
Since 2014, O’Higgins has been best friends with Saoirse Ronan, well-known for her roles in films like Lady Bird, The Lovely Bones, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and others. The two met on set and have collaborated on other projects, like Mary Queen of Scots, where Saoirse played the titular character, and Eileen appeared as noblewoman Mary Beaton.
O’Higgins plays Alice, the mother of main characters Jessie and Bea, on The Irregulars. While she is deceased at the time of the main story, she plays a continued role in their lives and memories. Alice is an original character to the universe that features a reinterpretation of the Baker Street Irregulars, the gang of kids Holmes employed in the original stories, and places them in the center, giving them new names and characters.
Mary Beaton, O’Higgins’ character in Mary Queen of Scots, is a historical figure. The original Mary Beaton was an attendant to the Queen and one of the so-called The Four Marys with the other noblewomen and ladies-in-waiting who shared the same name. Queen Mary left her the library she had. Mary Beaton had been chosen to accompany Mary Stuart when she was only five.
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