Getting red-dy for a day on hit show

by Gazette Reporter

ACTRESS Jane McGrath has been gracing our screens as Garda Sharon Cleere on TV3’s Red Rock since the show premiered last year. Between filming, working on her own screen play, finding time to simply “breath” and come into her own as a person, McGrath sat down with The Gazette to talk us through a typical day in her life.
McGrath always gets up early to “get a bit of head space before the madness of the day begins” and listens to music on her walk to work and has a bowl of porridge before going into production to get her ‘side’.
“A side,” she says, “is basically the schedule for the day that outline what scenes we’re going to film”.
Four episodes or a cycle of Red Rock are shot every week with a new director each week.
McGrath says that the scenes are not filmed in chronological order so what she usually does is consult her notes which contain a description of all the scenes and write what comes before and after the scenes she’s about to film so she can “get the emotions for the scene right”.
“Sharon is going through a lot of stuff so I have to know how she’s feeling for each scene.”
It’s time for props, make-up and wardrobe after that where she dons the “lovely blue uniform” and gets mic’d up. “They hide a little microphone under my tie,” she said.
Once on set, McGrath and her screen mates do a rehearsal and line reading with the director before a camera rehearsal so the whole crew can watch the scene on screen before shooting the real thing.
“We might only get two or three takes at the most before we have to move on, so you have to be on the ball and make clear choices.”
Come lunchtime, McGrath says she’s sticking to her New Year’s resolution of making her own healthy lunches before filming for the rest of the day.
Once home after a long day of filming, McGrath says she has to unwind and “shake Sharon off”. To do this she watches Friends. “I’m actually addicted to Friends,” she laughs, “It’s the only show I watch on the telly at the moment!” She says that watching Friends when she was younger is initially what inspired her to become an actress and though she hasn’t yet, she would love to do some comedy acting at some point.
Mostly she’ll spend her evenings learning her lines for the next day before bed but recently McGrath has started writing and is working on a screen play.
“I’m really enjoying writing at the moment – I don’t know exactly what it is yet, it could be a feature film or a mini-series, we’ll see.”
Has being a soap star changed McGrath’s daily life yet? “Not miraculously,” she says, “but it’s nice when you’re walking down the street and somebody says: ‘Ah go on Sharon!’”
Red Rock is on every Wednesday and Thursday at 8.30pm on TV3.

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