Katie McGrath: Film bosses think Im British but its good not to be in the wee Irish

brunettes make better psychos
The Irish Sun.

JURASSIC World star Katie McGrath claims her big screen success has nothing to do with Celtic charm as no one in Hollywood believes shes Irish.

The Wicklow actress is hot property after stunning audiences with a breathtaking performance in the billion-dollar dino blockbuster officially the third highest grossing movie of all time.

And with Tinseltown scrambling to work with her, shes landed her own US TV series, Slasher, and scooped a starring role alongside Jude Law, Eric Bana and Charlie Hunnam in Guy Ritchies forthcoming Camelot epic, Knights of the Roundtable. But according to the 31-year-old, industry execs and moviemakers always falsely assume shes British.

She said: It seems to come as a big surprise when I tell them, Nope, not from London, Im from Wicklow. Theyre like, Get outta here. It happens all the time.

And I have people asking me, Do you play on your Irishness over in Hollywood? They love the Irish there. And while Im sure its an advantage for some actors, its never, ever played any part for me.

I think its because in all my work, I usually play British and I live in London. They just presume thats where Im from.

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Maybe its worked in my favour, though. Some actors, when they come to LA, find themselves pigeonholed and put into that box. You know, the wee Irish box and its difficult to break away. I havent had to contend with that.

While the assumption may have landed McGrath regal parts in Madonnas royal directorial debut, WE and NBCs big budget retelling of Dracula with once rumoured squeeze Jonathan Rhys Meyers the star has found herself shut out of local productions.

She said: Ive never played Irish so I think the same thing is happening with the industry in Ireland too. They think Im British as well and Id love to work at home.

Its something Id always love to do but Ive never been that lucky.

Working in the costume department on The Tudors before getting her big break as evil sorceress Morgana in BBCs fantasy series, Merlin, the former Trinity student has watched her star swiftly ascend thanks to eye-catching turns in Channel 4s medieval saga Labyrinth and playing Princess Margaret in a mini-series biopic of Queen Elizabeth.

But nothing could have prepared Katie for the phenomenal response to Jurassic World.

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She laughed: People go nuts. They go absolutely nuts for this movie and rightly so because its absolutely huge. In every sense.

When I told my friends I got the part, they went crazy. They were constantly singing the theme tune. I had one friend who would stop everybody on the street and say, Listen, do you know shes in the new Jurassic Park! Everyone, shes in the new Jurassic Park! It was hilarious.

While auditioning for the blockbuster, McGrath initially scoffed at having any chance of a part.

She said: Id flown out to LA to meet with casting and then flown back to London. Then had a Skype chat with the director, all went perfectly lovely but there wasnt a hope in the world Id get it. I was simply chalking it up to experience.

You never think youre going to get a job like that. Its dinosaurs, its Jurassic Park. Theyre not going to cast me.

Never once did I think, Its in the bag, Im going to Hawaii.

Playing Zara, icy assistant to park boss Claire Dearing (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), McGrath found herself fighting off attacks from terrifying pterodactyls and toothy T-Rexs.

And while its all done with special effects, the star found the scenes petrifying. She said: Youre screaming and running away from nothing and youre horrified. But its all in your head, its fabulous.

Thankfully, its not just you, though. There are 600 extras screaming as well, crew and everything that spirit of all of you doing it at the same time. Youre vibing off each other.

Youre not on your own in a box trying to figure it out.

Winning the coveted role was all the more significant for Katie after Dracula with Rhys Meyers and fellow Irish actress Victoria Smurfit was axed after just once season.

Struck by fear and doubt, she questioned her future in the industry. She revealed: It broke me. I was so sad. Dracula had such potential to be wonderful. You work so hard, put your life and soul into it and then its over. Done. I found that difficult.

We were like a family. You only get a job like that once every ten, 20 years. I was lucky I even got a job like that at all.

And you think youll never work again. Everything is awful. Sometimes it takes my brother to point out, Cmon, youve never been out of work. And I say, No, I know I will be now. And hes like, You need to stop panicking. You always land on your feet.

Currently working in Canada on Slasher, a slick horror series where she plays a young woman returning to a small town years after the brutal murder of her parents, Katie recently wrapped on Knights of the Roundtable in Wales this summer.

And the actress confessed she was flustered by her hunky A-list co-stars. She giggled: Theyre all so delicious and Im standing around looking at them, thinking, This is what Im getting paid for.

Im chatting there with Jude Law, while Eric Bana is changing in front me and its one of those moments when you click in your head and think, Whoa, this is strange. What is actually happening here?

But Katie knows she has Jurassic World to thank for her superstar surrounds. She said: Its great. Im getting into rooms on another level because of Jurassic I literally wouldnt have a year ago. Once one big studio has said yes, its easier for others to say yes.

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