Jamie-Lee O'Donnell had two retail jobs after filming Derry Girls 4 months ago

Jamie-Lee O'Donnell had two retail jobs after filming Derry Girls

"It’s surreal."

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell has revealed she juggled two retail jobs after filming the first season Derry Girls as she never quite expected it to become as successful as it has.

Following her role as the fiery Michelle in the Channel 4 series, Jamie-Lee took part-time jobs in Easons and Swarovski to help pay the bills.

“All these expectations had to be adjusted, and the reality of it is you’ve got bills to pay, so I thought, ‘F*** it. I’m going to go and get these two Christmas jobs," she told The Belfast Telegraph.

“There was a lot of times where I didn’t want to sit about, but I thought, ‘What’s the point? I might as well work before I’m known’.

“We didn’t know Derry Girls was going to take off. It’s surreal. Obviously, we hoped for this. We loved filming it.”

Jamie-Lee also explained how she struggled to break into the industry, despite having a passion for acting from a very young age.


"I’ve always been into acting since I was very young. I was a very dramatic child,” she said.

“I remember years ago I had an assortment of hats. I don’t know where I got them, but they were intense and they were all different characters.

“I have always been a very determined person. Recently, I found a diary in my parent’s house. It was a Forever Friends one, and I wrote in it when I was six, ‘When I grow up, I’m going to be a famous actress’. I always wanted to do it.

“It was hard growing up here in terms of access to the arts. There’s a lot of talent in Derry and ambition. I didn’t go to drama school or anything because that was too expensive for my family at the time. It wasn’t the most accessible career, so I had to side-step. I learnt from my mistakes.”

The third and final season of Derry Girls starts on April 12th.