Local actress and Derry Girls star Jamie-Lee O’Donnell helped to launch Ulster Bank’s brand new £20 note earlier this week at their Culmore Road branch.
The star said it was great that the note, which features Derry architecture and images of Hallowe’en celebrations, is ‘going to highlight the city in a positive way’.
“The positive aspects of Derry should be celebrated, and it’s something I’m happy to celebrate as well,” she said.
Jamie-Lee spoke to the ‘Journal’ at the launch, before she jetted off to Edinburgh for the annual Fringe Festival.
The local actress has been busy on stage and screen in the last 12 months, with season two of Derry Girls and also two successful shows in Dublin and Derry.
She starred in the Martin McDonagh play ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ in Dublin, which, she said, ‘went really well’.
“It was really great to get back into doing a bit of theatre, and it’s such a great play,” she said.
Jamie-Lee also starred in Lisa McGee’s play ‘Girls and Dolls’ which had a run in the Gaiety Theatre as well as the Millennium Forum. “I think a lot of people were expecting the show to be like Derry Girls, but I’m hoping people appreciated that it was a bit different. It’s so well written, it’s obviously Lisa wrote it. It’s such a good play and script, so we were delighted to travel with that as well,” she said.
Despite a recent break from acting due to illness, Jamie-Lee is back to work and said she feels “really privileged and appreciative” that she can take a break, but be able to get back to work straight away.
“As soon as I was better I was straight back into it, and it’s so nice that I can do that. I feel really privileged and appreciative of Derry Girls for giving me that sort of platform that I can take a bit of time and then come back to it, and it doesn’t feel like I’m starting from scratch, which a lot of performers do because it’s such a tough industry,” she said.
Looking ahead to season three of the hit comedy, Jamie-Lee said: “I know we’re filming next year, but I don’t know anything about storylines because we’re the worst at keeping a secret!
“The last time it was people everywhere, and it was great to see it.
“People came down and really supported us filming and were excited and wanted pictures, it was just lovely. I think they just wanted to see the show in action and just be part of it.
“The response we got from people standing watching was amazing, they couldn’t have been nicer and they were really complimentary of it.
“I suppose it’s nice for them to watch it back and say they were standing there at the time, I would like that as well.
“I think there’s a real ownership of the show in Derry, and I can completely understand.
“So many aspects of the show a lot of people would relate to really closely in Derry, even the way we speak, the slang, and the relationships between everybody, we do understand that there is that strong connection for the Derry people with the characters and storylines.
“I have people come up to me all the time and say I know exactly what that is, it happened to me and my friends, there’s just such a big connection there with the Derry people,” she said.
Jamie-Lee added that she enjoys being based in Derry, having moved back home several years ago. “I’ve been really busy since so I’ve been happy to live close to my family and friends.
“There are times I be away and it could be six months at a time, so it’s nice to come home to Derry, especially at Christmas