You don’t have to have read Normal People, the bestselling novel from Irish writer Sally Rooney, to fall in love with its TV counterpart, Normal People on Hulu. (Although, for the record, this PureWow editor read the book and loved it, too.) The series follows Marianne and Connell, two teenagers living in a small town in Ireland, exploring their sexual identities—and their unexpected will-they-won’t-they chemistry with one another.
As Marianne, Daisy Edgar-Jones gives a captivating performance. From the first scene, we were hooked on the show, and also on her. But where have we seen her before? Or is this set to be her breakout role? We’ve got the scoop on Daisy Edgar-Jones, up-and-coming star.
1. Who is Daisy Edgar-Jones?
Well, of course, she’s an actress, but one you probably don’t know all that well. At 21-years-old, she’s appeared in a variety of still-under-the-radar shows including War of the Worlds and the recent Cold Feet reboot, but always in a supporting role. It’s likely that her performance in Normal People will be a career-defining one, especially given that the series centers almost exclusively on her character Marianne and her relationship with Connell. (Also, in an exciting turn of events, Edgar-Jones was actually a “massive fan of the book” before she landed the part, according to an interview with InStyle. Her mom even read it as part of her book club.)
2. Where did she grow up?
Edgar-Jones grew up as an only child in Muswell Hill in Northern London. Her mom worked as a TV editor—with Irish roots, which helped her a lot when it came to Marianne’s accent—and her dad as a TV documentary producer. Edgar-Jones discovered her interest in acting at a fairly young age after she decided to try out for a school play. “When I was young in primary school, I was very average at subjects,” she said in an interview with Woodhouse College magazine. “I wasn’t really ‘good’ at anything, just in the middle—and quite shy. Then, when I was in year five, we did a school play—and it was the first time I remember people saying, ‘Wow, that was really good.’ I thought, ‘Oh, I’m good at something!’ It seemed acting was just the thing that I was best at.”
3. Did she study acting?
Yes! She actually auditioned and was accepted to the prestigious National Youth Theatre in the UK at the age of 14. (For reference, Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Colin Firth are just a few of the school’s notable alums.)
4. Is she dating anyone?
Also yes! Edgar-Jones is dating Tom Varey, an actor best recognized for his role as Cley Cerwyn in season six of Game of Thrones. He’s also the reason she heard about the role of Marianne on Normal People in the first place. According to an interview in The Hollywood Reporter, Edgar-Jones overheard Varey on the phone helping an actor-friend record an interview tape for the very same role. About a month later, she was invited to audition for the exact same part—and got it. (As for any hard feelings between her and Varey’s actor friend, she said there weren’t any. “It’s strange when you’re both actors,” she told THR.)
5. Any other fun facts about her?
According to InStyle, she loves to cook. (“I made a very good five-spice pork the other day, which I was very proud of, and a sausage and sweet potato and red onion-like thing.”) She also has acting aspirations beyond the small screen. She told Woodhouse magazine: “Ultimately, I’d love to become a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and do Shakespeare properly—to perform at The Globe would be amazing. But I think to be a working actor is good enough for me. Just to make a living at it, because it’s what I love—so to be able to do it as a career is my ambition, even it’s just little parts here and there on radio or whatever...we’ll see.”