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Oscar winner Brenda Fricker says ‘good work keeps her alive and going’

Actress Brenda Fricker. Picture by Dave Meehan

Paul HylandIndependent.ie

Oscar winner Brenda Fricker said she joined the cast of the mini-series Holding to prove to herself that she could still do.

The actress was speaking about one, nine-minute, monologue specifically, which she described as “seven-page, foolscap, to learn”.

Fricker starred alongside Charlene McKenna and Pauline McLynn in the ITV adaptation of the Graham Norton book.

“It was the only reason I said yes to the part because I thought I’m nearly f*****g 80 and I can barely remember my own name as you just discovered,” she said on Friday’s Late Late Show.

“But I thought do it, take the challenge on, see can you learn it and I did learn it.

“There should be more speeches like that, it’s a story. All we ever want is a story, that’s all you want. So, you give a fairly long speech to somebody to tell a story, Shakespeare did it for goodness’ sake, the good writers do it but they don’t do it for television for some reason.

“I think the audience are always being underestimated. They’re well able to watch a speech for nine minutes, it’s an insult to say they can’t, and they like it.”

Fricker said she still has the desire to keep working, adding: “It’s good work that keeps you alive and going”.

After getting a round of applause from audience at one stage, Fricker admitted that she finds it hard to accept praise and said it’s because people of her generation were “always told we were sh**e”.

“If somebody said something nice to you it was like a bag of smarties,” she added.

“You can become a show off very easily… it’s very easy if people are telling you you’re good at something to get carried away because you can always be better.”

While discussing her 1989 Oscar success, the Dubliner paid tribute to another Oscar nominee Jessie Buckley, saying “she has got everything”.

The My Left Foot star said Buckley “will win” the Oscar some day and she believes the dreaded Academy Award “curse" would not affect her.

“I don’t think it would affect her, it didn’t affect me either… I don’t think it would go to her head. She’s too talented. She can do everything, she can do the singing, she can do acting, she can do the chat, she can do everything. She’s wonderful,” she said.

Throughout the interview Fricker teased Ryan Tubridy for “not listening” and bet him €100 that her rescue dog, Juno, would not “p**s” on the floor.

The Dubliner also opened up about being “slightly agoraphobic” and said her “buddy” Juno helps her to deal with it.

“There are days when I’m sitting at home and I find it just difficult to get out the door,” she said.

“But she’s sitting looking at me and she’s waiting to, as my father used to say, ‘empty herself’.”

Last year An Post commissioned a stamp which has a picture of Fricker and Daniel Day Lewis, with Oscars in hand. She said her mother “would have loved that” but she only thinks it’s “alright”.

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