'one stab' | 

Irish Eurovision contender Brooke Scullion says Will Ferrell film led to her song entry

Brooke explained how she was influenced by her music teacher and father

Brooke Scullion wins The Late Late Show Eurosong Special and will go on to represent Ireland at The Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, in May. Picture Andres Poveda

Eddie Rowley

AS THE glamorous event that is Eurovision beckons for Ireland's representative Brooke Scullion, the young singer is taking it all in her stride.

And no wonder, it's going to be a walk in the park compared to her cameo acting role in TV drama Game of Thrones.

Bouncing on a sofa in the suite of a funky Dublin hotel, the 23-year-old singer and actress gets animated as she recalls her GoT experience while shooting scenes in Co Antrim during "cold, wet, miserable conditions".

"I thought I was going to die," Brooke tells Magazine+. "It was the hardest filming ever. It was horrendous and up there with any of the worst days of my life."

The scene she's talking about is the slaying of the Night King by Arya Stark.

"It took a week to film that one stab," she continues. "We were in a waterlogged field and we had to do our part over and over… I would say 60 to 70 times! My nail got ripped off and I was freezing because I wasn't wearing waterproofs.

"That was on one of my first weeks on the show. They filmed everything out of sequence and with different endings so nobody would have a clue what happened. But looking back it was amazing. I met really cool, wonderful people."

Brooke was delighted when she made the final cut. "I had three scenes where I could see myself quite clearly," she says. "And the end scene of the whole thing when Jon Snow was walking with Tormund, the ginger fella from the Wildlings, I'm beside them, so it was cool."

The Derry girl from Bellaghy also made a brief appearance in TV comedy Derry Girls, where she had a one-liner speaking part. "Yeah, I got to say: 'Protestants love cleaning!'" she laughs.

"Acting holds a cool place in my heart. I just love it so much. My university degree is in drama. I thought I was going to be an actress first."

Brooke feels it's important to have options in the precarious world of showbusiness and she'd love to combine singing with acting.

She credits her secondary school music teacher, Jolene Conway, with fostering her love of singing. "Everyone was giving me stick for being in the choir and Jolene stopped me and said, 'Don't you ever be embarrassed about doing music.' She has been a massive part of my music journey. She cast me as the lead in a musical and has always been encouraging."

Brooke idolises both her parents but she says it's her father who brought her up on music. "Me and Daddy are cut from the same cloth. Every Sunday we would jive in the kitchen and he would play me Dr Hook, Tina Turner, Philomena Begley and Willie Nelson. These were people I idolised and didn't have a clue what generation they were. He gave me my musical education and I'm grateful for that. I loved country gigs. Philomena Begley was like Britney Spears to me.

"I got to see a lot of big stars such as Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie performing live because Daddy brought me with him. I've seen Blondie three times."

Growing up a middle child, Brooke said she was determined to stand out in the family. "I had to work hard not to have middle child syndrome. I was the little loud one. I was an awful child, so badly behaved, but I was just working so hard to be noticed."

She first shot to fame as a contestant on The Voice UK 2020 where she finished third. Her coach was the global megastar Meghan Trainor, who was among the first to congratulate her on being chosen for this year's Eurovision.

"I didn't get anything from The Voice except free tuition from top vocal coaches that sang for the likes of Mariah Carey," she says. "The Voice was invaluable in terms of experience."

That's Rich is the first song Brooke ever wrote - and it's a co-write with British musicians Izzy Warner and Karl Zine.

"Izzy and Karl wrote the song Brand New for the Will Ferrell Eurovision movie," she points out. "It got picked up for the movie and then we ended up writing a song for the real Eurovision the year after and it got chosen. It's so weird but I do believe in fate.

"It's an honour to represent Ireland in the Eurovision and my first job is to qualify for the final. I feel like we're in a good position because we've never sent a song like this before to the competition."

Ireland has been drawn in the second semi-final for this year's Eurovision on May 12, with the Grand Final taking place on May 14 in Italy.

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