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Gripping story Fair City's Amy Kirwan says playing anxiety-ridden Mairead Casey took its toll

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Mairead - Amy Kirwan

Mairead - Amy Kirwan

Mairead - Amy Kirwan

FAIR City star Amy Kirwan has spoken about the emotional roller-coaster she endured playing anxiety-ridden Mairead Casey on the hit soap. 

This week things finally explode for Mairead when her ex-husband Will turns on her, suspicious of her relationship to Damien Halpin.

Will has caused problems for everyone in Carrigstown over the last 12 months and now he is turning his attention on Mairead once again.

On Thursday evening the heat is turned up on the former couple as Will is rejected by Mairead who prefers to seek comfort for her OCD in the arms of her secret fiance.

And the Carrigstown bad boy decides to use Mairead’s crippling anxiety as a stick to beat her with.

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Amy Kirwan

Amy Kirwan

Amy Kirwan

Speaking to the Sunday World, talented Amy admitted that filming this gripping story-line took a mental toll on her.

“Thursday is a big showdown for her and she can’t cope and poor Damien bears the brunt of it,” she said.

“They were difficult scenes to film and it can be tough.

“I find that once you get into character it is easy to stay there for the day, I find it more difficult dipping in and out.

“So, I come in at 7.30 am and I listen to emotional music and look through some photographs and really get myself into a place of despair.

“I go through my Spotify playlist and I will find soundtracks from films, like the Notebook.

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“Or a song that reminds me of an ex-boyfriend.

“I find it harder getting out of the mood, because I carry it around with me for the day. I keep to myself on set and I am not being rude, I just need to switch off. It is not easy to do, but I have to go there.”

What elevates this current storyline above others Amy has been involved with is that her character Mairead is struggling with crippling anxiety.

The mum-of-three says this was something she took seriously and is nervous about how the public will react to her performance on Thursday.

“I did a good bit of research and I was listening to podcasts that deal with anxiety,” she said.

“I was watching OCD ritual YouTube videos, really just to tap into it.

“For me it was a very exhausting five weeks.

“It was emotionally tiring but I felt I had to do the storyline justice.

“Anxiety is quite a misunderstood thing and some people can sort of casually say they have a bit of it.

“It is a very complex and scary, fear based anxiety and I wanted to get to the bottom of that.

“I tend to stay off social media for feedback because I find at times it can be a bit of a negative space.

“The reaction has really only been from my friends and family and the rest of the cast and they seem to be enjoying it.

“I hope the public are enjoying it. I am quite nervous about it to be honest.

“I am quite nervous about the unfolding of the storyline because, I want to serve it justice. It is a really important topic.”

Fair City airs on Thursday night on RTÉ One.

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