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Berlinale-Blogger 2019
Aisling Franciosi: Star of ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘Game of Thrones’

Berlinale Blogger 2019: Aisling Franciosi
© EFP/ Harald Fuhr

Berlinale Shooting Star, Aisling Franciosi on why and how she became an actress, and being selected as one of the best and brightest talents in Europe.

By Joseph Walsh

If you haven’t heard of Aisling Franciosi yet, you soon will. Franciosi recently appeared in ‘Babadook’ director, Jennifer Kent’s latest film, ‘The Nightingale’, which had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival late last year. Audiences might also recognise her from US show ‘Legends’, and for her brief, but memorable, appearance as Lynna Stark in HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’. 

At just 25, she has already accrued an impressive list of credits, including working with Ken Loach on ‘Jimmy’s Hall’, starring in ‘Quirke’, a BBC adaptation of John Banville’s series of novels, and starring alongside Gillian Anderson in the BBC’s ‘The Fall’.

Despite having worked with such talent, she still considers herself a newbie. She decided she wanted to be an actor when she was six. ‘I went to a drama class on Saturday mornings, which is a normal thing for kids to do in Ireland, even if they have no intention of becoming an actor,’ says Franciosi. ‘I came home from the first class and said I want to become an actor. I had a pretty wild imagination as a kid, I loved how I could let that part of me run free.’ 

Franciosi’s passion for acting is down to the sense of liberation she feels when performing. ‘I love that I can express a range of emotions that normally, in my day to day life, I would have to keep under wraps,’ she says. For Franciosi the joy of acting is about the idea of crafting a rich world and making it feel genuine. 

Now she’s been selected as one of the Berlinale’s Shooting Stars - an initiative that seeks out the most talented young actors from across Europe. It puts her in good company, given that previous Shooting Stars have included the likes of Pilou Aebæk, Alicia Vikander, and Riz Ahmed. About being selected she said, ‘I have to say, meeting the other nominees, it’s wonderful to see all these people doing it out of passion and the love of acting, and not because they live in the right town or want to be a shiny superstar.’ Franciosi added, ‘I really hope that across the course of my career I do the same and keep doing this job for the right reasons’.