A rundown of all the jobs the cast of Derry Girls worked before being famous

The actor playing Erin was sacked from her first job

Erin, Michelle, Orla, Clare and the wee English fella James are all household names at this point. They are so famous and the actors who play them are just as huge too. But before fame they were just like the rest of us, working random jobs trying to make ends meet. So here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about all the jobs the cast of Derry Girls worked before season one aired and they jumped to stardom.

Saoirse-Monica Jackson used to sell to people on their doortstep

via @saoirsemonicajackson on Instagram

Saoirse-Monica Jackson, better known to us as Erin Quinn, used to lie to her ex-boyfriend everyday about what job she was working. She claimed to him she had some fancy job in sales but in reality she was selling ready to make meals on people’s doorsteps. In an interview with Kevin McGahern on his show Kevin Paints in May 2020, Saoirse revealed she was actually rubbish at her job because she’d just sit down and have tea and biscuits with potential customers before running them through all the deals. And apparently when new clients would sign up, she’d tell them not to and say the product didn’t suit them. Saoirse revealed she was then fired from that job right before Derry Girls popped up!

Louisa Harland worked in a pub after filming season one of Derry Girls

via @louisadodgeharland on Instagram

Orla McCool is played by Louisa Harland who told the Derry Journal that after wrapping up the first season of Derry Girls, she had to take up a pub job over the Christmas period. And one night her Derry-Girls co-stars had a Christmas party there. She said having to clear up their champagne glasses led to having a “humiliated cry in the bathrooms.” Louisa says: “It’s just one of those things that happened that’s so real. For the life of an actor that is so normal. We had just done Derry Girls and obviously I went straight back to work because that’s what we do as actors. We have to fill our time doing something.”

Jamie-Lee O’Donnell worked in Swarovski after finishing season one

via @jamie.lee.od on Instagram

Similarly to Louisa, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell who plays Michelle Mallon, had to work jobs after wrapping filming for season one of Derry Girls. She told the Belfast Telegraph, “After I finished season one, because it took so long to come out, I found myself working in Eason’s and Swarovski. Both stores were across from each other, so it was handy.” She apparently also did something for BBC Two but her agent informed her it would “be a while” before things started coming in. She says: “All these expecations had to be adjusted, and the reality of it is you’ve got bills to pay, so I thought ‘Fuck it, I’m going to go and get these two Christmas jobs.'”

Jamie says “there were a lot of times where I didn’t want to sit about, but I thought, ‘What’s the point? I might as well work before I’m known.’ We didn’t know Derry Girls was going to take off. It’s surreal. Obviously, we hoped for this. We loved filming it.”

Dylan Llewlyn worked behind the counter in a deli

via @djllewellyn on Instagram

Dylan, who plays the wee English fella James McGuire, was working behind the counter at a deli in Reigate where he grew up. He says it was a tough time for him because he really wanted acting to happen but it wasn’t. He says: “Then Derry Girls came around the corner, and kind of rescued me really, and put me back into the acting world.”

Nicola Coughlan was an optician before landing Derry Girls

via @nicolacoughlan on Instagram

Nicola, who plays Clare in Derry Girls was working in an opticians and as a waitress whilst going through depression. Earlier this year she shared a photo on Instagram when she was a waitress. She said during this time she was “so desperate to be acting” and she was “broke and really disheartened.” She pursued her dreams and now she’s a wee lesbian in Derry Girls and a Netflix icon thanks to Bridgerton.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

A definitive ranking of all the Derry Girls characters from worst to Sister Michael

PSA: Here’s how you can listen to the Derry Girls soundtrack, all in one playlist

Here’s which university all of the Derry Girls characters would go to