I remember queuing up with my cousin for our ballet classes aged 3 and then heading back to Gran’s for a glass of milk!

Cork actor Chloe O’Reilly returns home to perform this month. Here she reflects on childhood memories, treading the boards aged just three, favourite reads and more
I remember queuing up with my cousin for our ballet classes aged 3 and then heading back to Gran’s for a glass of milk!

Actor Chloe O'Reilly

Tell us about yourself;

My name is Chloe O’Reilly and I am a Dublin based actor, originally from Cork.


I have three fantastic brothers - Evan, Allen and Ben. My Dad, Ken and my Mom, Hilary.

We have a dog too, called George.

Best friend?

Sounds cheesy but my best friend is my boyfriend! - Cathal.

Earliest childhood memory?

My wonderful grandmother Betty lives down the road from where Donna Daly Blythe’s original dance studio was. I remember queuing up with my cousin Robyn for our ballet classes as a small three year old and then heading back to Gran’s for a glass of milk! My first steps on the stage were with Donna’s. Even at the age of three, I was really bitten by the bug!

Person you most admire?

I really admire people who aren’t afraid to take risks and really listen to what they need. Whether it be joining a night class, or making the decision of moving back home after being away, even just jumping into the sea in these cold winter months!

Person who most irritates you?

I don’t think there’s a specific person who irritates me, but my pet peeves are definitely tardiness and people who don’t do their homework - fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Where was your most memorable holiday?

My family are very fortunate to have a place out in Spain. I love going there when I have time off to relax and unwind. I have many fond memories of summers there. 

Now, as I get older, it really is such a refuge to take a break, no matter what time of year it is!

Favourite TV programme?

I am really enjoying White Lotus at the moment!

I also finished watching Bad Sisters recently - such a fantastic series full of brilliant Irish talent!

Favourite radio show?

I really enjoy listening to anything on Lyric FM.

Your signature dish if cooking?

I really love to cook, it helps me unwind after a long day of work! I wouldn’t have a signature dish, but I’m always trying out new recipes. One of my favourite cooks is an American chef named Molly Baz.

Favourite restaurant?

All my favourite restaurants are in Cork! The city has such a bounty of brilliant restaurants, it’s very hard to pick!

I love Izz Cafe and also I can’t come home to Cork without a visit to Dukes on Carey’s Lane. Great coffee, great food, great staff!

Last book you read?

I recently read A Waiter In Paris by Edward Chisholm. A fantastic memoir of of the author’s time moving up the ranks as a waiter in the intense culinary world of Paris. 

As an actor, I’ve done my fair share of waitressing jobs, so I found this a brilliant read!

Best book you read?

Nuala O Faolain’s Are You Somebody? Such a powerful book.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

I recently bought a record player and I’m happily building up my record collection! I bought a record of Ella Fitzgerald’s recently. I absolutely love her music.

Favourite song?

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Ella Fitzgerald.

One person you would like to see in concert?

This year I have made a resolution to go and see more opera and orchestral performances. I live down the road from the National Concert Hall in Dublin so I have no excuse!

Morning person or night owl?

I am definitely a morning person. Once it hits 9pm, I’m crawling to my bed! I love getting up before rehearsals and pottering around the house, reading, maybe doing some yoga or pilates. The way I start off in the morning really has an effect on my mood for the rest of the day!

Your proudest moment?

This summer, I was cast in Corcadorca’s Guests of the Nation and the Everyman’s summer show Letters of a Country Postman.

To come out of drama school in Dublin, return to Cork, and get to spend the summer working with such wonderful Cork artists was a really proud moment for me. Corcadorca has left an amazing legacy in the artistic landscape of the city and I am so grateful I got to work with them before the end of their tenure.

And to get to tread the boards at the Everyman last summer was also such a big deal for me. 

The theatre is so beautiful, I have to say, every night I was filled with such gratitude to be there. I won’t forget it!

Spendthrift or saver?

I would like to say I’m a bit of both! As I work in an industry that has bursts of quiet and busy moments, it’s important to save. But I also love to celebrate the good things in life and I’m definitely not shy in treating myself every now and again!

Name one thing you would improve in the area in which you live?

More plants for lovely bees!

What makes you happy?

Good company, good food, interesting conversation!

How would you like to be remembered?


What else are you up to at the moment?

I am currently heading out on tour with Livin’ Dred Theatre’s production of Danti Dan by the fantastic Gina Moxley. It’s a wonderful, sharp, exciting and moving play and I am so lucky to be working with a fantastic cast and a brilliant team! It’s wonderful when a piece of work both challenges you as a performer and also offers a wonderful night out of entertainment for an audience. I am so excited to share this story with the audience!

Danti Dan runs at The Everyman: Wednesday, February 8 and Thursday, February 9, 8pm. Tickets €27/€24/€11

Booking https://everymancork.com/events/danti-dan-by-gina-moxley/

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