Eire’s feistiest household is ready to return to our screens with extra secrets and techniques, lies and skulduggery on the shorelines of the west of Eire.

The third and last collection of hit drama Smother brings us again into the chaotic lives of the Ahern household, who’ve been in turmoil ever because the discovery of patriarch Denis’s physique close to their plush household residence.

As Anna, a grieving stepmum with a ruthless streak, Gemma-Leah Devereux relished the chance to tackle a job in contrast to any she’d carried out earlier than. And now she’s excited to see what Sunday-night audiences will make of the present’s twisty finale.

Actually, the Dublin actress is wanting ahead to watching the collection along with her household, and having enjoyable at them guessing what the Aherns will rise up to subsequent.

“Me and my household if we’re watching one thing we at all times get collectively. The primary season we had a giant guess occurring. And so they all acquired it incorrect which is nice!” she says of Smother’s playful poker face.

“Season one was very totally different to season two — season two was very explosive and this one is totally different once more. I’m actually excited for folks to see this season.” 

She clearly doesn’t wish to give away any spoilers, however there will definitely be repercussions for the Aherns following the divulge to each Finn (Dean Fagan) and the native gardaí that there was extra to Denis’s accident than meets the attention. It’s very obvious that there’s extra hassle coming down the tracks for this clandestine clan.

“There are a great deal of twists and turns, however I believe for the characters as nicely, it’s simply very nice to revisit them and see the place they’re. I at all times assume with something when it’s going to finish, it’s three and out, you’ll be able to form of do what you need — it’s going to be a really thrilling season.”

Gemma-Leah Devereux as Anna Ahern in Smother, getting into its third and last season on RTÉ


For Gemma-Leah, it’s a becoming finale to the collection that she has labored on for the previous three years. Although the ruthless Anna spiked arch-rival and recovering addict Elaine’s drink in collection two, the actress has lots of affection for the character.

“When Smother got here alongside, I auditioned after which was provided Anna. As quickly as I learn Anna, possibly the form of factor that occurs to me after I’m making characters, this voice form of got here out at me off the web page. I had this picture of her very buttoned up.

“I really feel for Anna. She’s very totally different to me, which can be the rationale I like enjoying her as a result of I like enjoying characters which might be nothing like me. I like shedding my pores and skin utterly in characters.

“You begin regarding them and also you begin giving them breaks, as a result of that’s the one means you’ll be able to play it. I imply, for those who actually thought they have been horrible, I don’t assume you’d have the ability to play it.” 

Gemma-Leah has had a busy run of labor since first showing on our screens within the interval drama, The Tudors. Since then, she has relished mixing up her massive and small-screen roles in tasks like Placing Out, Cardboard Gangsters and the hit Irish crime thriller Damaged Legislation.

The previous few years have been extra fruitful nonetheless — she shaved her head for a lead position in director Ruth Meehan’s The Vivid Aspect, a well-received drama through which she performed a pithy comedienne whose life is upended when she receives a most cancers prognosis.

She performed the enduring Liza Minnelli and set to work with Jessie Buckley and Renée Zellweger in what turned out to be an Oscar-winning efficiency for the US star. Zellweger performed Judy Garland in Judy, a film biopic concerning the tragic star’s life.

Lengthy fascinated with Hollywood stars of the golden period, Gemma-Leah found she had been solid whereas watching a movie concerning the icon.

“I like Liza Minelli. The morning I acquired the decision that I acquired the Judy gig, I used to be watching Judy Garland.

That was a tremendous position and I liked doing a biopic, as a result of the character is already there. It’s already constructed. So it’s all in analysis.”

Gemma-Leah Devereux, floating on air forward of a busy 12 months of writing and performing

She and Zellweger first met whereas at a wig becoming for his or her characters previous to manufacturing.

“She’s only a class act. She is aware of everybody’s title, she’s actually behind everybody, she offers everybody time. She’s so candy and so forth her sport and knew that character inside out but in addition simply performed, which was actually thrilling to see.” Smother has elevated Gemma-Leah’s profile additional, and because the present approaches the top of its run, she has affectionate reminiscences of the expertise of filming in and across the Co Clare city of Lahinch.

“The placement is completely lovely. Everybody’s so beautiful. Dathaí Keane, the director, made positive that Clare gave as a lot because it might to set the scene of Smother. It undoubtedly is a personality and I believe it provides to the temper and to the color. The west of Eire is probably the most lovely place to be on the planet, particularly when the climate is sweet. All of us acquired into sea swimming as nicely.” 

On her days off over the past collection, she would shadow the director on set to be taught extra about this side of filmmaking. Whereas performing stays her major ardour, she has lengthy been fascinated with the filmmaking course of and wished to see whether or not it was one thing she wished to discover additional. She has additionally written a pilot for a TV collection she’s eager to develop.

“I’ve at all times simply been so all for what everybody’s doing on set. Performing is my old flame, that can at all times be my old flame. I’ve at all times wished to be an actress since I used to be a child. However I additionally assume it’s nice to department out. I’ve written a pilot that I’m making an attempt to get made in the meanwhile.

“Writing has been so nice. As an alternative of enjoying with folks you’re by yourself, creating all of the characters your self. It’s been a extremely attention-grabbing take a look at doing it a distinct means. Final season I requested to shadow, simply out of pure curiosity to see do I wish to go down that highway.

“I believe I might undoubtedly love to do one thing sooner or later for positive. I believe life basically, with any profession, it’s all about studying. To me, it’s all about scaring myself and pushing myself and making an attempt new issues.” 

Gemma-Leah Devereux: benefiting from downtime throughout a busy spell in her profession


Gemma-Leah’s curiosity in drama was first cultivated in her household residence, the place her mom would watch Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn motion pictures as she grew to become fascinated with their onscreen tales.

She by no means wished to do the rest, however when she’s on a set, she prefers to concentrate on the right here and now. She says she doesn’t attempt to second-guess how one thing will probably be acquired when it reaches audiences. “That will make you loopy.” Downtime is usually spent on the corporate of Kuna, the six-month-old West Highland Terrier that has come into her life following the lack of one other beloved pet.

“I’ve a brand new pet and I’ve been strolling her quite a bit. She’s six months outdated, however truly every week into Smother season three my canine of a great deal of years died in order that was terrible.” 

Exterior of labor, Gemma-Leah likes to busy herself with hobbies and work on her health in inventive methods. “I do lots of sea swimming in my spare time — the endorphins while you come out are wonderful. I do rollerblading — you’re exhausted afterwards however it’s a very nice approach to work out. I am going to the gymnasium, most days, as a result of I simply assume it’s a extremely good wholesome factor on your head.

“I’ve gotten actually into knitting and I like portray as nicely.” As Smother attracts to an undoubtedly vibrant shut, she is planning new tasks. “It’s already wanting like a superb 12 months. I wish to hold getting an increasing number of roles which might be pushing me.

“I at all times liked enjoying totally different characters and being totally different folks. I at all times assume performing is such a remedy in a means, particularly after I’ve needed to do emotional issues, which I like doing and I permit myself because the character to go to those locations. I simply assume the psychology of individuals and folks’s decisions is so attention-grabbing.”

  • Smother returns to RTÉ on Sunday February 5.

Photograph Credit:

  • Photographer: Andres Poveda
  • Stylist: Roxanne Parker
  • Make-up: Lorraine McCrann
  • Hair: Lyndsey Herron
  • Smother Sequence Publicist: Rayna Connery
  • Treasure Leisure: Aoife McGlynn
  • Location: 10 Wicklow Road, Dublin 2

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