Stephen Jones interview with TheJournal.ie

A ‘fluke’ brought this Love/Hate actor from working in a call centre to Broadway

Jones will star in This Lime Tree Bower later this month.

Image: Ste Murray

STEPHEN JONES PUTS his acting career down to “a fluke”, but he’s made a fine job of showing it’s one he was born for.

The Tallaght native – who stars in This Lime Tree Bower, which opens at the Project Arts Theatre on 16 February – knows his way around the stage. You might have already caught him in Conversations on a Homecoming, Stones in his Pockets, Alone it Stands, or as Keano in the hit Comedy Musical I, Keano.

Then there’s his film work, which includes Between the Canals and King of the Travellers, and his TV work on the likes of Red Rock, Ripper Street, Damo & Ivor and Love/Hate.

“They were looking at me like I was a different person”

But Jones didn’t grow up wanting to be an actor – he initially wanted to be a writer. Today, he can count himself among the current crop of Irish actors who’ve found themselves in big-deal shows in like Love/Hate, and now he’s set to star on Broadway.

Jones was in a creative writing group as a teen when the man who ran it encouraged him to join UCD dramsoc. That’s where he met some of his fellow peers.

His first theatre role was in 12 Angry Men, and it was this that convinced his family acting was for him. (Though he recalls doing impressions and making home movies as a child, so they probably guessed he had it in it him).

“I genuinely remember their faces – they were chuffed,” recalled Jones.

They were looking at me like I was a different person all of a sudden, in a good way. They said to me ‘you should think about doing this’, which is very lucky because it’s such an unsteady kind of job, or is seen as that. You can be out of work for so long.
I was lucky in that they were really supportive and they knew after a while I was committed to doing it.

He spent years working part-time in a call centre, willing to sacrifice saving money for a house to try and get his foot in the acting door. That, too, showed his parents that he was determined.

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