Máiréad Tyers From Drama School to Disney+: A Journey into Acting

From Drama School to Disney+ and the Art of Acting Exploration.

POSTED BY GEORGIA ROBERTS

Máiréad Tyers, an accomplished Irish actress, has recognition for her standout performance as Jen in Disney+'s "Extraordinary." With remarkable talents, she has portrayed diverse and captivating characters throughout her career. In an exclusive interview, I had the privilege of discussing her remarkable journey—from graduating the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2020 to securing the lead role in a Disney+ series.

  Photo: Disney +

First off, I wanted to ask what fuelled your passion to embark
on an acting career?

I went to drama classes after school from a young age and always loved them. They were the two hours I most looked forward to in the week. I adored the permission acting gave me to explore and be creative. I’d seek out any opportunity to perform — working as an extra on short films or getting the bus up to Dublin for open casting calls. The older I got, the more my love for it grew, and I knew I didn’t want to do anything else. Thankfully, my parents were in full support of me going to drama school and pursuing my ambition. It was always a case of ‘if you never try it, you’ll never know.’

You graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2020, what advice would you give to the younger generation who wish to follow down the acting path?

I think everyone’s journey is so different so try not to compare — focus on yourself. Consume as much film/TV/theatre/books/art etc. as you possibly can and find out what you like and don’t like. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end
of the day, all you’re doing is playing fancy dress and Pretending!

Each character you play is completely different so, how do you dive into the mindset of the character?

I love making a playlist for characters. I find it to be an easy way into their psyche. It’s something grounding to return to during the shoot when I’m feeling exhausted and need to find focus again.

I really like your character in ‘Extraordinary’ and since your character doesn’t seem to have a superpower, I’m curious: If you could have one, what would it be and why?

Teleportation, not having to get on a stinking tube in thirty-degree weather would be quite nice. I could also nip home to Ireland whenever I wanted.

Photo: Disney +

 

What has been your favorite role to act so far and why has it been your favorite?

I loved playing Susannah in “My Lady Jane”, which will be coming to Amazon later this year. Having the opportunity to work with people like Kate O’Flynn, Jim Broadbent, and Rob Brydon; all actors I hugely admire, felt completely surreal. On top of that, I got to do some serious sword fighting, which was incredible and terrifying in equal measure.

Outside of your work, do you have any hobbies or interests you would like to share?

I love cooking, specifically Korean and Japanese food. I go through a ridiculous amount of kimchi in a week. I’ve never been to either country but would love to go soon.

Who has inspired you the most in your career or life, motivating you to pursue what you do?

My Grandad was a Gaeilgeoir and spent his life’s work encouraging the use of the Irish language, traveling around Ireland collecting people’s stories, and teaching those who wanted to learn. He had a very clear vocation; one I feel I share in doing what I do. I’d love to create work “as Gaeilge” (in Irish). We have such a rich history of storytelling as a people and I want to contribute to the continuation of that; to do it all with a brilliant sense of humor too, the way my Grandad did.

If you had the chance to travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self? Would there be anything you would want to change?

I wouldn’t want to change anything. I would just tell the younger me to enjoy being a kid as much as you possibly can. I’d give anything to relive the excitement of rushing home from soccer
training on a Wednesday at 8 pm to watch “Glee”.

What’s a skill you have that fans might not expect or know about you?

I’m pretty good at Ultimate Frisbee. I represented Ireland, but it must be said that in
my day, thirty people showed up for the trials and twenty-six got on the team. But nonetheless, I’ve represented my country in a sport and that’s pretty cool.

How does it feel to be a part of a TV series that’s on Disney+?

It’s amazing! Disney+ have made so many shows that I love, so seeing the “Extraordinary” poster on the website amongst all those other shows in so cool. I feel so proud to be part of something where everyone who worked on it gave it their all,
and I can’t wait for the second season to come out. I think Emma Moran, the writer, has outdone herself.

What thoughts were going through your head when you auditioned for the role of Jen in “Extraordinary”?

I loved the script. I thought it was hilarious and so different from anything I had read before. I did the tape and just assumed it wouldn’t go any further, I thought they would go for someone with profile to lead a Disney+ show, so I couldn’t believe it when I even got the first recall. I went back in a few times for the chemistry reads and further auditions and thought the whole time, ‘They’re bringing me back in because I learn my lines and turn up on time, so I’m a handy person to read in while they cast the other parts.’ I was over the moon when I got offered the part. I was so glad they cast new actors who hadn’t done much before, I think it’s what makes the show so unique.