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While she's become a household name, Daisy Edgar-Jones hasn't been able to leave her home.

Daisy Edgar-Jones hit the jackpot with her first major role.

Starring as lead character Marianne in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best selling novel Normal People, available to watch on Stan in Australia, Edgar-Jones has gained worldwide recognition very quickly, and it’s not everyday your big break comes in the middle of a global pandemic.

While past rising stars have been thrown into the lions den of late night talk shows and press junkets, Edgar-Jones and her co-star Paul Mescal have been left with very limited options: Interviews via phone or Zoom from their bedrooms.

Watch the Normal People trailer. Post continues below video.

Video via Stan

For Edgar-Jones, that means back-to-back chats with reporters from her flat in north London, with a casual approach not often enjoyed by stars in her position. Yes, that means a nice top with trackies, because no one can see below the waist anyway.

Who is Daisy Edgar-Jones?

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Image: Stan.
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The English actress was born in London to a Northern Irish mother and Scottish father, who both had screen backgrounds. Her mother was a TV editor, and her father was creative director of UK Big Brother.

She has been acting since a role in a school play when she was five. At the age of 16 she spent her spare time performing at the National Youth Theatre, which is where she was spotted by an agent who signed her, even though she had no classical acting training.

"I didn't get any roles for a while," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. "And it's hard not to take it personally, but you learn that often it's about something out of your control.

"Auditioning is like dating: you think something could be a match, you go on a few dates, then they ask somebody else out instead and you're heartbroken. With Normal People, if I hadn't got it, I would have found it really hard."

Her acting roles.

Since 2016 she has had a recurring role on British comedy drama Cold Feet, and has played a number of small parts in other British productions like Silent Witness and Gentleman Jack. Last year, she starred as a main role in TV series War of the Worlds and then in May 2019, landed the role of Marianne.

It was thanks to her boyfriend, actor Tom Varey, who she met when both appeared in the 2018 film Pond Life.

"My friend had auditioned for Marianne as well and he helped her tape [a screen test] for it," she told the SMH. "I thought, 'That sounds really good'."

"Then, when I read the book, I obviously fell ridiculously in love with it. I was reading it thinking I was Marianne, which was even more intense."

On playing Marianne in Normal People.

Image: Stan.
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Edgar-Jones told Paper she felt connected to Marianne, especially when she was at school.

"She talks a little bit about going to school one day and trying to change who she was to see if it would make a difference in the way people saw her, and it doesn't. And I think I found that at school, too.

"You know, you grow up a lot between 11 and 16. I felt that I was significantly different by the time I turned 16 but your friends will only see you as they have when you were 11. [Those scenes really hone in on] that feeling of not knowing who you are until you leave school and you meet new people and suddenly you're like, 'Oh, finally I've got people who are more like me.'

"I just loved playing Marianne," she said.

"I think she's an amazing woman. There were times where I felt really sorry for her. I just wanted someone to go tell her she needn't feel that way about herself."

Sex scenes and nudity are commonplace throughout the 12 episodes and were shot with the help of an intimacy coordinator, which helped to ensure everyone involved felt safe.

"What I'm really happy with is that there’s an equal representation of both our bodies," Edgar-Jones told The Guardian. "Paul is equally exposed. When we're in a scene and topless, it's different for Paul than it is for me, so that it's nice that there are shots where we are both fully nude. It means that there's more of a balance, gender-wise."

She told the Evening Standard her favourite scene in the entire series is in episode two, when Marianne and Connell have sex for the first time.

"I was really surprised by how beautifully it was shot and how unfreaky it was to watch. I was halfway through watching it back before I realised I wasn't wearing a top."

Even so, she admitted her partner Varey was "gritting his teeth" a little while watching the sex scenes but understands how the industry works. Her grandparents, on the other hand...

Her newfound fame... in a pandemic.

Interest in Edgar-Jones has skyrocketed in the days since Normal People's release: Her name has had a massive spike on Google search, as have related queries 'Daisy Edgar-Jones partner', 'Daisy Edgar Jones boyfriend' and 'Tom Varey Game of Thrones' (he appeared in series six as Cley Cerwyn).

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She's gained a cool 150,000 Instagram followers, too.

 

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Marianne having a breather ???? @endabowe

A post shared by Daisy Edgar-Jones (@daisyedgarjones) on

"I'm quite private," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I'm not very good at social media. I find it a bit stressful - trying to project who you are into some pictures. I feel too much pressure to be cool and quirky [with my posts] and I’m just not."

Normal People is screening around the world, propelling her to a worldwide audience. Meanwhile, she's stuck in her London flat due to COVID-19.

That makes grasping the hype pretty hard.

"It's awfully strange, because I'm just sat in my bedroom," she said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

"There's all this mad stuff happening and I'm just, like, in my bedroom. It is a bit odd."

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Feature image: Stan.

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