13 Aug 2022

Derry Girls star says she has been targeted by ‘cruel’ internet trolls since appearing in the show

One of the stand out stars of ‘Derry Girls’ says she has been the victim of internet trolls who have written ‘cruel things’ about her. Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare Devlin, made the comments in an article she has written for The Guardian about a theatre critic judging her for her body not her acting. “As an actor, your body is a gift. I can use mine to play neurotic Clare Devlin in Channel 4’s Derry Girls, or a tough-edged courtesan in 18th-century London in Harlots, or the tragic, misunderstood Joyce Emily Hammond, who I’m currently playing every night at the Donmar,” she wrote. “I’m very lucky to get to use my body to become all these fascinating women. “But the prism through which my body is viewed is inescapable.” Nicola said theatre critic Philip Fisher wrote a review of her performance in her current role as Joyce in which he referred to as an ‘overweight little girl’. When reviewing a play she did last August Fisher referred to her a  ‘fat girl’, a description that was removed from the review after the playwright complained. “I am not someone who cannot handle criticism, but if I wanted to read cruel things about myself I’d head to YouTube’s comments section under a Derry Girls video and fill my boots (it truly is the armpit of the internet),” continued Nicola. “This is different. “Fisher is a professional; he was meant to review my work. Instead he reviewed my body. “That is not acceptable.”

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