• Culture

Drogheda’s Louise Kiely receives Emmy nod for Normal People

Louise Kiely Paul Mescal
Louise Kiely and Paul Mescal have received Emmy nominations.

Drogheda woman Louise Kiely is celebrating an Emmy nomination today, one of four nods received by the transatlantic smash hit show Normal people.

The casting director has been rewarded for her work in pairing relative unknowns Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones together in what has emerged as one of the biggest global hits of 2020. Louise, who runs Louise Kiely Casting, has been nominated in the category of Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series.


Mescal has been nominated in the Oustanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series category for his role as Connell in the show which broadcast on BBC Three, RTE and Hulu.

Director Lenny Abrahamson also picked up a nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, with writers Sally Rooney and Alice Birch nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series. The 2020 Emmys is scheduled to be held on Sunday September 20, hosting by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

Louise Kiely finds herself in the same category as those who cast the HBO hit Watchmen, as well as Netflix shows Unorthodox, Unbeliveable and Mrs America, which airs on FX.

Speaking to LouthNow.ie earlier this month, Louise spoke about the process of casting the show. “If we had got it wrong it would have been a big disaster, as in, people would not have loved them the way they do. At the time, I just felt that it was almost an honour to try to get to find these very beloved characters and I knew that came with a very large amount of work.

“Paul was easy – we knew he was perfect for Connell pretty early on but what we needed in Marianne was something very specific. It took a bit of, I suppose, dogged stubbornness, to just hold out until we found the perfect person for her.” That person was English actress Jones, who will herself be disappointed she did not garner a nomination.

Having lived in Drogheda for the last nine years, Louise has a very strong connection with the area. As an actress earlier in her career, she starred in the Drogheda-based RTE drama Love Is The Drug alongside Ruth Negga while she also acted as the casting director on 2016’s A Date for Mad Mary.

“Louth is home for me so being part of the film which is obviously about a Drogheda woman, was really cool and it was brilliant for Louth, the town and the guys,” Louise told us. That film went on to win Best Film at the Irish Film and Television Awards in 2017.

As well as her involvement in TV and film, Louise is also a fervent supporter of local youth theatre in the county and beyond. She told LouthNow.ie that the experience of working on Normal People was perfect lockdown viewing earlier this year but watching it first time around was tough.

“By the end of it my brain was fried. I was watching it via my own work lens. Then I watched it all through a second time, much slower, and I absolutely relished it. It’s just a beautiful story.

“I like the idea that we were all kind of stuck in our homes and I suppose nobody could travel but in a way we all kind of travelled the Marianne and Connell road together in lockdown and fell in love with them. I’m honoured to be a part of it.

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