Irish actor Aisling Bea on writing This Way Up in lockdown while filming the new Home Alone movie reboot, women’s inner lives and her abiding love of potato waffles

When it comes to comedy, there is little Aisling Bea can’t turn her hand to. After training as an actor, she began performing standup in her mid 20s and quickly became a rising star of the scene, winning the Edinburgh fringe’s So You Think You’re Funny? competition in 2012 and landing a nomination for best newcomer at the festival the following year. The Kildare-born comic’s chatterbox charisma readily translated to the screen; Bea soon became a panel show fixture, while continuing to land roles in sitcoms on both sides of the pond. In 2019, she wrote and starred in her own Channel 4 comedy-drama, This Way Up, playing Áine, an exuberant and quick-witted EFL teacher who struggles with her mental health. The show’s combination of giddy humour and emotional heft was a winning one, and a second, pandemic-crafted series aired this summer. Television mastered, the 37-year-old is now segueing into film – specifically the new Home Alone reboot, Home Sweet Home Alone, in which she takes on the role of panicked matriarch Carol.

Updated versions of beloved family films from the 1980s and 1990s tend to elicit a strong response online. How have you found the reaction to Home Sweet Home Alone so far?
Everyone’s like: “You’re remaking it, you’re going to ruin my Christmas!” Oh yeah, because Disney deleted the old one so you’ll never see it again and then they force you to pay money to watch this on Disney+. I’ve found the reaction to it really heartwarming and funny. It was sort of what Twitter was created for: people to complain about things that don’t matter.

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