The lead actress was worried that her character Erin Quinn would not be received well by viewers of the Channel 4 sitcom which debuted in 2018.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper: “I felt in a perpetual state of fear.
“I didn’t think of it as a risk when I was doing it because Lisa [McGee], the writer, instilled such faith in me.
“I’d basically auditioned and I just thought that Erin was very physical and that the madness of the world and all the characters around her would lend itself to a physical comedy performance.”
The character is one of four Catholic schoolgirls – along with the ‘wee English fella’ – who live in Derry during the Troubles and is known for her adolescent facial contortions.
Jackson revealed she took inspiration from iconic comics including Jim Carrey and Rowan Atkinson, despite fearing she had blown any opportunity for finding her big break.
“When it first came out and it was commented on a lot, I felt extremely vulnerable and really anxious,” she said.
“And felt scared that I would never get cast in anything else again.
“And I was terrified that I was just… bad.”
Her fears were proved wrong as Derry Girls became the most popular Channel 4 comedy since Father Ted.
After appearing on Netflix it became a global sensation.
Earlier this summer Jackson appeared alongside Ezra Miller and Ben Affleck in the $190m DC superhero flick The Flash.
She also stars in the upcoming Paramount+ period thriller The Doll Factory which has been adapted from Elizabeth Macneal’s 2019 novel about a murder in the Victorian art establishment in the run up to the 1851 Great Exhibition.
The star’s experience has learned from the experience.
“I was so absorbed in the anxiety of it that I forgot it was working,” she said.
“It was obviously working.
“The show was a big success and people loved it.
“That was a lesson for me to learn creatively. If you half-arse a big decision, it’s never going to work and really land.”
Jackson is also in Netflix series, The Decameron, which is based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th-century collection of comic short stories.
But she doesn’t think “anything will ever compare” to her time in Derry Girls.
The actress described former NI Secretary Julian Smith referencing the “brilliant” Derry Girls during a debate in the House of Commons last year as “one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had”.
“He gave this speech where he’s talking about the importance of the Good Friday Agreement and Erin’s monologue [in the final episode],” she said.
“I did not think that a character I played in a comedy would be talked about in Westminster by one of Boris Johnson’s cronies.
“I just feel like I’m in an upside-down land!”Tags: