The Untold Truth Of Daisy Edgar-Jones

Daisy Edgar-Jones’ rise to fame is similar to that of a weird but wonderful fairytale. The fresh-faced Londoner didn’t exactly have a stellar acting CV before being cast as the lead in Normal People, a 12-part Hulu/BBC series based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel of the same name. Edgar-Jones also isn’t Irish, despite her character Marianne being a typical girl from the Northern Ireland town of Sligo. And while a pandemic may seem like a less than ideal scenario for a new show’s release — it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the young actor.

Normal People fortunately finished filming just a week before the country went into lockdown (per the Evening Standard) and subsequently aired worldwide during the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. While some motivated people baked banana bread or began learning a new language during quarantine, others took refuge in binging shows — which saw a then 21-year-old Edgar-Jones become an overnight sensation. Normal People became one of the biggest BBC shows ever (per The Sun), having been streamed 21.8 million times within a week — beating a record previously held by Killing Eve (per Metro).

Edgar-Jones told The Guardian that while she knew fans of the book would enjoy the show, she was “surprised” by how popular it was. “Lockdown meant it perhaps caught fire quicker in a way, because we had a trapped audience. It’s been a wild few months for us.” Edgar-Jones’ life is equally “wild” — did you know she has her ex boyfriend to thank for her casting in Normal People? Read on for some little-known facts about the British star.

Daisy Edgar-Jones owes her Normal People audition to her ex boyfriend

Daisy Edgar-Jones may have the acting chops, however, the 22-year-old also awkwardly has her ex boyfriend to thank for her role in Normal People. Edgar-Jones told The Sydney Morning Herald that she hadn’t read the critically-acclaimed Irish novel until her then-boyfriend, actor Tom Varey, told her about the BBC adaptation and subsequently filmed her audition tape.

She also confessed she had to compete with her friend for the role of Marianne. “My friend had auditioned for Marianne as well and he [Varey] helped her tape [a screen test] for it.” While she liked the idea of the story, it wasn’t until she read the book for herself that she “fell ridiculously in love with it” — so much so that she vividly pictured herself as Marianne while reading. “Then, when I read the book … I was reading it thinking, I was Marianne, which was even more intense.” 

What must have been even more intense for Edgar-Jones was, not only filming those steamy and intimate sexual scenes the show is famous for her, with her on-screen love interest Paul Mescal — but knowing boyfriend Varey would be watching it. She told the Evening Standard while Varey felt slightly uncomfortable, she went out for dinner with him and Mescal prior to filming and also sat him down during previews. “He was gritting his teeth [during the sex scenes] but at least he’s seen it now,” she said.

Daisy Edgar-Jones said losing out on acting roles prepared her for dating

While the sting of rejection is a common theme among actors, Daisy Edgar-Jones also compares it to dating. “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,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. Edgar-Jones recently broke up with her Game of Thrones star boyfriend Tom Varey following two years.

The couple met on set of their British drama film Pond Life in 2018 and even lived together during London’s lockdown. However, an insider told Page Six the couple mutually called it quits to focus on their careers. “Daisy has been inundated with opportunities and feels she has to put them first, Tom’s also really dedicated to his acting and wants the best for both of them.” 

While they’re still reportedly “close,” Edgar-Jones seems to be moving on rather quickly with rumors swirling that she’s dating co-star — sadly not Paul Mescal (pictured above) — Sebastian Stan from her new show Fresh. The 38-year-old Romanian/American actor (known for Captain America; I, Tonya; and Gossip Girl) was snapped locking lips with Edgar-Jones on the streets of Vancouver just a few weeks after her break-up. Despite no dating confirmation, The Sun reports that the stars — who also play lovers on-screen — have been going sightseeing together. Sources say, “Sebastian has told friends that he thinks Daisy’s a bright spark and set for a massive career in Hollywood.”

Daisy Edgar-Jones read every book Marianne did in Normal People to get in character

Like her Normal People character, Daisy Edgar-Jones also calls herself a “big book reader” (per Paper Magazine), so perhaps it’s little surprise she prepared for the role in the most Marianne way possible — by reading every book she does. Edgar-Jones told The Evening Standard she even read the first volume of Proust. Despite having not read Normal People prior to learning of its adaptation, she did reveal she read the book five times before shooting and “about ten times” after.

Aside from reading, she spent weeks practicing her Irish accent, as a born and bred Londoner. Edgar-Jones began by watching videos of author Sally Rooney to perfect the posh and “precise” County Mayo dialect, as the director had a “very specific idea” of Marianne’s voice, per InStyle. “Because Ireland is amazing — there are so many different accents, and it was really important to get the nuance right,” she said. Despite having a professional accent coach, Edgar-Jones also has a “personal” accent coach — with her mother being from Northern Ireland.

Edgar-Jones, an only child, who’s been praised for her Irish accent delivery, said during a BAFTA Q&A (per Hello Magazine) that she visited Ireland numerous times previously. “I am lucky that my mum is from the north of Ireland so that helped. It is kind of like singing and I have been over to Ireland loads of time as a child so I had an understanding of the ‘r’ sound and the specifics of the accent and sensibilities.”

Daisy Edgar-Jones cut her iconic Marianne bangs after being rejected for another role

Daisy Edgar-Jones’ character Marianne’s bangs are as synonymous as her sartorial style and while she had a stylist on-set — the hair was apparently all her. Edgar-Jones revealed on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon her bangs came to be after she angrily chopped her hair away after she was rejected for another role.

“It’s so funny ’cause my fringe came from a result of like not getting a part I really wanted,” she told Fallon. Despite being a hasty hairstyle decision, Edgar-Jones said she probably owes her success to that moment. “And then after that I got a job. So I do owe a lot of my career to — I seem to only be able to act if you can only see a partial amount of my face.” While most of us mortals would butcher our own hair, Edgar-Jones somehow effortlessly achieved a funky fringe, which caused worldwide hair lust — including a dedicated Instagram account called @mariannesbangs.

However, Edgar-Jones told Fallon her bangs got “out of control” during the coronavirus lockdown — we’ve all been there. “My poor flatmate had the responsibility of cutting it. She did a pretty good job but it definitely went through lots of different stages.” Edgar-Jones said she’s now currently going through the “stressful” stage of growing out her fringe to “mix it up” per The Sydney Morning Herald. Who will give us our bangs inspo now? Sigh.

Daisy Edgar-Jones is the proud owner of one of Connell's chains

Similarly to how Marianne’s bangs has a socials following, Daisy Edgar-Jones’ Normal People costar — Paul Mescal — has his own fetishsized Instagram account with @connellschain. The account has over 174,000 followers who lust over steamy pictures of Mescal’s character, Connell, wearing a dainty gold chain which are accompanied by sarcastic and witty captions including, “Alexa, play Nick Jonas ‘Chains.'”

While Mescal auctioned off one of Connell’s chains during a charity raffle for an Irish-based mental health service back in May 2020 (per Vogue), he told Variety he also gifted one to Edgar-Jones. “I gave it to Daisy and I’m not going to blame her for losing it! I gave it to her as a wrap gift with photographs at the end of filming.” We then came back to shoot the poster for the show and I had to wear it and it got lost in all the costumes and stuff but [it was found eventually] and I think Daisy has it now. You can call off the search party!”

The chain, which has been likened to “what James Dean did for the simple white T-shirt in the 1950s” (per The Guardian) — can unsurprisingly be purchased by the masses now. According to Glamour, shopping app LIKEtoKNOW.it reported a 500% spike in searches for “chain necklaces” following Normal People’s release. So if you can’t step in Daisy Edgar-Jones’ shoes, you might as well get your hands on her accessories.

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