Getting to Know Denise Gough: The 'Star Wars' Actress About to Go Supernova

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We're about to see Irish actress Denise Gough in her most high-profile role yet. In the new Star Wars series Andor, premiering today (September 21) on Disney+, she plays a high-ranking Imperial officer called Dedra Meero. "If I'm gonna be in a franchise I might as well be in the biggest one in the f**king galaxy," she told the Evening Standard playfully. To bring you up to speed, here's a handy guide to Gough's career to date.
1. She's an award-winning stage actress.
Gough has worked extensively on stage since she graduated from acting school in 2003, mainly in productions in London and Dublin. In 2016, she won her first Olivier Award for her performance as a woman battling addiction in People, Places and Things, a role she later reprised on Broadway. Then in 2018, she earned her second Olivier Award and a Tony nomination for portraying an agoraphobic housewife in Angels in America.

2. She appeared opposite Keira Knightley in the fascinating biopic Colette
Set in early 20th century Paris, this 2018 movie tells the story of revered French author Gabrielle Colette. Gough has a key supporting role as Mathilde de Morny, an artist who presented as male – something virtually unheard of at the time – who eventually became Colette's lover. It's a somewhat underrated film well worth seeking out.

3. She starred in AMC's psychological thriller series Too Close.
In this gripping three-parter, Gough plays Connie Mortensen, an affluent young woman accused of murdering her two children. Mortensen claims to be suffering from dissociative amnesia, meaning she cannot remember anything about what happened, so forensic psychologist Dr. Emma Robertson (Emily Watson) is recruited to assess her sanity. It's twisty stuff that you can stream on AMC+.

4. She has also dipped her toes into the horror genre.
Gough starred in 2021's well-received Martyrs Lane, a ghost story about a 10-year-old girl (Kiera Thompson) who's visited at night by a potentially malevolent presence. Gough portrays her worried mother, who is understandably horrified by the bond her daughter seems to be forming with the spirit. You can stream the movie on Shudder.

5. She was nearly part of the Game of Thrones franchise.
In 2019, Variety reported that Gough had been cast opposite Naomi Watts and Jamie Campbell Bower in an untitled GoT prequel series. Sadly, HBO decided not to proceed with the series after shooting an unaired pilot episode, so we'll never know what her character would have been like. Even so, it's a fun mental picture to ponder. 
6. She appeared in this year's acclaimed miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven.
Created by Dustin Lance Black (Milk), this true-crime series follows Mormon detective Jeb Pyre (Andrew Garfield) as he investigates the brutal murder of Brenda Lafferty (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman who rebelled against the Mormon way of life. Gough portrays Brenda's sister-in-law, Dianna, who has resigned herself to the submissive role that her community expects of women. Gough previously starred opposite Garfield in Angels in America, so the project was a mini-reunion for the actors.

Do you have a favorite Denise Gough performance to date?