Whether you know her as a daemon in A Discovery of Witches, an orphan in War & Peace or a shop assistant in Mr Selfridge, Aisling Loftus is becoming an increasingly familiar face on our screens.
She’s also mastered the stage taking on the pivotal role of ‘the irrepressible Queenie’ in the critically acclaimed, five-star production of Small Island at the National Theatre – and starring in the equally prolific, The Treatment at the Almeida Theatre.
A Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow’, she continues to ascend with the lead role in Sky’s modern-day reimagining of a John Wyndham classic.
What projects are you most excited about?
The Midwich Cuckoos! It’s an adaptation of the John Wyndham novel, set in the near future and really digging into what it would actually be like if this really came to pass.
I play Zoe, who moves to Midwich full of hope for a new chapter in her life – becoming a mum, settling down. She gets the nightmare version of that.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Playing Queenie in Small Island at the National Theatre. That was something I’d dreamt of since I was a teenager.
Queenie does something unthinkable at the end of the play and it broke my heart every single night we did it; I could never make peace with it. I think that’s what kept it so interesting to me to play.
It was a brilliant cast – Leah Harvey and Gershwyn Eustace Junior plus a big ensemble cast – and that just brings out the best in you.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
I wish I’d had more perspective, beat myself up less, and enjoyed it all more. I could’ve had more fun and still done good work.
What do you still hope to achieve?
I’d love to work with the Chicago Steppenwolf Theatre Company. I saw a play by them called Downstate a few years ago and it blew me away.
It was about a group of convicted child abusers living in a home together and one is confronted by someone he had abused. It was so beautifully acted and hit like a gut punch.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
In terms of actors – Annette Bening, Toni Collette, Sarah Paulson, Viola Davis, Monica Dolan, Imelda Staunton, and Samantha Morton.
I love watching these actors so much; they make me feel excited about how far you can take things, how deeply you can affect people in telling a story.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
There’s nothing, I’ve been an over-sharer for a long time.
What’s your favourite item of clothing?
I’ve got a bright blue (maybe cyan?) Paul Smith suit. My husband bought it for my 30th and if I lived a chicer life, I’d wear it every day.
I’ve got some bits from Alighieri that are so unique and gorgeous – I got them when my baby was born.
It’s easy to feel not at your best in those early months and they pep me up when I wear them.
What do you take on holiday and why?
Platform heels, because this year holidays are also weddings and I can’t do more than a couple of hours in stilettos without cramping up. I’m so out of practice.
I bought some beautiful simple ones from Aeyde and Reformation recently.
Is there an item you lost that you still miss?
I miss every bit of cashmere I’ve shrunk in the wash. I never learn.
What’s next on your shopping list?
Some Aeyde flats.
What would you buy if money was no object?
I’d buy so many trainers. I have to really have a word with myself, I’m constantly looking on END or Offspring.
Also, a dress from The Vampire’s Wife. That would be very dreamy.
The Midwich Cuckoos will be available on Sky Max and streaming service NOW from 2 June.