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08th Jun 2020

Normal People star speaks of racist abuse she received while filming in Dublin

James Fenton

Normal People star Aoife Hinds has spoken of the racist abuse she received while filming for the series on the streets of Dublin.

Aoife, who played Connell’s girlfriend Helen in the show, told the Sunday World that she was racially abused by some children as she Paul Mescal filmed a scene. She told the publication how she and Mescal, who played Connell in Normal People, were filming when the incident happened, saying “a group of preteens I’d say, ran up to us when we were in a middle of a scene and started shouting a racial slur at me. We were all just baffled.”

Hinds added that “Paul started to walk towards them as they were running off. I told him not to bother as I wanted to brush it off and get back to the scene, but that was obviously a defence mechanism. I later regretted that and wished Paul had have gone over to them, to tell them it wasn’t OK to say those kind of things. Or better, to calmly go over to them myself.”

Aoife is the daughter of Game Of Thrones actor Ciaran Hinds and is originally from Vietnam but moved to France at the age of three. Her account of her ordeal comes as anti-racist demonstrations take place around the world in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis a fortnight ago.

Hinds, who has also appeared in Derry Girls, added that “all the crew were extremely supportive, needless to say shocked, but it just goes to show how racism is ingrained in our society when kids are being brought up hearing all these kind of things.”