I did 'Disco Pigs' in the summer of my final year in Trinity, and it kind of all just started. There was this massive explosion.

It was one of those summers you look back on.

I think I kind of grew up.

There were such a lot of things happened, and the cast and crew were all really tight and very protective. Myself and Cillian Murphy were only 19 or 20, babies really. We toured to London and Toronto. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

By the end of it, we were cocky little so and sos, and didn't expect anything less.

Then myself and Cillian got offered film roles at the same time.

I live in Edinburgh now and I had come back to Dublin to do a show with Rough Magic. I knew nothing of the film of Disco Pigs until then, and by then it was cast. It was a hard lesson to learn. Just because you've always played the part doesn't mean you get to hold on to your baby. It keeps your feet on the ground a little bit. I had just gone through eight months of unemployment, it would have been lovely to have done it on screen, but that's the way the cookie crumbles. It was incredibly emotional to go and see the film, because Enda Walsh was still involved and there were parts of the script that I was almost able to repeat word for word.

I'm a jobbing actor and I do whatever comes my way. I earn my bread and butter through theatre, my mortgage gets paid through theatre and I'm very grateful for that.

When the gods are shining, something great in film or television comes along.

I've just done a TV series called Pure Mule, written by Eugene O'Brien, which was just a brilliant script.

These days, if I get something, I think it's meant to be, and if I don't then it's not. I've been very lucky, luckier than most.

I chased the part in 'The Magdalene Sisters'. I met the director Peter Mullan on the set of Miss Julie, and he was talking about the part of Crispina, which I played.

From then on, whenever I was going to auditions for other things, I would ask "Are you casting Magdalene?" Then I happened to be in Dublin, and Peter Mullan said to my agent "if she's here now". I did one audition, I improvised for 10 minutes and I played the part I played on screen and that was it.

The kudos is great from doing a part like that. But you do put your heart and soul into it. I almost lost my boyfriend over it. My head was up my arse. One day I would be doing the hanging scene, the next day the nude scene. At times it got really heavy. I think myself and my now husband both learned from that.

Eileen Walsh plays Portia in Corcadorca's production of 'The Merchant of Venice', from 14-25 June.

www. corcadorca. com