Season 3 of Derry Girls will start filming in May 3 weeks ago

Season 3 of Derry Girls will start filming in May

Cracker! Ma Mary told JOE the good news and what she wants to see happen in Derry Girls Season 3.

After the first two seasons of Derry Girls proved to be such a global hit, Derry Girls Season 3 was a certainty and as soon as Bill Clinton's famous speech at Derry's Guildhall brought an end to the most recent episode, the good news was made official.

Derry Girls Season 3 is definitely on the way!

Well, during a recent interview with JOE, Tara Lynne O'Neill (Ma Mary) confirmed that the next season will start filming in May.

Don't believe us? Well, to quote her beloved character "you must think I came up the Foyle in a bubble." Thankfully, there's no need to catch yourself on with this news because Season 3 of Lisa McGee's comedy is set to start filming very soon.

"We start filming in May, but we haven't gotten the scripts yet. So, we don't know what's going to happen yet but we're all really excited to be back together," said O'Neill.

At present, nothing official has been confirmed by Channel 4 with regards to a production date - filming schedules can always change - but this is the clearest indication yet about a filming date for Derry Girls Season 3.

While no further details are known, we had to ask O'Neill what she would like to see happen with Ma Mary in the new episodes?

Don't worry, we asked her politely because as we all know, Mrs. Quinn is very of the wooden spoon.

"I'd love a Derry Girls episode of Halloween because Halloween in Derry is unbelievable. The whole city is heaving. Could you imagine who everyone would dress up as? I'd obviously be Hillary Clinton because I look like her - especially with that hair. I've only pitched one idea to Lisa for the scripts,  and that's how to learn to drive. In Season 1, Ian McElhinney (Granda Joe) asked Lisa if his character could learn to dance, just because he wanted to learn to dance, and that actually happened in Season 2!

"I'm surprised that she (McGee) hasn't blocked everyone yet from the Derry Girls WhatsApp group because everyone has an idea. But that's what's so brilliant about Lisa, she does listen to everyone but she already knows what's going to happen. There are too many stories in her family for her to use - like, if you've met her mam, you'll know - there are too many stories that she could write. Like, she could write Season 15 of Derry Girls and still be going," O'Neill joked.

Aside from delivering breathtaking putdowns - "I’ll spin you across that floor get your blazer on”- and memorable lines - "what were you doing heading up Pump Street with a cream horn, Da?" - another reason why fans absolutely adore Ma Mary is her incredible collection of bad jumpers.

Well, there's no need to wise up because it turns out that O'Neill loves that aspect of her character too.

"I think Ma Mary will eternally wear bad jumpers and I love it! Myself and Cathy Prior (costume designer), I'll phone her during the year with a photo of a bad jumper from a second-hand shop and go 'look at this.' I'll wear anything that's hideous! It's great to go into work, wear the worst jumpers in the world, and have a fry for breakfast!," said O'Neill.

As for those withering putdowns, well, the talented actress feels her character is a perfect reflection of most Irish mothers.

"It's the tough love, but it's all said with a twinkle in your eye. Anywhere else in the world, what Ma Mary says would be child abuse but in Ireland, it's perfectly normal!," she joked.

That commitment to keeping things authentic, true to Derry, and proud of your own voice, accent, and identity is key to the show's success and when JOE sat down with O'Neill, Seamus Heaney isn't far from her thoughts.

That's because the actress is a large part of the ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ event that's organised by Tourism NI which celebrates Heaney’s work.

Curated by Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the literary centre in Bellaghy, Derry, which takes visitors on a journey through the life and literature of the beloved poet, the initiative aims to highlight the literary connections between Seamus Heaney HomePlace and the hugely successful ‘Listen Now Again’ exhibition.

Recently, Seamus Heaney HomePlace reached its 130,000 visitor milestone, while the Listen Now Again exhibition, which draws on the National Library’s extensive Heaney archive, has welcomed over 162,000 visitors since it opened in Dublin in July 2018.

Speaking with O'Neill, it's clear that Heaney's legacy continues to influence in her own work. Whether it's a wedding in Bellaghy, a rural farm in Northern Ireland, or the joys of everyday life, Heaney's work reflected the beauty in the world that the majority of people were too busy to stop and notice.

In some ways, Derry Girls is cut from the same cloth because while the comedy is set against the background of The Troubles, it has never solely been about The Troubles.

Despite these massive events taking place, everyday life goes on and it's usually hilarious, chaotic, and joyful - something that speaks to all of us.

On this note, O'Neill admits that that two scenes have really resonated with viewers around the world.

"I had a lot of people asking me about the big bowl. I didn't know the story about the Big Bowl at the time, but I remember those stories. It wouldn't necessarily be a big bowl, but it might be something like a tea pot that's lent to a funeral. You know, the funeral happens but the tea pot never comes back and it's passed around. So, I kind of knew the craic but the reaction was so funny. Like, people were whispering to me 'what's the story with the Big Bowl?' - like it was some sort of top secret thing.

"The amount of people that also recognise 'pass me the wooden spoon.' I'd like to say that it was never used, it's the threat of it. It's instantly recognisable, that's the genius of Lisa's writing. Like, everyone has a boring uncle Colm in their family. We do all have those people. Also, there will always be rock the boat at a wedding, there will be lots of bad hats and lots of bad dancing!," she said.

We're expecting more of the same when Derry Girls Season 3 starts filming. Whatever direction the show goes in, we know that it's going to be cracker.