Louisa Harland

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Louisa Harland
Harland in 2021
Louisa Clare Harland[1]

1993 or 1994 (age 30–31)
Dublin, Ireland
Alma materMountview Academy of Theatre Arts
Years active2011–present
Notable workDerry Girls

Louisa Clare Harland (born 1993 or 1994)[2] is an Irish actress. She is known for her roles as Orla McCool in the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls (2018–2022) and the titular character of the Disney+ series Renegade Nell (2024).

Early life[edit]

Brought up in Dundrum, South Dublin,[1] Harland has two older sisters, Katie and Ellie. She was part of the Ann Kavanagh Youth Theatre in Rathfarnham.[3] She trained at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London.[4]


Television and film[edit]

Upon graduation, Harland landed a recurring role as Kayleigh in the RTÉ One series Love/Hate in 2011.[5] She later appeared in films Rob Burke's Standby (2014) and Woody Harrelson's Lost in London (2017).[6]

In 2017,[7] it was announced Harland had been cast as Orla McCool, the eccentric cousin of Erin Quinn (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), in the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls. The first series aired in January 2018, receiving critical and commercial acclaim, and the second in March 2019.[8][9][10]

On 26 June 2020, Harland and her fellow Derry Girls costars performed a sketch with Saoirse Ronan for the RTÉ fundraising special RTÉ Does Comic Relief, with proceeds from the night going towards those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[11] That same year, Harland appeared in the film Boys from County Hell.

Harland plays the lead role of Nell Jackson in the 2024 Disney+ series Renegade Nell.[12]


In March 2021, Harland performed with Sam Otto in an adaptation of the play Endless Second, by Theo Toksvig-Stewart, for BBC Radio 4.[13] That May, she performed in an adaptation of the debut novel Snowflake, by Louise Nealon, for BBC Radio 4.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Harland lives in Ladbroke Grove, London.[15] She is in a relationship with English actor Calvin Demba.[16]



Year Title Role Notes
2014 Standby Julie
2017 Lost in London Stella
2018 Sunday Tide Violet Short film
2020 Boys from County Hell Claire McCann
2022 BabyDolls Barbara Short film


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Love/Hate Kayleigh 4 episodes
2016 Doctors Caz Ellison Episode: "Peanut"
Harley and the Davidsons Secretary Mini-series
2018 Finding Joy Tara Episode: "Letting Go"
2018–2022 Derry Girls Orla McCool Main role
2019 Handy Finnoula Episode: "Pilot"
2020 The Deceived Cloda O'Donnell 4 episodes
2023 Big Boys Midwife Kerry McFall Episode: "The Night When"
2024 Renegade Nell Nell Jackson Lead role


Year Title Role Notes
2021 Whistle Through The Shamrocks Mammy Podcast


Year Title Role Notes
2018 Cotton Fingers Aoife Aberaeron Memorial Hall, Aberaeron[17]
2019 Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. Niamh Royal Court Theatre, London[18]
2023 Dancing at Lughnasa Agnes Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London[19]
Ulster American Ruth Davenport Riverside Studios, London[20]
2024 Long Day's Journey Into Night Cathleen Wyndham's Theatre, London[21]


  1. ^ a b "INTERVIEW: Derry Girls Saoirse Jackson and Louisa Harland: 'I never won anything on Sports Day but now I'm on a mural!'". Derry Journal. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Derry Girls stars are way past GCSE age". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Louisa Harland discusses working on Derry Girls — District". Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Louisa Harland". Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  5. ^ Berry, Darragh (29 January 2019). "PIC: Orla From Derry Girls Was A Massive Character In Love/Hate But You'd Never Guess In A Million Years". Lovin.ie. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  6. ^ Hannon, Shane (29 April 2020). "Improv with Woody Harrelson, Derry Girls, and the OTB Culture HOF - Louisa Harland". OTB Sports. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  7. ^ "Casting announced for new Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls | Channel 4". www.channel4.com.
  8. ^ "Derry Girls Press Release". Channel 4.
  9. ^ Power, Ed (5 March 2019). "Derry Girls, series 2 episode 1 review: the girls are back, still uproarious, and still on the pull". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Why Derry Girls actress was in tears after Channel 4 staff saw her working in pub at Christmas party". Belfast Telegraph. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Derry Girls cast fangirl over Ronan in hilarious sketch". RTE. 26 June 2020.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Harriet (10 February 2024). "Happy Valley boss's new crime show confirms release date". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 10 February 2024. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Drama: Endless Second". Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 4 Drama: Snowflake". Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  15. ^ Sigee, Rachael (28 March 2024). "Louisa Harland: 'I get very defensive over the LGBT community'". iNews. Retrieved 30 March 2024.
  16. ^ Trainor, Julie Ann (23 April 2023). "'I love London but I miss home so much' – Derry Girls star Louisa Harland on life, love and her latest project". Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 August 2023.(subscription required)
  17. ^ "NHS70: Cotton Fingers". National Theatre Wales. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Louisa Harland". Royal Court Theatre. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Louisa Harland". National Theatre. Retrieved 19 May 2023.
  20. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (3 October 2023). "Woody Harrelson, Louisa Harland, Andy Serkis to Headline David Ireland's Social Satire 'Ulster American'". Variety. Retrieved 17 October 2023.
  21. ^ Akbar, Arifa (3 April 2024). "Long Day's Journey Into Night review – Brian Cox upstaged by Patricia Clarkson's morphine fiend". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2024. Louisa Harland, for her part, is so effective as the family maid, Cathleen, that you want more of her. She lifts every scene she is in, turning a functional role into a comic highlight.

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