Aisling Bea

This Way Up: Aisling Bea reveals the truth behind that excruciating scene

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Aisling Bea has explained the story behind that Zombie singing scene in This Way Up, and it’s absolutely hilarious.

When Aisilng Bea energetically walked onto the Stylist Live LUXE stage, insisting that she wasn’t making a “Theresa May dancing” style entrance, we knew it was going to be a very funny half hour. Although Bea got serious about how tiring it can be to take on a personal writing project like This Way Up, she also had the audiences in painful stiches of laughter.

From explaining that hilarious Zombie scene with Sharon Horgan from This Way Up to revealing her Marvel superhero character, here are seven of the funniest answers Bea gave us.

On working with Sharon Horgan

Myself and Sharon have a relationship that’s more like being sisters than friends. So we get a lot done because she’s like ‘C’mon’ and I’m like [quivering] ‘OK’. So, Sharon and I have a good old work ethic. She’s the daughter of a turkey farmer and I’m the daughter of a single parent jockey. Between the two of us we tend to get about 70 hours of work done per day.

On filming the excrutiating Zombie scene in This Way Up

The one time we found it hard to get anything done together while filming was when, if you watch the show, you see a clip of us doing a beautiful rendition of Zombie [by The Cranberries]. Both of us like to think we’re really good singers – and when we were trying to harmonise and do that, we did it so many times to the point of annoying ourselves. The crew didn’t find it funny anymore, the other actors didn’t find it funny and we didn’t find it funny.

We had to do that scene like 17 times. [starts singing Zombie].

On her initial reaction to getting the part in Living With Yourself

Paul Rudd is clearly a star and quite expensive; and I’d say they had £48 left to cast me. I’m [basically] free. I still can’t believe I’m in it. And that’s not me being self-deprecating. Other people go, ‘I can’t believe you’re in it’. So, it’s backed up by them. Even my brother-in-law is like, ‘I keep hearing your voice in the show – like, there’s Aisling’. I still can’t believe it. I see my face on Netflix and think ‘Ah, c’mon now’.

On flying first class for work

People in interviews always go, “I saw the script and they flew me out”. I’ve never been that person: I’ve always been like, “I saw the script and I didn’t get the audition”. But they flew me out to New York on business class [for Living With Yourself] and I was like ‘This is lovely, it’s great to just be on a plane’.

Aisling Bea
Aisling Bea.

On doing a Marvel film

I just want to work on small, independent things with no money behind them… Money? Meh [laughs]. What superhero would I be? The Bea – who just does secretarial work. That would be my power, just sending fast emails.

On her first TV pilot – and nearly winning an Oscar (kinda)

I did a pilot with Sharon [Horgan] about seven or eight years ago on a show called Dead Brass. A year later it was commissioned and another year later we had a script. And I was like, ‘’Well this is it, I’m going to get an Oscar, the first Oscar for television after this. If I want to do stand up, I’d better start now otherwise the paparazzi will be in my house. So I kind of went with it and did stand up… and the show got cancelled. But a quick seven years later myself and Sharon did another show.

On having a personal assistant

I’ve recently taken on a wonderful assistant, Claire - and I get her to help with the recycling. So Claire is kind of like my clone. I just hate the idea that I put things in the wrong recycling bin. And so we’re working out where plugs go – where do you put light bulbs? I’m an adult but where do you put old bulbs? Does anyone know? Exactly! Ask Claire.

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Images: Bronan McNeil, Getty

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…