Raw Star Charlene McKenna Gets her US Big Break

Fans of RTE's restaurant drama Raw (which we still can't believe they cancelled) will know actress Charlene McKenna for her IFTA winning role as Jojo, or before that, as Jen in Pure Mule.

Since then she has appeared in the likes of Channel 4's comedy Sirens, BBC's Merlin, E4's Misfits, and most recently as Rose Erskine in Ripper Street on BBC One.

Back in 2009, McKenna just lost out on a role opposite Will Ferrell in the Land of the Lost, with the part instead going to Anna Friel, but it seems now America has come knocking again, as she has just landed a role in the upcoming The Clan of the Cave Bear pilot for the US network Lifetime.

The script is written by Maleficent scribe Linda Woolverton and based on Jean M. Auel’s series of best-selling novels of the same name. While the one and only Ron Howard is on board to executive produce the pilot while Pierre Morel (Taken, The Gunman) will direct.

The series itself is set some 25,000 years ago, when Neanderthals shared the planet with the first early modern humans. According to Deadline, it will see "a band of cave dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla (Millie Brady), a child of the “Others.” As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage, she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud who one day will be clan leader."


McKenna is set to play Iza, sister of the current clan leader Brun, and the Clan’s medicine woman, while she'll have some Irish company on set as former Love/Hate star Johnny Ward will play Broud - making him her nephew in the show - weird.

If the pilot is picked up for a full series it will be aired later in the year, and could mean big things for our girl Charlene, and indeed Johnny. Fair play and all anyways.


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