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"Who Is Denise Gough? Meet 'Under the Banner of Heaven' Star Who Once Wanted to Quit Acting & Keeps Her Personal Life Private "

Bettina Dizon
May 02, 2022
04:10 A.M.
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Denise Gough once thought about quitting her career after a year with no offers. Years later, she starred in several stage and screen productions, including “Under the Banner of Heaven.”


Born on February 28, 1980, Irish actress Denise Gough was one of ten children. She spent her teenage years in London and drew strength from the belief in a higher power. 

At a young age, Gough already knew that she wanted to be a stage actress and aspired to do it in New York, a place she never had, at that time, visited. Her career began in 2004 when she took the stage in London's production of “By the Bog of Cats,” but things did not always go as planned.

Denise Gough during the ATG Summer Party at Kensington Palace Gardens in celebration of Sir Ian McKellen on September 8, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images



“I wanted to wait – I thought, one day I will do theater in New York, and that is how I will experience the city,” Gough said. Her dream slowly became a reality when she received a role in Duncan Macmillan's “People, Places & Thinks” in 2015, which won her an Oliver Award for Best Leading Actress.

She stayed with the show until it moved to New York where she landed more roles. In 2017, Gough joined National Theatre Live's “Angels in America" where she starred as Harper Pitt. 

In 2018, she brought life to Missy in the film “Colette,” starring alongside Keira Knightly. Two years later, she took on the role of Connie Mortensen in the drama series, “Too Close.” 


Denise Gough during the after-party for "On Blueberry Hill" at Walkers of Whitehall on March 11, 2020 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


Gough's appearance on ITV's “Too Close” was a role where she completely transformed. Taking the part of a mother who can't recall committing the crime she was accused of, Gough's drastic transformation included bruises on her face and neck, as well as swelling parts of her body.


She spent a year without work while bills piled up, so she took a self-help course to boost her talent.

The actress also found great interest in the show's storyline. “What I found so interesting about the script was that I didn't know until I read to the end what Connie's full story was,” she said. “If I think of myself as [a] goodie or baddie, it's over-simplifying everything.”

Denise Gough during the Platform Presents Poetry Gala 2020 after-party in the Dragon Room at Isabel, Mayfair, on February 9, 2020 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images



While her career may be stable, there was a point where Gough almost gave up on her career. After more than a decade of being an underrecognized stage actress, Gough thought about leaving the acting scene.

She spent a year without work while bills piled up, so she took a self-help course to boost her talent. “I'm quite woo-woo, so I was up for it,” she said. In the program, Gough had to create a vision board to help set goals, and in it, she placed photos of the National Theatre in London.

Amidst the most challenging times, she was offered a role that she couldn't refuse. Now a star, Gough still prefers to keep her personal life private, including her dating life.


Denise Gough during the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits event 2019 at Banqueting House on November 07, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Recently, Gough starred in the limited series “Under the Banner of Heaven” alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones, Andrew Garfield, and Rory Culkin, brother of child star Macaulay Culkin. The show focuses on a detective's life after a brutal murder shakes his strong faith.