Actor Celeste O’Connor Thrives in a Fantastical, Magical World


Celeste O’Connor was born with it. No, we’re not referencing a certain beauty tagline—though, that’s not untrue in this case. Rather, it’s the natural star power the actor possesses. O’Connor, who uses they/them pronouns, has had an affinity for entertaining for as long as they can remember. What started out innocently enough as fashion shows and dances for their family at home got a bit more serious when they were a preteen studying singing and violin at Baltimore’s premier performing arts school, Peabody Preparatory. And it didn’t stop there. After begging their parents to allow them to participate in a local talent showcase, O’Connor proceeded to catch the attention of casting directors and later the agents that they are still signed with today. The original dream was to be a singer, but the emerging star’s screen power was undeniable.

Watching O’Connor perform feels like being in the presence of greatness. From their breakout role in the critically acclaimed indie film Selah and the Spades to their recent turn as Lucky in the new Ghostbusters film franchise, the 25-year-old is magnetic.    

Celeste O'Connor wears green mock neck top and matching skirt holding braided hair in hand.

(Image credit: Patience Ojionuka)

When I ask if their parents were supportive of the whole “acting as a career” idea, O’Connor says it was half and half. Dad, a white-collar boomer, was more resistant, while mom, an immigrant from Kenya, was all for it. “I was 14. I really needed someone to believe in that, in this dream, with me,” O’Connor tells me over Zoom from a local coffee shop. Having lived the 9-to-5 corporate life, O’Connor’s mother envisioned a brighter future for her child. “She was like, ‘I’ve worked in cubicles. I’ve worked in offices. I’ve done this stuff, and it’s not fun, so I think you should just follow your dreams and do what you want to do because I think you can do it well,'” they explain.