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Wednesday 7 December 2016

'The most artistically rewarding jobs don't always pay the best...'

Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Gary Lydon
Gary Lydon

Wexford actor Gary Lydon has starred in successful Irish films such The Guard, Michael Collins and Calvary. He recently played the role of Brian Cowen in The Guarantee and has starred popular RTE TV dramas including Love/Hate and The Clinic.

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He is currently playing the role of melancholic Jack in Decadent Theatre's production of The Weir, the well-known play by Conor McPherson. The play, which has been touring the country since late June, runs in the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire from July 12 to July 30.

What is the most important lesson about money which your career as an actor has taught you?

The most artistically rewarding jobs don't always pay the most.

Which of the productions that you starred in offered the most insight into money?

When I played Brian Cowen in The Guarantee, we were given a crash course into the Irish banking crisis and the guarantee given to the banks by the government. Along with my own research, it was a real eye-opener into how rotten the system was.

What's your favourite coin or note?

My favourite notes have to be the American dollars. I just like the feel of them - and the counting out of them. When I've been in the United States and have been handling them, it always feels like I'm in the film Goodfellas or an episode of The Sopranos.

Apart from property, what's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A new car. I had two children under three years of age at the time - so it was a new Ford Focus. I needed something safe and reliable to ferry them around!

What was your worst job?

Working on the bin lorries in London. I lasted a day.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

Buying a property at the height of the property boom.

What was your best financial killing?

Buying and then selling at a good profit an apartment in Shepherd's Bush in London.

Do you use any money-saving apps?

No.

Do you know how much is in your current account?

Yes.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Yes.

Have you ever switched utility provider?

No.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Flights.

As an actor, you've spent a lot of time in London - what's the biggest difference between how the English and the Irish approach money?

I think maybe the Irish have a more live and let live attitude to money - whereas the English would maybe be more disciplined with it. However, Britain still has many problems with austerity measures - and the hardships of child poverty and so on are exactly the same in Dublin as they are in Manchester, Newcastle and beyond.

Do you have a mortgage? Is it fixed, variable or tracker?

Yes, variable.

Would you buy Irish property now?

Yes, it's probably a good time to buy property outside of Dublin. However, I've heard stories of young people being unable to get mortgages and that lots of properties in the likes of Leitrim or Roscommon are being snapped up by cash buyers from Britain. It's unfortunate that the young taxpayers of this country, who effectively bailed out the Government at the time of the Troika, aren't being protected and helped more here.

Cash or card?

Card.

Do you ever haggle?

Yes, all the time.

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