Friday 21 October 2016

'Are you that b****x from Fair City?' - Eric Lalor on 'crazy' attention since playing villain Cathal

Published 16/11/2015 | 13:28

Cathal (left) played by Eric Lalor
Cathal (left) played by Eric Lalor

Eric Lalor has revealed that some Fair City fans can't distinguish between the actor and his villainous character Cathal.

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Cathal has become increasingly threatening in recent weeks with the back up of his father and Carrigstown's resident gangster Flynn (Don Baker), and fans particularly don't appreciate how he's treating Debbie.

"I was at the Galway Comedy Festival two weeks ago walking around Eyre Square and a big gang of aul ones were coming out of the shopping centre and they just stopped and looked at me and went, 'Are you that bollox from Fair City?'," Eric revealed to Nicky Byrne and Jenny Green on 2fm.

"How do you answer that other than, 'Yeah, I am!'"

Although he said the vast majority of people can separate fact from fiction, there are always one or two who are confused.

"I was up in Charlestown Shopping Centre on Saturday and there were a lot of people going, 'Ah Eric, will you leave Debbie alone!'" he laughed, "And I'm saying, 'Look, I'm just doing what the script says, I'm not doing this of my own volition.'"

There are some perks however.  On recognising him as a Fair City cast member, a Galway cafe owner refused to let him pay for his coffee and sandwich.

Eric joked, "I rang the missus and the missus went, 'Ah well, that's great.  We'll bring you up to Dunnes Stores on Friday night to see if we get the messages free."

Cathal features in one of the biggest storylines in the soap's recent history and Eric said he's bee watching each episode faithfully at home - through his fingers.

"I was like, 'Oh no1' [watching] through my fingers, really mortified, saying, 'Oh my God, look at that state, I should have done that' but because it's such a quick turnover you don't get a lot of time to do the scenes," he says.

"Because of the nature of the workload that htey have, there's so much to do and so much to film, but you get a couple of goes.  You do say, 'I'd like to do that again,' but you just get on with it.  It trains you to nail it straight away."

Eric revealed that he abandoned a career in IBM ten years ago to forge a career in comedy.

"After 2/3 years of [doing comedy] my head was turned and I packed in the job at IBM, obvoiusly with the full support of the wife.

"I've no regrets.  It's been tough at times, regretting, 'Have I done the right thing' but the acting thing is starting to take off and the [stand up] comedy is going great.  Fair City has raised my profile hugely."

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