THE star of RTE crime drama 'Love/Hate' has said the success of the series is down to RTE letting writer Stuart Carolan and director David Caffrey "off the leash".
Lead actor Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, pictured below, has also revealed how RTE toned down the violence in the show's first season.
"I remember reading the first draft of the first series, which was completely different to how it turned out because RTE, understandably, had to go, 'Well hold on, we don't know what this is, we don't know what's going on, we need to be very sensitive, Dublin's a very small place; Ireland's very small and we need to be careful about what we need to portray here,'" he said.
"So they had to rein them in. But because the first series was a success, the second series they let them off the leash a bit. I think subsequently they've done that again.
"You know I met a real Dub who said the show is really, really violent, it's really tough. But that's the real world. He wasn't saying that it's glamourising violence, just that's the real world," he added.
The father-of-one said the accuracy of what the series was reflecting was evident in the welcome they had received during filming the third series in working class areas of Dublin this year.
"The locations that we've been using are the real deal ... What has amazed me this year, apart from people's appetite for the show, is how welcome people have made us in the communities."
The UK-based actor said he found Dubliners particularly taken with his character, Nidge.
"I get a lot of the King Nidge thing . . . There's not many professions you do where people come up and tell you what a great job you've done . . . so it's great to be honest," he said.
The fourth series of the show has not yet started filming and Vaughan-Lawlor has recently completed a stint at London's Hampstead Theatre. He doubled up as characters John Cook and William Prynne in '55 Days', a play based on a fictional account of a meeting between Cromwell and Charles I.