Sunday 21 October 2018

Love Dublin/Hate London - I'd never move, says Johnny Ward

Actor Johnny Ward in Dublin. Picture: Justin Farrelly
Actor Johnny Ward in Dublin. Picture: Justin Farrelly
Johnny Ward, currently seen in Coppers: The Musical, says he could never leave Ireland for the UK acting scene

Sean O'Grady

He's had success after success on stage and screen in Ireland, but Johnny Ward has admitted he has no interest in expanding his career to the UK any time soon.

The actor is best known for his roles as psychotic Ciaran on Fair City and as Pauley on Love/Hate.

While he has worked on the stage in London in the past, Johnny reckons he won't make the move over as Irish people are too friendly to leave behind.

"I'd be mad to move. I love this place too much, I've got too much here. I've got my schools and I've got my acting here.

"The very first film I ever did was called The Boy From Mercury, when I was eight. I've built up these connections with casting directors here. I think I'd be mad to move," he said.

"I got the opportunity to live in London for five months when I was doing a play called The Beauty Queen Of Leenane and it was brilliant.

"We were out in the West End, an incredible experience. But no, I just don't like the air over in London, if I'm being honest."

Johnny reckons Irish people are warmer than their London counterparts and used the example of the London Underground, where he thinks people wouldn't be so eager to help someone in need.

"You go to the tube station and everyone is in a rush. The Irish people are a lot more friendly.

"If you fell over in a train station in Ireland, everyone would just come over to you and help you up straight away.

"I can't say the same in the tube station. I think they would walk all over you. I think that's a huge part of why I love Ireland too much," he told the Herald.

Johnny has spent the last several weeks starring in Coppers: The Musical, opposite Red Rock actress Roseanna Purcell and former Eurovision entrant Michele McGrath.

Written by Paul Howard, the actor stars as a Dublin man who falls in love with a girl from Co Kerry just one week before the All-Ireland final.

It has won rave reviews from critics and audiences, with several well-known names - including Anna Geary, Deirdre O'Kane, Rosanna Davison and Samantha Mumba - among those who have been in the audience in recent weeks.

He made waves as Ciaran on Fair City, giving the soap one of its most talked about storylines when he kidnapped teenager Katy O'Brien and kept her locked up for over a year.

The door has been left open for Johnny to return to Carrigstown one day, with his character's fate left open-ended after he seemed to plunge to his death from a bridge.

While work for an actor is steady on TV shows, he says it can be difficult when returning to freelance work, adding: "If you have a job like Fair City, it's great but when you leave that, you're back to square one."

Read more: Johnny Ward on his colourful career trajectory: 'The bills have to be paid - I'm not in a position to turn that sort of work down'

Herald

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