I auditioned like everyone else says Keith Duffy after Love/Hate backlash
BOYZONE star Keith Duffy has said he was hurt by Love/Hate fans who pre-judged his cameo in the hit series before they had seen it.
The 39-year-old received praise for his small role as a fitness instructor in Sunday night's episode.
But the actor said that he had been shocked when word leaked out he had been cast in the drama series.
"I know there were diehard Love/Hate fans thinking 'oh why did they put him in?' Because I have such a familiar face, the prejudging I got was quite cruel.
People presuming that I was taking someone else's job to get work. But I auditioned like everyone else," he said.
The Coronation Street star revealed how he tried and failed to be cast in the Stuart Carolan penned series before.
"I did an audition for Love/Hate before and RTE felt it wasn't right but this time around, it was. I'm an Irishman and this is a huge show in Ireland, so when the audition came along, I said 'well why not me? I went along and screen-tested, doing what every actor does. They came back and said 'yes, we think this can work, we believe in you in this part and therefore so will the audience'," he said.
He says that since the brief scene aired most of the reaction has been good.
"People could see the character and not Keith. I was in the UK but I got a lot of texts and the reaction was very positive," he said.
To play the role of a bodybuilder in the series, he revealed how he spent eight weeks working with trainer Paul Byrne.
"I am quite fit, but this was a bodybuilder I had to play, so I put on about 10lbs in muscle. My waist is now two inches smaller," he said.
Keith will also feature in the final episode of the current series next Sunday, but said it will be up to writer Stuart Carolan whether his character returns.
"No one has spoken to me about a fifth season. What I had was just a little introductory role and I have no idea where the writer wants the character to go," he said.
Sunday night's episode had an average of 872k viewers.