ACTING roles have been fairly low on the ground for actor Stuart Townsend in the last few years -- but his luck might be changing.
The Irish actor has starred in a handful of lesser-known short films and TV shows including clay animation series Robot Chicken and XIII -- a Canadian mini-series about a hunky hero who suffers from severe amnesia.
But now he's bouncing back onto our TV screens with ABC's new primetime drama Betrayal, a sexy show all about infidelity.
Stuart stars as Jack, a lawyer who becomes embroiled in an affair to remember.
It's a big break for the Howth native, but his comeback could be fairly short-lived. Despite a massive PR push, TV insiders predict the series won't receive a second season given disappointing ratings and scathing reviews. Viewing figures for the second episode fell 23pc from the series premiere.
According to one critic, it's a "show about infidelity that isn't very sexy.
"It's more daytime soap, frankly, than primetime," another commented.
But despite a shaky start in the US, Stuart seems to have enjoyed filming the series and understanding the psychology of his character.
"My character Jack's life is going well on the surface but inside he feels sort of empty. Jack just falls immediately head over heels for this woman," he told TV Now.
"Eventually he decides to go for it and embarks on an affair. It's not an easy decision for him and it's probably not a wise decision either, but affairs of the heart tend to work like that."
Stuart is joined on set by sultry brunette Hannah Ware and says they were thrown into love scenes fairly quickly. "Hannah and I only met on the first day of filming and it was like 'Hi! How are you? Let's take our clothes off'."
The series also stars James Cromwell -- who shot to fame playing the farmer Arthur Hoggett in Babe and Babe; Pig in the City.
And Stuart -- who used to date Hollywood A-lister Charlize Theron -- says sharing the screen with the 24 actor was intimidating.
"James can be terrifying," Stuart said. "He can switch it on at will -- sometimes he's just able to scare the hell out of me. I'd be backing away from him during the scenes."