THE newest addition to the cast of Love/Hate has admitted he was terrified of meeting Nidge actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor before he started filming the hit show.
Johnny Ward plays Pauley, the new bad boy in town sent by his Costa del Crime-based crime lord uncle Terence to keep an aye on Nidge after he gives him a hefty loan.
But despite his character effectively taking control of Nidge's nefarious activities, Johnny says he was nervous about joining the cast.
"The first day and the first week on set were the most intimidating thing I've ever done," he admitted, saying he was particularly nervous about meeting Vaughan Lawlor.
"He's an amazing actor and I was as stunned as everyone else is when they first meet Tom - you know you're watching him left right and centre in Love/Hate and he's on billboards and things like that," he said.
"You think he's going to hit you first of all or something like but he's nothing at all like Nidge at all in real life," Johnny laughed.
But the 27-year-old soon got over his fear and settled right in.
"There was no need to be intimidated because they're a bunch of lovely people," he said.
"I think there's an awful lot of potential there for Pauley to take on Nidge," Johnny told the Herald.
"He doesn't take any crap but I don't think it's that Pauley is intimidating - it's who his uncle is.
"He's so used to his daily life being Terrence 'Big Balls' nephew so I'd say he plays on that alright," he continued.
"Plus he's used to getting nothing but respect and living his gangster life going from club to club in Marbella so he enjoys annoying Nidge a tiny bit," he added.
It looks like things will heat up between Pauley and Siobhan and Johnny said that Charlie Murphy made him feel comfortable on set.
"I knew Charlie from before so that helped and she's really easy to work with," he said.
"After my first week she sent me a lovely message saying congratulations ... and that was really nice - it put me at ease."
While he can't reveal much about what's coming up in the rest of the series, Johnny does admit that the viewers will be impressed.
"I think its safe to say you can expect a lot physical activity and a lot of unpredictable explosive drama," he revealed.
Meanwhile, for his next role Johnny will be donning a pair of tights to play Peter Pan in this year's Gaiety Panto.
"Panto can be frowned upon by other actors but I love doing it so I can't wait," he said.