As we face into the festive season, Hollywood star Colm Meaney is spreading Christmas cheer and taking on the role of Santa Claus to give youngsters "a boost" after a year of lockdowns.
Meaney (67) will star in Aldi's new Christmas advert, which is released today and sees the return of Kevin the Carrot and the addition of a new face, Harry the Hedgehog.
The Intermission star said he's all in favour of getting into the Christmas spirit early to give youngsters nationwide a boost during lockdown.
"Kids' lives have been turned upside down by this whole year between schools closing and not being allowed to do anything," he said.
"It's 'no' to everything. It's one of the reasons I wanted to do it."
The festive advert is a lighter role for Meaney, who has just finished filming a drama in which he plays an obsessive writer who abandons his family.
Meaney and his daughter Brenda (36), whose mother is the late Irish actress Bairbre Dowling, have just wrapped up filming in Portugal on the movie There's Always Hope.
He said he tried to dissuade his daughter from following in his footsteps as an actor as it's such a cut-throat profession.
He had initially encouraged her to explore her passion for archaeology, but the acting bug proved too strong.
Meaney plays the part of an author who becomes so obsessed with trying to write his magnum opus that his marriage breaks down, while Brenda takes on the role of his daughter's half-sister.
"She did history of arts in Trinity, I thought she was going to be an archaeologist and then she went off to Yale School of Drama and did her postgraduate there in theatre and acting," he said.
He said he tried his best to "discourage" her from the profession and thought it would have been wonderful for her to have become an archaeologist.
"Even as a kid, she was really into Egyptology. She can tell you all the kings and queens of Egypt going back thousands of years," he said.
"So I was hoping she would do that. But I realised once she got into her 20s and she was like, 'I really want to act' and there was no stopping her at that stage."
One of Ireland's best-known actors, the Star Trek icon has been in nearly 60 different movies, including The Snapper, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
However, the Dubliner insists that he has had his share of rejection over the years with projects that didn't work out.
"You have to have a skin like a rhino. No matter who you are and how successful you are, you are dealing with rejection and you have to learn how to deal with it; that it doesn't affect you, that it doesn't destroy you, it doesn't upset you," he said.
"You just get on with it and it's just the business."