Love/Hate star: ‘Wife calms me down after violent scenes’

Love/Hate star Tom Vaughan Lawlor has revealed he finds it very tough to act out scenes of violence against women in his role as gangland villain Nidge.

The actor, who is returning to Dublin’s Olympia theatre with the acclaimed play Howie the Rookie next week, said it is the most difficult aspect of his role as the country’s best known baddie.

Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy Show on Today FM yesterday, he said he found it hard to hear himself be aggressive to women, as the radio show host played a clip of Nidge highlights on the radio show.

He said: “It’s bizarre listening to yourself being aggressive especially towards women. I’ve got three sisters and my wife and it’s a very strange thing to be aggressive towards women. I found those the most difficult. I think when it’s especially to women I find it hard. It’s tough to film.”

The actor thanked his wife Claire for helping him to unwind after filming intense scenes.

He said: “It was very intense to film. I come home and do family stuff. It’s just really lovely being with Freddie, my son, and him laughing and just watching boring or brilliant things with my wife on TV. My wife is brilliant at destressing me.”

He also said that he was delighted his baby son Freddie and his actor dad, Tom Lawlor, have appeared briefly in the hit series.

“Freddie was in the third series in a couple of scenes. He played my son. He was very sweet it was lovely to have him there.

“My dad was very funny. My dad plays the priest in the second episode when they are burying Andrew and he was asked if he was going to be in it again and he said: ‘Well there are a lot of funerals in this place...’ Who knows? He had a great time and it was lovely to have him too.”

Vaughan Lawlor said he hasn’t had a chance to watch this series but he said he can feel the effects on the national psyche.

“It’s such a huge part of consciousness at the moment,” he said. “It’s a bit like it’s in the ether. You can feel the energy almost coming off the TV. I haven’t seen this season. I usually watch every season before they go to air but for this year I was doing the play and I was very busy and I just didn’t get round to seeing it.”

The actor, who famously sounds nothing like his ruthless character in the juggernaut crime drama, said he can understand how people get surprised by his accent in real life.

“Sometimes you get slightly odd looks or double-takes but for the most part people are very kind,” he said.

Meanwhile, he told how his English wife helped him learn his lines.

“My wife is brilliant. She helps me. She has a very cut-glass English accent so it’s very funny to hear her doing Love/Hate lines.”

And he said he believes hardman Fran could get the edge over Nidge in the violence stakes.

He said: “Fran is physically very tough and he’s got a temper on him. I think Nidge is not as tough physically but he is cleverer. He is aware of the long game and the bigger picture. He knows what he wants and how he can use someone whereas Fran just goes in there full-blooded.”

And he said he is keeping his “fingers crossed” that Love/Hate will be back for a sixth season

He said: “I know Stuart is talking about it and we’re discussing it so...”

Howie The Rookie, starring Tom Vaughan Lawlor, runs at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin from this Tuesday until Friday, November 14.

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