It's been a challenging few months for actor Johnny Ward. Last March, while wowing the nation with his gravity-defying dance moves in RTÉ’s Dancing With The Stars, his beloved dad died.
The day after DWTS finished, his mother had a heart attack. Then, in April, his long-term relationship broke up.
“Life’s been difficult,” he says. And you can only agree with him.
To mark Father’s Day, he posted an image of a pocket watch, inscribed with the words, ‘Never forget that I love you forever’ — a gift from his dad.
He gave it to me five days before he passed. I wasn’t going to post it, but then I just thought that a lot of the support that has got me through it is from people I don’t know on social media.
He’s determined to focus on the positives. With a new role in the upcoming Copper Face Jacks: The Musical, he is focussing on his fitness — “You want to look as good as possible”. Also, now that he’s moved back home to support his mum, he’s enjoying having meals served up to him. And “you don’t have to pay any rent”.
I try to get to the gym five or six times a week.
Usually, I go in and run for 5k — I try and complete it in about 20 minutes — on a treadmill. And then, I lift some weights and go to the steam room; nothing mental. I don’t really go for the whole physical thing. Mentally, I just feel better.
I don’t eat breakfast. I find that I’m just not hungry in the morning. I wake up and have a black coffee. If I’m feeling tired, I’ll have a Berocca Boost. I took it during DWTS, when I was shattered, on Denis Bastick’s recommendation.
Before I go to the gym, I’ll take a caffeine boost - and, after the gym, I’ll take the protein whey.
Then, I’ll eat an omelette — I have one almost every single day — with salmon, chicken, or beef. Later, I’d have healthy fats, like nuts and avocados.
Loads: battered sausage and chips, cheeseburger and chips, spice bag, chicken curry, Mexican — anything.
I have a takeaway once or twice a week. Our local is John’s Takeaway, in Walkinstown, Dublin.
I can take things too seriously. Sometimes, I have this dream I’m on set and I just can’t remember my lines: it’s horrible.
At the gym, or sometimes I go out on my Honda 1,000cc motorbike: it’s a great way to chill out.
Denzel Washington and Liam Neeson.
Hugo Boss: it’s a limited edition in a silver bottle and it’s so bloody difficult to get. It’s like it has been discontinued.
My ears; they are just too big. Also, I have half eyebrows — it’s very strange.
A lot’s happened in my life — my relationship breaking down, my father dying, my mother having a heart attack the day after the DWTS final — and last Monday it just hit me.
Some actors seem to be on stage all the time. They never switch off.
It’s that saying: you want to be careful who you meet on the way up, you might meet them on the way back down. I know actors who have got a lucky break and they just change.
I wish I didn’t take my work as seriously as I do. There are good things about it and it pays off, but it has its ups and downs. Relationships, in the past, have obviously suffered because of it.
Absolutely. I believe there is a God. I also pray to my best friend — he took his own life in 2012 — my dad and grandparents.
My niece. She’s an actor and has just finished Junior Cert. I got to act alongside her in Fair City, where she plays Ellie. She looks up to me, I look up to her.