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All the best ... Nick Hardin

BY KERRY McKITTRICK

The 50-something actor is originally from New York but lives in Ballymoney with his wife Anne and son James. He will appear as Thaddeus in The Stand Up man at Belfast's Grand Opera House later this month.

MY BEST MOMENT

Burying the hatchet with my father when I was 21. We never got along but all of a sudden the light came on. We became and remained best friends until the day he died.

MY BEST WAY TO RELAX

I'm still trying to find it. In my down time I read. I like anything by John Irving, who I can't get enough of. I also like Henry Roth and Henry Miller.

MY BEST JOB

You do whatever job you have to to survive from time to time but I've been lucky over the years to be an actor. I still get excited when the phone rings. I'm very much looking forward to The Stand Up Man. It's been a labour of love.

MY BEST ADVICE

It was given to me at Iona Prep school in New York by Brother James K Devlin. He said, 'find the love and proceed from there'.

He was so positive no matter what was going on. The world could be falling apart and he still found the love and found the joy in life. He was a fantastic educator too. I'm not a religious man but it's what I think Jesus Christ would have been like.

MY BEST SONG

Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. I've always loved him.

MY BEST GIFT

I could say something like a red bicycle from years ago but it wasn't. I live in the moment so there's no particular thing.

I rehearse in a hall beside the Belfast City Hospital so I cut through the grounds on my way there. I saw this older man with a back pack -- he was going in to the hospital for a stay and he was obviously nervous. He had this smile though that everything was going to be OK and he said to me that it was better to be above ground than below it. It's that point in life where you observe these things and are grateful for them so each day itself is a gift.

MY BEST ACHIEVEMENT

My son, James. He'll be 18 in May and we hope that he'll be heading off to university soon. I think there will be a bit of empty nest syndrome when he goes but that's what happens.

MY BEST BUY

One of my best ever purchases was a copy of Catcher in the Rye which I picked up in New York for 25 cents.

MY BEST MOVIE

Almost anything by Woody Allen. I couldn't choose any one - I just laugh at them. It's the whole Groucho Marx thing that life is absurd.

MY BEST BOOK

The Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller. I remember reading it as a kid for different reasons -- it was condemned in both the United States and Great Britain for many years. When it was finally published I started reading it because you weren't supposed to read that stuff and never finished it. Then I picked it up years later and it became something different. Words jumped off the page and stayed with me.

* Written by Derek Murphy, Stand Up Man will open at the Grand Opera House's Baby Grand theatre on January 28 for two weeks before touring local theatres including the Island Arts Theatre, Lisburn; Riverside Theatre, Coleraine; Craic Theatre, Coalisland; and Market Place Theatre, Armagh

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