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Me and my health: Actor Frankie McCafferty on his lifestyle


Stage star: Frankie McCafferty

Stage star: Frankie McCafferty

jer simmons

jer simmons

Stage star: Frankie McCafferty

The 53-year-old actor from Donegal will star in Under The Hawthorn Tree at The MAC, Belfast. Best known for his roles in RTE's Ballykissangel, BBC's Twenty Twelve and ITV's The Return, as well as films City of Ember and Fifty Dead Men Walking, Frankie has also won numerous awards throughout his career. He is married and has one son.

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: When we're working, we always do warm-ups. We do physical stretch-ups, which are really useful and very important for people, especially as they get older, because your bones aren't as strong as they used to be.

That wouldn't be too vigorous, but it is stretching out muscles.

I try to go to the gym as often as I can. I like rowing and I use the treadmill, but I don't run on it - I just do a brisk walk.

I use the resistance machines. I don't swim as much as I should, but I'm trying to go back to that as well. I do weights very lightly, just to stretch out the upper body muscle. I try to exercise the core - that's very important for actors because that is where the diaphragm is, but I'm not into the body beautiful thing.

Q: What is the worst illness you've had?

A: I broke my wrist on the set of Vikings in 2017, and while it's not a sort of illness, I did find being one-handed was absolute torture, so there was that.

I couldn't tie my shoelace and I couldn't cook because I couldn't slice chicken. It never occurs to you that you need two hands to slice meat and vegetables.

I couldn't drive either, which was a massive inconvenience. I would have been out filming Vikings in Morocco with camels and horses, we filmed a sword fight and no one got injured. Then I was back in Wicklow and there was no one else in the scene, no dialogue, just 'walk from there to here', but it was a wet morning and I slipped in the rain and fell. I've had chickenpox too - it was pretty nasty as well.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: Reasonably. I'm the cook in our house. So, I try and balance it out, and we eat vegetarian stuff pretty often. And I certainly keep a very high vegetable content in the meals that I make, so I think we're reasonably healthy.

Q: Do you have any bad habits?

A: I snore. I don't know if you can call that a habit, but that'd be a bad habit. And I'm very fond of staying in bed in the mornings if I can, which is probably a bad habit as well.

Q: Do you drink and smoke/ if so how much?

A: I don't smoke, but I do love a few drinks. I don't keep count but I try to not go crazy. I can't go to the pub and drink pints. I'd sooner have a glass of wine at home.

Q: And do you take any supplements at all?

A: I take cod liver oil because I think it's probably good for the bones and stuff. And I take a multivitamin as well.

Q: How do you take time out?

A: I play music, so I enjoy playing sessions. My partner's in Galway so we'd be down there a bit and we'd chill out.

If I can get away to Donegal, my home place, and meet up with family, I do that.

I also like stretching on the sofa and watching a box set of something on the telly.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Pretty well. Although I've noticed as I get older that I wake up earlier and earlier, but I don't let that make me get up or anything.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: Yeah, I do. I think everyone kind of does. You'd be crazy not to, because it's a bad design that as you get older things start to break down and stuff. So, I'd say it's something that I think is a wee worry.

Q: What is your go-to product that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: My go-to product that keeps me feeling healthy is exercise.

Under The Hawthorn Tree runs at The MAC, Belfast, from January 30 to February 9 before touring Ireland. Tickets are available from themaclive.com or for more information go to cahootsni.comlinda stewart

Belfast Telegraph