Barry Ward, Actor



I've been a fan all my life. I played at a good level and continue to play at least once a week. I far prefer team sports to individual ones, if only because there are others to show off to.


Pat McCabe's The Butcher Boy started my love affair with fiction. JM Coetzee's a current favourite. And I'm not averse to the Horrible Histories series.


I get rather fanatical and obsessive about one band at a time. For the past few years it has been Super Furry Animals. It began with The Beatles, and swiftly moved through Dylan, Young and Waits – the holy trinity. Lately I've been listening to a lot of '50s and '60s rock 'n' roll and am convinced it is the best dancefloor-filling sound, beating techno, funk or house. I recently finished listening to every single track on my 60GB i-pod. That's 12,000 tunes.


The greatest medium there is. When done well, it's a beautiful combination of music, writing, acting, direction and cinematography. The last truly great film I watched, where everything came together, was All About Eve. There's nothing that beats sitting alone in the cinema at midday. I love the purists – Kubrick, Tarkovski, Bertolucci, Béla Tarr. Pixar makes perfect films.


Red-top newspapers

I realise a lot of people don't have the time or desire to digest tomes but reliance on red-top tabloids as a source of information is mentally cancerous. 'Newspaper' is a misnomer and should be reserved for very few existing papers, and never for gossip rags that pervade and pervert modern life.

Overuse of the words 'like', 'random' and 'actually'

Grates my pants. But that's just, like, my opinion.

The Premiership

Most overhyped thing since Santa. It bugs me no end to hear what has become an accepted truism that the Premiership is the best league in the world. It isn't, and the people who tell you and sell you so are employees selling subscription fees. Don't believe the hype. In saying that, I do follow it and play online fantasy football. And watch highlights and re-runs. And debate it endlessly in pubs.

Dublin pubs

In many ways, this is the best drinking city in the world but for a few minor gripes. The hours are confusing and totally at odds with the culture here. How can we continue to produce good writers when it's a struggle to get a drink late at night? Pint prices are silly, though not as bad during boom. Sky News blaring from the TV is never welcome.

Barry Ward is appearing in the Abbey Theatre's production of Seán O' Casey's 'The Plough and the Stars', which runs until 25 September