Aidan Gillen: 'I get better roles now that I'm older'
Most people dread growing older, but Aidan Gillen couldn't be happier at approaching 50 as he gets better acting roles than when he was younger.
While other 47-year-olds might be starting to think about their retirement plans, the former Love/Hate actor said it's a "golden" period in a male actor's career.
The Wire star admitted he has looked forward to becoming middle-aged as his youthful looks were "limiting" to his career.
"Frankly, I've looked forward to getting older. In my 20s I knew I wouldn't get those intense, powerful, dramatic roles until my 40s," he said.
"I knew I was going to have to wait. I was forever told I looked younger than I was, or too young for some parts.
"It's not the worst issue to have. Most people want forever youth, but I found it limiting.
"Age 40 to 60 for men is the really fertile golden time for drama - for acting."
The Dubliner, who made his acting breakthrough in 1990s drama Queer As Folk, said the past five years have been the best of his career.
"I don't have an issue with it. Getting older is good," he said.
"It's a good time right now. I'm getting opportunities and doors are opening. One job leads into another job.
"I've a lot of freedom now, more choice."
Although Aidan has starred in a host of high-profile shows including HBO's Game Of Thrones, he is still best known in Ireland for playing drug lord John Boy in RTE's gritty crime drama Love/Hate.
While the series gained even more of a cult following after Gillen's departure in 2011, he admitted his career might not have progressed the way it did if he had stayed on the show.
"It's difficult to think like that because you just don't know," he said.
"I could have stayed longer on Love/Hate, but then would I have been able to do Thrones? Probably not."