Stage and film star Fra Fee: I find it so good for me, delving into someone else's world

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: Co Tyrone actor, Fra Fee, who stars in Sony Pictures' upcoming new adaptation of Cinderella

Dungannon-born actor Fra Fee will appear in the upcoming screen adaptation of Cinderella

Tyrone actor Fra Fee's best-known movie role was in Les Miserables


Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

I recently set myself a new resolution to start each day off with 20 minutes of yoga and it's been great. When I remember to, I also drink a shot of apple cider vinegar followed by a black coffee. If I have time to chill in the morning, I like to get some emails out of the way, get an hour's reading done of either a script I'm working on, or one of the million books I have on my reading list.


What might you eat in a typical working day for...Breakfast?

Usually, just black coffee.


My first meal is around midday and I might cook some eggs. One of my favourite things at brunch time is a banana pancake – just two eggs and a ripe banana blended together to form the batter base. I may throw some blueberries in there too. You cook it as you would a normal pancake, then add Greek yoghurt and drizzle with honey. Delightful.

Evening meal?

My favourite cuisines are either Mexican or Thai. If I'm cooking myself, I enjoy making chillies with loads of beans and veg.


Is nutrition important to you?

It certainly is. I'm often trying out different diets – sometimes just for a challenge, but also to keep my metabolism guessing.


Best meal ever?

Thai green chicken curry.


Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I'm a fan of a good burger – with sweet potato fries. I don't feel particularly guilty about that, either.


Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I tried the Paleo diet a few years back and definitely enjoyed it. I wouldn't do it again, though, because I'm trying to monitor my meat consumption now. Sometimes, I'll do intermittent fasting – I find it's brilliant for keeping control of your weight.


Do you take health supplements?

Yes, mainly as a preventative from getting sick. I take B12 and Vitamin C. I'm a fan of a Berocca Boost as well.


How do you relax?

I read a lot; I find it so good for me, delving into someone else's world. For the same reason, I love going to the cinema. I have an Odeon Limitless card, so I can go to the cinema at any time for just £25 a month – it's amazing. I'm also a fan of eating out, either by myself (sometimes, I get strange looks, but I embrace it) or with friends. I also find it relaxing to just lie down and close my eyes for 30 minutes – it helps reset the system.


Teetotal or tipple?

The odd time, I'll go teetotal in preparation for a job, particularly if it involves very difficult singing, but once the show is in my voice and body, I can relax after the gig with a couple of drinks.


Stairs or lift?

I'm the guy who usually walks on the left side of the escalator in London, sometimes because I'm in a hurry, sometimes just for the extra exercise.


Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I tend to do some sort of exercise most days, at least 5/6 times a week. I'm a bit of a gym fiend and a new PureGym opened right by me, which is a godsend and makes going to the gym a no-brainer. I'll start off the session with either 20 or 30 minutes on the treadmill / cross-trainer and then focus on either back/biceps, chest/triceps, shoulders/legs. I also respond really well to high-intensity interval training so will intersperse my training with some HIIT sessions.


Best tip for everyday fitness?

Choose something that you're able to maintain and not just something for 'dry January'.


On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

I'd say I'm pretty fit; maybe an eight. I'm happy to maintain that level.


Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

I'd consider yoga an alternative therapy, so yes I certainly would. I've also had acupuncture and reflexology to relieve soreness and aches and they have definitely worked for me.


Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

I don't recall loving PE at school. The northern Irish weather on a Monday morning at 9am made me mildly depressed and the thought of going outside to run laps upset me. I suppose I didn't really care about my physical wellbeing when I was 11. I played Gaelic football for my local club until I was about 16 and enjoyed it more than PE at school.


Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

I'm not sure if you'd call it an epiphany, but I started looking after myself towards the end of university in Manchester. I drank and partied so much for the first two years at uni that my body was craving some looking after and I started running. It's a hobby I've kept up, in some part, ever since.


Best health/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

Find something you love doing and make it part of your lifestyle. Health and fitness isn't hobby or fad; it's a lifestyle choice.


Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

One person who comes to mind is Chris Pratt. He's hilarious, busy as a bee and keeps in brilliant shape.


What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

At the time of writing I am jet-lagged but usually my sleep patterns are good. I can be in bed sleeping at 10.30pm and I like to get a good nine hours. Sleep is good for you. Read, Why We Sleep – it's fascinating.


Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

Wow... what a finisher... I think I do, yes. I'm very aware of my own mortality, but it doesn't scare me. If anything, I'm inspired to live life as fully as I can.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access