Boyle native Chris O'Dowd has revealed he has been visiting the doctor twice a week in New York since he began starring in acclaimed Broadway production, Of Mice and Men

The 34-year-old Irish actor made his Broadway debut in the revival of John Steinbeck's classic play, and has now admitted he had no idea how tough life on the stage can be.

Speaking to the Associated Press, he said: "I definitely have found it harder on my voice and my body than I was expecting. I always somewhat guffawed at the idea that it could be a tiring job to work three hours a day, but I'm going to the doctor twice a week with various bangs and bruises and swollen vocal cords."

O'Dowd, who plays mentally disabled Lennie Small, said he based his character on an old acquaintance.

He said: "(Small is based on) a neighbour of mine in London. His name was David. Though I never asked him, I would say he had mild Down Syndrome and he had certain tics and stuff."

O'Dowd has been nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. The Tony Awards take place this Sunday, June 8.