ALEXANDER star JONATHAN RHYS-MEYERS hates the fact he smokes "like a trooper" but he loves cigarettes too much to give up.

The Irish actor admits he's a chain smoker who trembles when he goes too long between nicotine fixes, but he'd never consider quitting.

He says, "I say to myself, 'I'd love to be able to give them up for my health,' but, really and truly, no, I think they're gorgeous, I love 'em."

But Rhys-Meyers is convinced his bad habit won't kill him.

He explains, "I knew a lad - he was like 92 - when I grew up in Cork. He drank two bottles of whisky, smoked 40 fags a day - great life, but his brother dropped dead at 51.

"He never smoked, never drank, drank water. It's genetic makeup. But smoking certainly does not help and I wouldn't recommend it."

04/05/2005 09:23