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Stuart's my big brother and my hero.. He raised us when our mum died; IRISH MODEL DYLAN TOWNSEND ON LIFE WITH HOLLYWOOD COUPLE.

Byline: JENNY McQUAILE

AT 20, hunky 6ft 2in model Dylan Townsend knows about tragedy. He lost his mother Lorna when he was just 10 and couldn't turn to his father.

But the love of a famous brother has helped the Dubliner "live every moment to the full".

For Dylan's superhero sibling is Stuart Townsend, star of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and boyfriend of gorgeous Oscar winner Charlize Theron.

"Stuart is 10 years older than me and has inspired me my entire life," says Dylan

"When our mum died from a brain haemorrhage Stuart was there for me and so was my sister Chloe. She was just seven. Stuart had to raise himself and he helped bring me and Chloe up which was amazing."

Dylan explained they don't have a good relationship with with their father.

"My dad is not exactly ostracised, but we get on well with him. Stuart and I are thinkers but my dad doesn't have a clue what we're about.

"I don't connect with him the way I would have liked to. I was very close to my mum and I know if she was still around we would have a special bond.

"She was 43 when she died. It was sudden. She was the height of health, it was a very sad day, but I know she's with me every day.

"Her death has made me realise how fragile life is and I want to live every moment now instead of wasting it."

And, talking at the Irish Mirror photo shoot, Dylan revealed he has been inspired by his brother's love of his famous girlfriend and their strong five-year relationship.

And one day he says, he hopes to find a love like theirs. Dylan explained: "Charlize and Stuart go together perfectly. They are always teaching each other new things, I have only ever had good moments with Charlize.

"She gets on very well with the family and she is a lovely being. I look up to her a lot.

"Stuart and Charlize have taken me away for the past three Christmases to Mexico, the Bahamas and Hawaii. Hopefully we'll go to Brazil this year.

"Stuart has had four major girlfriends over the years, one made him negative and one didn't let him be himself.

"Charlize and Stuart give each other energy.

"They have it right and if I was in a relationship that is what I'd want.

"I've been single for two years, I had two year-long relationships since I was 14 but I love being on my own now.

"In two years I haven't seen one girl I've said, 'wow she is it'. I know what I want now, I want a girl who can teach me something and someone who is a little bit crazy."

Dylan, who is living with his uncle David Hogan in Sutton, is developing many interests including travel.

Until three months ago he had been on a six-month trek of the globe after packing up from his father's home in London where his sister still lives. And now he is concentrating on writing, another thing he says he can thank Charlize, 39, for.

Three years ago she presented him with a gift of a diary and he is now considering a career in journalism.

He said: "When I was 17 I hadn't written anything of my own and Charlize gave me a diary. I began writing in that and ever since it has slowly progressed and I love it now.

"I wrote a book of poems and stories when I was travelling around Central America and Malaysia. I hope to get it printed and I am considering studying journalism next year.

"Stuart has always been creative and a thinker and he was very willing to pass on his knowledge to me. In a way I've gone in my own direction but I've had a helping hand in Stuart, that's something a lot of people don't have.

"The past four or five years he has been a massive inspiration and he is part of my moulding. He is a bigger version of myself or I am a smaller version of him."

Even though the brothers are living thousands of miles apart, their relationship is as strong as ever.

Dylan explained: "When we do get to see each other now, because it has been so long, it is a massive buzz." Talking about his brother's life in Los Angeles brings back memories of the day Stuart left Dublin for London when Dylan was just 12 and living with relatives.

He said: "My one memory of Stuart is when I was younger there used to be a field out the back of our house, I called it the Patch.

"There was a wall about three or four feet high and I couldn't lift my bike over it.

"I used to run all the way to Stuart's room to ask him to lift it for me and he always did and never complained.

"That was it for me - the little things.

"Stuart was always an entertainer. I think the day he decided to be an actor was when he went to the video library and said, 'I've seen every film here'.

"He decided to do something about it and that was a big moment for him.

"When he got to 17, school wasn't his thing, the moment he joined the Gaiety he had found his true love - acting."

Dylan is also becoming involved in the movie business having recently shot two short documentaries.

He said: "The Melange Of Phrase is one of the films and I've sent it to the Cork and London film festival. Stuart saw it and thought it was amazing, I wouldn't have sent it otherwise.

"Now they're checking it out and hopefully it will be short listed.

"I have never really thought about being an actor in a mainstream film, I don't know if I am good enough. But it is something I would maybe like to go into in the future.

"Hopefully one day Stuart will direct his own film and I'll pop up in it.

"I hope to slowly make my way up the ladder - just like my big brother."

CAPTION(S):

STAR AMBITION: Dylan hopes to get into acting; BROTHERLY LOVE: Dylan says Stuart has always been his inspiration PICTURES: Collins; HAPPY: Stuart with Charlize
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 29, 2004
Words:1059
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