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Don’t get me wrong. I hang out with my friends, but I basically am very, very driven to work. I read everything that comes through my agent, like ten scripts a week. I’m going to try to negotiate my career with zero compromise and do exactly the work that I want to do. If I can’t get that work, then I’m just not going to work.
(On preferring American films over British films.) I grew up obsessed with film and although you know a portion of that was English films, the vast majority of it were the great American filmmakers whose work I would watch over and over.
I always liked the analogy of being an actor is sort of like being a prize fighter, you can live your life the way you want to, but once you know you have a fight coming up, your focus becomes absolutely singular, and you’re on task, and you learn as much as you can about your opponent, and you prepare yourself as thoroughly as possible, so that when you step into the ring you have all the tools at your disposal to get the job done.
(On why he doesn’t take every role he is offered; in a 2003 interview) I have 60 years to make the money, but the choices I make in the next five years are really going to define my career.
I love hip hop music, I make hip hop music. I’m an Eminem fan, he’s a good MC but I like Wu Tang Clan, they’re more my flavour.
There are so many opportunities in LA. There are many good film makers working out of England and while I don’t know the exact figures I can’t imagine that there are many more than 15 films made a year while Hollywood makes 500 films a year. The truth of the matter is the real industry is in LA and the cream of the talent is there.
I always think it’s better to take a smaller role in a great film rather than a leading role in something that you don’t have complete faith in.
(On his role in “Green Street”) I knew nothing about football at all. I had never been to a football match and never watched it on TV. Being a film fan, if I had 90 minutes to spare, I was going to watch a film, not a football match.
(On being constantly compared to Brad Pitt.) There are definitely worse people to be compared to. [Laughs] I think Brad Pitt makes interesting decisions. In the early part of your career you’re always compared with somebody until you can stand on your own two feet.
(When asked if he enjoyed the challenge of doing comedy, reference to his role in Frankie Go Boom) I enjoyed the challenge as a one-off experience. I don’t think I’m going to do comedy any time soon. My dad was a very well-known gangster in Northern England; I come from, like, a crime family, and so I stepped away from that and I have nothing to do with that at all. But my area of interest still seems to be drawn to that. I write a great deal, I have a few projects in development, and all the time I feel drawn to those stories.
(When asked what kind of music he’s into.) All sorts of music. I guess to pick one genre of music it’d be folk. I listen to a lot of folk music. But I also, you know, I listen to like, you know, some you know, blues and bluegrass and like a huge hip-hop fan when I’m in the right mood. And but yeah, mainly folk music.
(When asked what he enjoyed most about visiting the Playboy Mansion; meeting Hugh or the Bunnies?) I was actually more excited to meet the animals [laughs]. I’m an animal lover. He has a huge variety of animals out back.
(When asked if he has ever been given a reason to be afraid of his girlfriend’s father?) I’m not very good at most things, but I’m pretty good at relationships. I grew up with a single mother, so she kind of drummed into us – being chivalrous and treating our partners well and not being a total asshole. So I’ve gotten along well with the fathers-in-law.
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