My first job when I got my equity card was acting in 14 plays back-to-back. Playing that many roles, you look for ways of differentiating the characters physically, which goes hand in hand with understanding them psychologically.
I've always thought of acting as a tool to change society. I watch a lot of actors and I see panic in their eyes because they don't know why they act and I know why I act. Whether I'm a good or a bad actor, I know why I do it.
I'm not a big gamer myself. I've (become) increasingly interested in games. And I certainly am passionate about, about storytelling in gaming. And, and the marriage of, you know, immersive characters, with gaming.
I'm working from home a lot. That's very unusual because I'm away a lot, sometimes working on the other side of the world for long periods of time. So, it's hard to manage in the sense that I want to be the best dad I can be but it's almost harder when you have your kids outside the door.
In a personal way, to do with family and the father-son relationship, in a kind of artistic way with regard to him being an art student. I also studied the visual arts at Lancaster University. I then decided to become an actor as he was becoming a musician. And then as an actor/performer, we have similar sort of interests - music hall and that whole world. So, there's a lot that I felt connected with.
Originally when I went off to work on 'The Lord of The Rings' I got a call from my agent saying that I was just going to do a voice. But I couldn't really approach it like that. To get Gollum's voice I had to play the character.
When I played Gollum in 'Lord of the Rings,' if I was climbing up the side of a mountain, which I physically did, you know, I was on every single occasion swimming through streams, all of that, that wasn't captured. That was filmed on 35 millimeter, and for certain of those shots, it was rotoscoped and painted over.
I remember once, I read in a horoscope, because I'm an Aries, I read this terrible thing, which really affected me, which said, "You will never be original. You will always be an interpreter." (Laughs) I thought, "Oh my God." You know, I had to live with that on my back for [all my life].
Not a day goes by where I'm not reminded of Gollum by some person in the street who asks me to do his voice or wants to talk to me about him. But because 'The Hobbit' has been talked about as a project for many years, I knew that at some point I'd have to reengage with him.
My agent told me they were casting for the voice of Gollum. I hadnt read The Lord of the Rings, but I read the script and realized what an amazing role it was. I developed a voice for the audition tape, then met Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh at the auditions and fell in love with them both.