I'm a nice middle class public schoolboy who underachieved and wasn't going anywhere fast. I didn't get any GCSEs or A-levels. But everyone was like: "Please, will you do something?" And I was thinking: "Well, I kind of like the idea of joining the French Foreign Legion."
I'd learned how to lie and manipulate from an early age so a combination of that, desperation, having to have my own fridge and my umbilical cord back... I had to go out into the world. Then some angel somewhere said: "Have you considered going to drama school?" And this sounded like the solution to all of my problems.
I don't know anything about god except that it's not me. So, somewhere between that acceptance and doing my homework and being competitive and having ambition and loving my job and observing and reflecting my society, that's where I find the purpose. Because man needs purpose.
I'm from East Sheen, I went to public school where I learned Latin at the age of nine, and certain expectations were made of me to go to St Paul's, Oxbridge maybe, and all that kind of thing. And I failed systematically to meet the mark - who I am and what I should have been are two very different things.
I'm here to challenge myself and to see whether I can shape-shift in an environment that's actually quite daunting, but which I think would be nice to shine a light into. The destination of any interesting drama is that you shine a light into a place that not many people know about.
Every time you need protein, get yourself a boiled egg in. But your main meals would be chicken, or hummus, or white fish. You can lose about a pound a day. But you can do this stuff over a period of time, and you can have your happy days. It's about motivation and it has to be something that's realistic for you to keep up.
I spent my entire experience with Gary [ on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy] staring at him and not returning any lines because I think he's God. The second time [ on The Dark Knight Rises] I was playing God, so I ignored him. Kicked him a bit, that kind of thing. Gary Oldman is one of my heroes, I did nothing but glean from him.
Style, I think, is panache. Who are you? What did you do today? And what are you worth to me? What do you have to offer the world? How did you spend your time today on this planet? How are you spending your time every second? What are you doing now? Are you alive, or are you somnambulant?