Jude Law

The Stuff I Like

From The Bard to Breaking Bad, the British actor talks us through his cultural life. 

 

Music
The first single I owned was “Golden Brown” by The Stranglers. I’d always get the lyrics in songs wrong, so my older sister [the artist Natasha Law] probably bought it for me so that I learned them properly. I had no idea what it was about. I thought it was about a guy on a boat.

 

Theatre
Next year, I’m doing Henry V with director Michael Grandage at the Noel Coward Theatre in London. I was very aware that you should be of a certain age to play Hamlet [which he did in 2009 at the Donmar Warehouse, also with Grandage], he should have a youth to him.

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I think the same with Henry; I turned 40 this year and it just felt suddenly relevant. I’d love to play Macbeth, and Lear is there at the end of the line.

 

TV
I’m addicted to Breaking Bad. It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV, hands down. It’s brilliantly written and acted and fantastically distasteful — there’s something Shakespearean about how dark it gets. You just can’t see how it’s going to work out.

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Art
I recently saw the Cindy Sherman exhibition [at MoMA] in New York. I’ve never been a huge fan, but then to see all her work together, it was really inspiring just how committed and brave she has proven to be.

 

Film
I always saw myself as a stage actor, but if you grew up where I did [Blackheath, south London], you don’t think of cinema as a possibility. Then I saw My Beautiful Laundrette [1985], which was set around there and the characters were very familiar. It made me realise that the stories on this medium could also reflect my life. It was like a doorway.

 

Books
I read Anna Karenina last year after I got involved with the film adaptation. You hear the words “Russian” and “tome” and you think it’s going to be a struggle, but you whip through it. I’ve just finished Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg, which was given to me by [director] Steven Soderbergh — no relation. It’s a classic in Sweden and a really good read.

Anna Karenina is out on 7 September

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