The Irish actor famed for his roles in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Inception takes on the ESQ&A .
He returns to our screens this evening in Peaky Blinders season 2.
What’s been the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When I started out, an older actor told me to always hang up your costume. It reinforces the fact there’s a lot of people working in this business, not just the actors. Although the actors tend to be the ones who get singled out, you have an army of people behind the scenes. It’s the most collaborative business there is so the least you can do is hang up your costume.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?
I don’t pick moments from the past, the moment that I’m most proud of is yet to come, hopefully. It’s the only way I can keep on being interested and hungry, you have to keep on searching for the next best thing and keep on trying to improve yourself. Nostalgia is death.
Where’s your favourite place in the world to eat and what’s your order?
There’s a very good vegetarian Indian on Willesden Lane called Vijays that I like to go to. They used to send orders into The Beatles in Abbey Road. George Harrison loved his indian food. There’s also a great restaurant in Garway in Ireland called Ard Bia, just on the river. There’s a mackerel salad I’d highly recommend.
Have you ever cheated death?
No I’ve been pretty lucky with things like that. Once I’ve finished this interview I’ll probably step in front of a bus though.
What’s the best age to be?
The age you are now I think. Otherwise you’re just living in the past or the future.
What’s your hidden talent?
I can roll a coin along my fingers, my children are impressed by that. I’m double jointed in a kind of alarming way and can make grotesque shapes out of my fingers.
Who’s been the closest you’ve had to a mentor?
There’s been a few Irish actors that have been good to me such as Brendan Gleeson and Stephen Rea, who I’m on stage with at the moment, so I’ve always gone to them for advice. They’ve told me to always trust your instincts and that your instinct is probably your strongest attribute as an actor.
Desert island film, book and album?
Album: Abbey Road by The Beatles. Book: Underworld by Don DeLillo. Film: Kes by Ken Loach
What’s the best night out you’ve ever had?
My stag do was good. We went on a motor boat down the river Shannon, and crashed it. We got shipwrecked. Too many captains were to blame.
What advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
Be patient. Patience I didn’t have as a young man and is something I’ve learnt. It’s a virtue that’s undervalued I believe.
Peaky Blinders Season 2 premieres on BBC2 tonight at 9pm