IT was in his teenage years that British actor Tom Riley learned what was important in life. ‘‘ It was the death of a friend by suicide in my late teens who probably never realised how much he meant to me,’’ Riley says.
‘‘ He was a year above me in school but I admired him. He wanted to act, and I thought he was incredibly inspiring. He went to university, and he was obviously suffering, and it proved too much for him.
‘‘ At that moment I felt like I grew up very fast, and I began to understand more about how to live your life to its fullest. I owe him a great deal and I’m not sure he would have known I thought that much of him.’’
Fast-forward to the present and Riley, 32, seems the coolest cucumber in the patch.
The truth is he is numbingly nervous. His legs quiver under the table, his mouth is dry, sweat is creeping down his neck.
Later, seated at a small table in a boisterous hotel lounge, he says, ‘‘ I look so relaxed and so chilled, but the truth is I need to just not let my nerves get in the way of it.’’
He wanted to act, and I thought he was incredibly inspiring.