OIs stand-up your first love? I’ve done lots of different things and enjoyed them but stand-up, when it goes well – it often doesn’t – is definitely a love. There’s something deeply satisfying about a good gig. I’m not often happy with myself as an actor. I get upset when I see myself acting on screen, mostly because of the way I look. But as a stand-up it’s always a bonus if you look heavy or awkward or damaged… in my case it helps in fact.
So you feel very much at home in the stand-up arena?
When I was working on Moonfleet last summer Ray Winstone told me, ‘I don’t feel I come alive on set until I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook’. Similarly, I don’t really feel I’ve come to life unless I’ve triggered laughter from a crowd. It’s probably an illness… a comedian’s illness. But I don’t panic like I used to. If a joke misses or backfires I know there’s a hundred more on their way. But it’s strange, I’m getting more serious off stage and savour even more the times when I’m on it. There’s always something in my mind telling me ‘enjoy it while you can, this isn’t going to last much longer.’ Do you feel fired up on stage? Not really fired up, but sometimes I am genuinely upset when a show is over. I would love to go on all night… in a way I