My grandmother was a minister as well, which was not that common in the 1930s.
I have a very long relationship with America. My mother grew up there and I felt to some extent that I partly belong there. I was schooled there briefly for about a year.
We’ve always been involved with America – I have a son who lives there and it’s a big part of my life.
I’m not patient, and some things drive me crazy. In my work, I get incredibly upset when people don’t get it right or don’t respect others’ needs.
In this case it appealed to me partly because it felt close to me in some ways. This is about a confused, bewildered middle class Englishman adrift in smalltown America and that has definitely been me.
People have the idea of missionaries as going out with the Bible and hitting natives with it. It’s not really what they were doing. They were all doing something rather different.
I’d love to try my hand at something else.
I do notice that when I’ve been away and I come back to London. People look at you. People are ready to pick arguments.
The last thing I would attempt to do is to buy clothes for a child I didn’t know well.
Most actors will tell you they have some sort of dream of doing something other than what they’re doing.
I was delighted to become a popular-culture reference point. I’m still delighted about it actually, and I still find it to be weird.
Bridget Jones is part of literary lore now and actually to be a part of it is enormously flattering.
To be bothered wherever you go – it’s not a rational thing to want at all.
I have a kind of neutrality, physically, which has helped me. I have a face that can be made to look a lot better – or a lot worse.
My parents and grandparents have always been engaged in teaching or the medical profession or the priesthood, so I’ve sort of grown up with a sense of complicity in the lives of other people, so there’s no virtue in that; it’s the way one is raised.