Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Is this a character that was easy to get into? Could
you personalise it and develop as much back story as you wanted,
because so little is revealed about him?
A. Yeah, I mean I approached it in the same way that
I approach everything really. I was interested in making him someone
who was not sort of faceless, but someone who could mix anywhere,
could get on anywhere, because I felt that was important for his
character, to be able to mix in every circle and, consequently,
every layer of the cake.
Q. In terms of the violence, was it physically taxing
A. You mean getting the shit beaten out of me? No, on
the whole it was a lot of fun. I mean, it's sort of par for the
course if you're making a film like this; at some point you're
going to have to fall to the ground and get kicked.
Q. Was it harder to keep a straight face, then, in a
scene with Michael Gambon?
A. [Laughs] It was awful, just terrible, but that has
more to do with the fact that he makes most of his lines up. So
it's just a sort of shot in the dark really.
Q. How did you feel about being held from the top of
A. Oh Jesus, it was terrifying because that building
is complete now but I don't know how many floors up we were, but
we had to climb like eight, literally rickety ladders, to get
to the top floor, so once you're up, you're up. I was tied up
and harnessed, because that would make sense, but it was terrifying.
Q. Do you actually have a fear of heights?
A. Yeah, but you have to get over it, because you have
big, butch stunt-men standing around you, so you have to get over
it fairly quickly. I just sort of closed my eyes and opened them
Q.That fear of heights hasn't gone away?
A. No [Laughs]. I'm in care now!
Q. You're big in America now. Do you prefer working in
A. I prefer working on good jobs. That's the only criteria
I have, and whether that's here... I mean, yes, my heart's here,
I do feel that I'm connected with not only the UK, but Europe
and European film-making, because there's a true independent spirit.
It's usually because of the lack of money but you do have more
choices. But a job's a job and I would take a job in America for
the same reason I would take a job here. I like to think I would
anyway, I mean there's always the offer of money, which is the
devil himself. It's not that clear cut - it's clear cut in the
sense that if I read the script and I like it, and I like the
director, then there's no argument.
Q. Your character in this movie is much cooler than your
characters in films such as The Mother and Sylvia...
A. It was a fucking struggle, I tell you!
Q. Was this more fun, then? Less of a challenge? And which
character is closest to who you are?
A. You mean between The Mother and this? [laughs] I don't
find what I do a struggle. It's just a joy for me. The work itself
is always... the long hours, all we know about, that's the struggle,
that's the work. But which is closest to me? I don't know, there's
a bit of me in everything I do.
Q. I noticed in the notes, that it says you were introduced
to the theatre at The Everyman, and you've done some great theatre
work since, although people mostly know you through film. At that
age, and I presume you were in your teens, was that it; was that
the thing that kick-started it, seeing other actors on stage?
A. I just wanted to be an actor. Running around a playground,
playing games as you do, I always had an idea that I wanted to
be an actor, and I think probably the fact that I was taken to
theatre so young had a major influence on me. I had some luck,
my mother knew actors and designers who were at The Everyman at
the time, so I would go backstage and, you know, it's a magical
place... dressing up and showing off! It's what I do now really!
Q. Talking about another film, if I may, who's the better
kisser, Anne Reid or Rhys Iifans?
A. [Laughs] They're both different in very special ways.
Q. But was that a difficult scene to do with Rhys in
A. Yes, we shot it towards the end of the movie and we'd
been taking the piss out of each other relentlessly, and it was
all over in a flash... thank God!
Q. You mentioned earlier
that it was a bleeping struggle finding the cool element of the
character? Were you inspired by anyone, or did you watch anyone
A. It's not the way I work, I think I just stood up straight
in this movie. We discussed the look, what I was wearing was very
important, but we wanted to try and keep it as subtle as possible.
I mean the fact that I had a couple of very nice suits made and
was wearing very nice shirts, as soon as you put stuff like that
on, you tend to hold yourself differently. But I didn't go out
to make him cool. If he is, then that's a by-product, but I approached
it the same way I approach everything.
Q. But you don't steal from real life, in the form of
A. No, it's about what's here. And I think that makes
you behave differently. But I think if you're concerned about
the way you look when on camera, that's what it looks like, so
I try and steer away from that.
MATTHEW: But I think this whole notion that Daniel
is trying to be cool doesn't really fit. You are what you are,
and if people find that as cool, then it's just a perception and
nothing else. If you make a film thinking, 'I'm going to make
a cool film', then you're not. The fact that you've even made
that decision means that you're sort of behind. Style, coolness,
fashion, you set it and people either agree with you or don't.
But believe me, none of us were trying to say we're going to be
making a cool movie. But if people are kind enough to be calling
it cool, then thank you, but that wasn't the aim.
Q. Do you have a career plan about Hollywood?
A. I don't know if you can have a career plan about Hollywood.
I've got ambitions, and I'm going to make a Hollywood film next
year, which is great, but I hope in the meantime I'll probably
make something here. I just spice it up as much as possible because
I don't want to lose interest.
Q. What is the next Hollywood project?
A. I've got a Steven Spielberg project.
Q. About the Munich Olympics?
Q. The multi-plex audience hasn't seen much of your work,
so how do you strike the balance between doing work that satisfies
you and having a public profile?
A. Just sheer bloody luck, I suppose. Striking the balance
never really comes into it. It's a dull answer, but it's job to
job and it's whatever interests me at the time. It's where my
head is at the time. If something comes to me which is about nothing
but hate and pain, and I'm not in that frame of mind, or I don't
think I can go there, then I won't do that film. It's as simple
as that, because it's a big chunk out of your life, and when you're
doing it, I put everything I can into it. So, the choices are
Q. So what about an atypical choice such as Tomb Raider;
what motivated that?
A. Money! And the idea of doing it, I mean I'm the same
as Matthew. I love big movies, I love multi-plexes; I love getting
popcorn, hotdogs, nachos, everything, and just sitting in the
front row and watching those big movies. I just love it. So that
was the incentive to be in a movie like that. It wasn't a bad
experience, but it didn't really turn me on.
Q. Do you have a passion to do comedy at some stage?
A. I'm not funny. The films I find funny never set out
to be funny. The things that make me belly laugh in movies are
when the film is just about the truth and the truth is what's
funny. And I can't think of an example, but black humour is much
more appealing and I think you don't play that for laughs. But
I don't have an instinct for it, and I don't have a desire to
do it, so it's an accident if the stuff I'm in is funny. I think
The Mother is funny, but people take it very, very seriously,
yet that for me is real humour.
Q. And what about directing?
A. Jesus no! First to arrive, last to leave, everybody
in oyur ear, constantly, telling you this, telling you that, and
at the end of the day you have to stand up and get it right. No,
Q. In a lot of the interviews I've read with you - and
there aren't that many - it says that you don't particularly like
being interviewed. Is that a myth, or are you quite shy?
A. It's a bit of both. I don't mind talking about work
I've done. That, for me, is obvious. I want this people to be
seen by people and it was very important that I go out and talk
about it. Also, I'm very happy to talk about it because I'm very
proud of it, but I just don't pursue it for celebrity reasons.
I've got nothing against it, but it's just not for me. I mean,
I've got other things to do if I'm not working, I don't want to
be just sitting around talking about myself.
Q. Most of your Our Friends in the North colleagues have
gone on to make their names in TV, is there a chance you will
go back to that medium?
A. Actually, I'm just about to go and do a film for the
BBC, in Latvia, next month. The thing is, we still do make the
best television - just. But if you've got a good script in front
of you, and it was for television, you'd be stupid to turn it
down. I think to get snotty about things is where madness lies
and you'll be chasing your tail round.