Q: You've played both heroes and villains,
from Shakespeare's Romeo on stage to J.K. Rowling's deadly Lord
Voldemort in "Harry Potter." Which do you enjoy better?
A: I don't want to play any more villains, I
don't enjoy playing them, I've done it. I enjoy playing complicated
people. We talk about good guys and bad guys, but it's reductive. I
think I wanted to be an actor because of Shakespeare, and
Shakespeare's characters are full of ambivalence and ambiguity. They
start out as one thing and end up another, so if there's an
interesting journey for a character and the audience have to work
hard to follow the path of a character, I like that.
Q: You're well known for your portrayals of Shakespearean
leads on stage, but how has Shakespeare evolved for audiences now?
A: My sense is that it's going to be harder and harder for
younger people to feel excited by the brilliant, athletic complexity
of Shakespeare's language, which for so many centuries has excited
people by its beauty and its accuracy and its inventiveness of
English, which is so extraordinary.
But we learn in times where English is so reduced by the ... awful
communications of Twitter and Facebook that people are dumbing
themselves down. The delight of expressing yourself in language or
listening to someone, that's being diluted.
Q: You're going to be in the next installment of the James
Bond franchise as the new head of MI6. Can you tell us any more
about the new 'M' or the film?
A: I can't, I know nothing, I've not been told anything, I
have no information, no dates, no sense of the journey of my
character at all! I don't!
(Editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew
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