Got a government scholarship to a private secondary education in UK, because his parents income was low enough, and his state school grades were exceptional.
He is of mixed heritage. His father is English, with Welsh and Scottish ancestry. His mother was born in Singapore but is of Indian Tamil origin. In the 1950s when she was in her teens, with her family, they drove from Tamil Nadu, India to United Kingdom. Their journey is documented in The Times archive. He also has family in Spain. He speaks conversational Spanish.
Personal Quotes (4)
I just love creative forces of nature who never gather any moss and keep on rolling harder than Ol Man River.
[on being straight but playing Freddie Mercury and other gay characters] Many of my friends have fallen in love with people of both genders. I have...whatever 'love' means. I feel like I'm in love with my best mate. Ultimately, what difference does it make that somebody is making love to someone of a different gender than you? There is no rational way of starting that argument.
[on his success in My Brother The Devil] I had a director and editor who picked all the best takes. I'm very proud of my performance and what I did, but at the end of the day, filmmaking is a director's medium and your performance can be enhanced or ruined in the editing process. Actors get a lot more credit than they deserve, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes; De Niro owes his career to Scorsese, Brando owes his career to Kazan. There in lies the problem with screen acting, you have to seek out great filmmakers.
[on people wanting to be an actor] Honestly, I would say do not do it. But if you can conquer continuous rejection by dozens of people, and yet still have the madness to go and pursue it regardless, then become an actor. I would put that and hard work ethic above talent, pertaining to a more pragmatic advice for becoming an actor or artist of any kind I guess. However I am being paradoxical because I am personally much more interested in creative talent. Because I am one of the few nutters in this industry who believes in blind optimism and that raw talent will win out in the long run.