8 December 2012 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The actor on making Julie and Julia, and his early food experiences in New York

Concetta, my mother's mother, was an amazing cook. After she had a stroke, in her late 80s, which almost paralysed her left arm, she used the kneading of dough as therapy. Just after she had her arm amputated the family distracted her by asking how to make stuffed artichokes.

She died the same year as my food film Big Night came out. But she got to see it, with all the family. She was very taciturn, didn't talk much, but she liked the film.

When I exercise I watch cooking DVDs on the running machine, or other equipment in the home gym. I love to exercise. I'm obsessed with that, like food. So I can spend the whole day sweating to Nigel Slater.

At 19 I worked as a bartender in an Italian restaurant in NY. »

- John Hind

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