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The last scene shows him strolling hand-in-hand down the beach with a 10-year-old Tim, ‘who was actually Richard’s son, Charlie. My favourite singer of all time is John Lee Hooker,’ he continues. Any form of machismo makes me want to lie down, I find it so dull.
We had about half an hour to film that, but it was magical.’ I remind Bill that his character, James, has a poster of BB King in his study, and he lights up. But John Lee has a powerful motherf***ing voice, but a tenderness I find very moving.’ Love Actually’s Billy Mack, though, is the role most people stop him in the street for.
Mad Men star Jon Hamm acted throughout college and eventually made the move to Los Angeles, but spent years auditioning unsuccessfully and waiting tables – until, he landed the role of Don Draper, age 36 – catapulting him into the homes of millions.
Starting out as a fashion editor at Vogue, Vera Wang swapped writing and editing for sewing and sketching.
‘I like the juxtaposition between the fictional context and the real historical figures,’ Bill says.
He ventured to London in the 1970s though, he says: ‘I was never a hippy.’ He explains: ‘My hair went very violently curly when I reached puberty, which was a bit of a disaster because it meant I could never be in the Rolling Stones or The Beatles.’ What about Led Zeppelin? But there was one aspect of the career that he hated. ‘One audition was in a disused tax office in Pinner. They put me in very tight hipster loon pants, 4in fake alligator platform heels, a top that did not meet my trousers, eye make-up and hair extensions.‘I’m always looking for somewhere non-aggressive to dance,’ he says.‘I’m not going to go into a nightclub, because they’re a vision of hell.I had to karaoke to Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water.After all that, you really want to go home.’ But you must have loved acting, Bill, to keep going?