Belfast Telegraph

Bill Nighy: I hated acting for years

The Bafta winner says he continued with his career because he did not know what else to do.

Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy has said he frequently considered quitting acting because he “just hated” it for years.

The Bafta winner, 68, admitted he thought about giving up his television and film career on a weekly basis but stuck with it because he did not know what to do instead.

He told Radio Times magazine: “I thought of quitting, if not daily, then weekly.

“I was so unhappy. I just hated it, for years.

“It’s not unpleasant all the time, and you work with great people and I am proud of some of the things I’ve done.

“You get a degree of satisfaction when it’s over, but the actual process is never satisfactory.”

I was on TV, watching myself on TV. It was horrible. If you wanted to find out the perfect way to wind me up, this was it Bill Nighy

Nighy said he kept going because he “couldn’t think of anything else to do”.

“I flunked school – not that that would prevent you from doing anything in life – but I didn’t have any other ideas,” he said.

“I was deeply self-conscious, which you are supposed to be. Every actor is self conscious.”

The Love Actually star also avoids watching himself on television.

He said: “I tried that when I was young and less complicated to look at, and it was bloody awful.

“I was third bank robber in Softly, Softly (1976). I was staying in digs with some people – they were all crowded in the front room, and then I came on TV. I walked out, it was so terrible.

“I had a phoney accent, which was just not committed enough, and my hair, obviously. Oh!”

Nighy said the scenes came back to haunt him during an appearance on Richard and Judy, when the presenters surprised him with a clip from the programme.

“So I was on TV, watching myself on TV,” he said. “It was horrible. If you wanted to find out the perfect way to wind me up, this was it.”

:: The Radio Times is out on Tuesday.

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph