30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Peter Dinklage I feel really lucky. Although, I hate that word - ‘lucky.’ It cheapens a lot of hard work. Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes - I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy who’s freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I won’t say I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - David Tennant I often stop when I’m doing something, in the middle of rehearsals or some other job, and I try to take a minute to think, “Okay, this might be as good as it gets, so drink it in, appreciate it now”. So far, I’ve been lucky because another job has always come along to equal the last.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Kit Harington All the way up until sixth form I wanted to be a journalist, that’s what I always wanted to do. I liked acting but I didn’t see it as something I would do. I got as far as my A-levels and thought ‘You know what? I do like this and if I’m going to do it then I’m going to give it my best shot.’
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Richard Madden I don’t really look so much like I do on [Game of Thrones], so I don’t get recognized that much. It’s nice. I can keep a bit of anonymity. But the nicest thing is that if anyone does recognize me and stop me, it’s not just because I’m in a TV show—it’s because they really like it. It’s the biggest compliment that they want to come up and shake my hand and thank me for being part of this show that they love. It’s very complimentary and very flattering for me and everyone in the show.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Bradley James Variety is the spice of life. I say that all of the time. Films are what got me into acting in the first place. I’d like to vary it - if I could find myself at the stage where I could go and do a film and then go and do a play, and keep doing different things to test out for myself what I’m capable of, I’d be very happy.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Andrew Scott (When asked about A Scandal in Belgravia) It starts by Jim going into the Tower of London, attempting to steal the Crown Jewels, which was, I have to say, one of the most fun days of filming I’ve ever had. There was sort of a soundtrack of classical music in the background which I had to sort of dance along to. Well, I didn’t have to…I did.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Tom Hiddleston Even outside of Marvel, whenever I am working on a film, I try to not think about what people will think about it once it’s made. It will make you self-conscious and self-aware. You just have to be thinking, “Who is this guy? What does he want? It’s my responsibility to play this guy and his version of the truth is my responsibility. What other people see in that representation is up to them.” I didn’t know that people were going to like what I did in Thor as Loki. It’s nice that they liked it. But it is that thing of “to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
“What scares me? Oh, now that’s a big question. I don’t know what scares me- cockroaches, nuclear apocalypse. Fear is an interesting thing. It has a place in all of our lives. I try to be as fearless as possible. I don’t always succeed, but I like to think I try.”
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Matt Smith I just want to try and make brave choices and not get too het up about ladders. Look at the careers of people like Michael Gambon and Ian McKellen. Learn your craft. I’m still rough around the edges and I want to keep on improving.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Colin Morgan People often ask me what inspired me to become an actor, and the truth is I can’t answer that. For me, it was always more like a natural instinct. Every part, every performance I have ever taken has just been about feeding that desire to act.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Benedict Cumberbatch When I started, I just assumed I couldn’t be called Benedict Cumberbatch but then, one day, I told someone in the business what I was really called and they said, “That’s great. That’s something you can use to stand out.”
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau This past June was my 20th year as an actor, since I left the National Theater school. I’ve always been working, but what’s so amazing is that there are very few moments where your own enthusiasm for a show is actually shared with an audience. That’s quite rare. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be on a show that people see and watch, and there’s no question that some of the opportunities I get now work-wise are related to Game of Thrones, for which I’m very grateful.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Martin Freeman I don’t think it was a surprise that I ended up as an actor, and it was anything but a disappointment. My parents gave me the knowledge that reading isn’t a bad thing, and admitting to liking a painting doesn’t make you an arse-bandit.
30 ACTORS I ADMIRE - Alexander Skarsgård As an actor, I believe the character has to be born with you, and come from within you. It has to be that organic. As human beings, we have all those characteristics within us. I don’t believe in good people and bad people. I think we are a combination of both.