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“I can feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa reading a book.”

“Because reading is one of the joys of life, and once you begin, you can’t stop, and you’ve got so many stories to look forward to.”

“The further you get away from yourself, the more challenging it is. Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.”

“Metaphorically speaking, it’s easy to bump into one another on the journey from A to B and not even notice. People should take time to notice, enjoy and help each other.”

“I am very flattered. I have also become a verb as in “I have cumberbatched the UK audience” apparently. Who knows, by the end of the year I might become a swear word too! It’s crazy and fun and very flattering.”

“I’ve seen and swam and climbed and lived and driven and filmed. Should it all end tomorrow, I can definitely say there would be no regrets. I am very lucky, and I know it. I really have lived 5,000 times over.”

“I keep myself amused and others confused”

“[on Martin Freeman playing Bilbo Baggins] It was great. I got to hang out with him, and I kept a straight face for a bit and then I started giggling because I know Martin, I don’t know Bilbo. For Martin to be sitting there playing Bilbo is amazing. He’s going to be amazing, he’s going to be fantastic in this film.”

“Pull the hair on my head the wrong way, and I would be on my knees begging for mercy. I have very sensitive follicles.”

“We all want to escape our circumstances, don’t we? Especially if you are an actor.”

“Maybe it’s because I was an only child, but I’ve always wanted kids.”

“The first time we did cavalry charge I was so breathless with excitement I nearly fell off the horse. I actually saw stars in front of my eyes and thought I was going to faint. The second time I had a bit more control but was still giddy with excitement. And the third time I was an emotional wreck. I had to really try hard not to cry.”

“I want to do it all. I want to climb mountains, go through jungles, fight wars in space, get the girl, shoot the bad-guy full of lead, have all the zippy one liners, bulge muscles out of a singlet, drip sweat and blood on screen, all of that.”

“One of the fears of having too much work is not having time to observe. And once you get recognised, there is nowhere for you to look any more. You can’t sit on a night bus and watch it all happen.”

“I’ve always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem.”

“I drive a motorbike, so there is the whiff of the grim reaper round every corner, especially in London.”

“Looking for happiness is a sure way to sadness, I think. You have to take each moment as it comes.”

“I had the privilege of being able to choose, or at least have the opportunity to work at, being anything but an actor.”

“I’m a Prince of Wales Trust ambassador, so I’m all about giving youth an education, a voice and a chance to not take the wrong road.”

“I have actual acting scars.”

“You can’t imagine fame. You can only ever see it from an outsider and comment on it with the rueful wisdom of a non participant. When it happens to you, it doesn’t matter what age or how, it is a very steep learning curve. The imprtanot thing to realize in all of it is that life is short, to protect the ones you love, and not expose yourself to too much abuse or narcissistic reflection gazing and move on. If fame affords me the type of ability to do the kind of work I’m being offered, who am I to complain about the downsides. It’s all relative. And this are obviously very high class problems. The way privacy becomes an every shrinking island is inevitable but also manageable and it doesn’t necessary have to get that way…”

“I’ve realised now that the reality of children is you have to be in the right place with the right person.”

“Live Life Less Ordinary”

“I’ve been very lucky at what’s happened in my career to date, but playing something as far from me as possible is an ambition of mine – anything from a mutated baddy in a comic book action thriller, to a detective. If anything, I’d like Gary Oldman’s career: he’s the perfect example of it. I’ve love to have a really broad sweep of characters – to be able to do something edgy, surprising and unfashionable.”

“I love doing impersonations of people.”

“I’ve been quite a late developer on the clothes front, but I’ve suddenly realised it is one of life’s joys.”

“Lines are very difficult to learn.”

“What a tragic waste of engagement (selfies). Enjoy the moment. Do something more worthwhile with your time, anything. Stare out the window and think about life.”

“Do I like being thought of as attractive? I don’t know anyone on Earth who doesn’t, but I do find it funny.”