Winstone at the London premiere for Noah in March 2014.
|Born||Raymond Andrew Winstone
19 February 1957
Homerton, Hackney, London, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Elaine McCausland (m. 1979)|
|Children||3 (including Lois and Jaime Winstone)|
As a man, there's a part of me that feels I should still be going out and doing a proper day's work.
I'm dying to play a nice guy! No one's willing to cast me. They know I'm all right at bashing people up, but they don't know if I can do the other stuff. And I can.
If they didn't call you a tough guy, then what else would they call you? Something worse than that? I'm playing parts, and if they call you that, it's because I played the part right.
Hollywood don't always pay a lot of money. Because we're English they think we're cheap!
Working with Scorsese was an absolute dream, and one of my favourite ever jobs was 'Beowulf' because it was just pure acting. Your imagination explodes as you try to imagine you're fighting a dragon or whatever.
I've never met a politician I haven't wanted to walk away from, and I've yet to hear a politician speak and actually believe the words coming out of his mouth.
On every job you do, you've got to raise your game. My ambition is to just get better and better every job you do – you should never stop trying to get better. You have to teach yourself new things – I don't think you necessarily learn them from other people because you have your own style of doing things, but hopefully you get better.
I pile on the weight when I work. All that location catering's not good for the love handles. I lose a bit when I'm not working, but I love my food and the occasional snifter.
I was kicked out of drama school in 1976, aged 18, for vandalising the headmistress's tyres, after being there for less than a year.
I'm probably not very funny. The scripts just don't come in, or the ones that do aren't that good. I suppose I'm just an old drama queen, really.
I remember years ago I was an extra, just an extra, and instead of asking me to move – he was a big fella – the director just picked me up and moved me. And I headbutted him. You know, he shouldn't have done that, but I shouldn't have done that either. I just done it.
We don't have nannies and all that, we look after our own kids. It's just what you do. If you want a big family that's just what you do, isn't it?
I'm away so much I've had to learn to cook, and I find it relaxing after filming. I make stews and liver and bacon, and an Italian mate taught me how to make a mean puttanesca sauce.
In terms of directors, great actors make directors – Gary Oldman was great to work with, for me; Tim Roth, too. You work with Scorsese and Spielberg and they were wonderful directors, but for me, working with actor/directors is special.
All the great Shakespeare plays are about killing. 'Alas, poor Yorick,' that's about death. And in 'Romeo and Juliet' everyone up ends up dying. The greatest dramas in the world are all about sex, violence and death.
Well, you create your own persona, don't you? And you have to live with that. But the people that I meet, they don't think that I'm a lunatic. And if they do, then that's OK, because it means that I'm playing the parts all right.
I'm quite happy with the body of work that I've done, and I've done some really good work over the years that I'm proud of. I'm proud of some of the people that I've worked with, been lucky to have worked with.
At acting school people didn't speak like me. It was all received pronunciation – 'ow now brown cow.'
'Once Upon A Time In America' is one of the cleverest films of all time, because you can get out of it whatever you want to get out of it.
Every job I take, within minutes I'm thinking, 'I can't do this.' I think it's what makes me work. People think I just swagger in and do it. But I doubt myself all the time. It's what pushes me, what makes me work harder. The older I get, the less I take for granted.
I just love westerns. One of my favourite actors is John Wayne, probably one of the most underrated actors there's ever been. He's quite an incredible actor.
The thing about villains is most people play them with the shifty eyes and all that, whereas I play them as good guys. 'Cos everyone thinks they're a goodie, don't they?
I'm a lucky boy! I could be holding a gun in Afghanistan. There's boys out there doing what they've got to do, and there's people digging holes, and there's people driving buses. And there's nothing wrong with that.
For me, 'The Crystal Skull' was something I'd never done before, and I loved every minute of it. Working with Harrison Ford as well – he's a cowboy from Montana, the most unassuming man you'll ever work with, fabulous guy, and I loved it.
Elaine and I got married in summer 1979, we went on our honeymoon and came back for the premiere of 'Scum.' All of sudden my face was on billboards in Leicester Square and people were crowding outside the cinema, going mad about the film. It was a complete shock.
I know I've got to pay some tax, but I hate the fact that they collect millions of pounds a day from the congestion charge and I don't see anything or anyone benefitting from it. Where are the new hospitals?
Well, for me, my favourite 'Indiana Jones' is 'The Last Crusade,' because you get tears in your eyes when you see the old guard standing at the end, so that's my favourite one.
The original 'Edge of Darkness' was fantastic, a fabulous series. It was of its time, but this film version shows that times really haven't changed.
I think TV is all about caring, and if you don't care about a character in a drama or a person when they get voted out of a reality show, it's bad TV. I wouldn't care if you dropped a bomb on the 'Big Brother' house.