10 minutes with Rufus Sewell
The Actor on Balloon Twisting and James Bond

Evening Standard, 29 June 2012
Lucy Hunter Johnston

Youíve played a lot of baddies in your time, do you have a caddish streak?
No, and I donít think I have a great gift for villains either. But I can set my jaw and tilt my head a certain way and look quite mean.

Were you surprised when Zen was axed?
There was a change in management at the BBC while we were filming, so from early on we knew our days were numbered. But the idea of doing a job for life horrifies me.

Once a commitment-phobe...
Itís not commitment, itís repetitiveness that I worry about.

Youíve recorded Ian Flemingís books, do you fancy playing James Bond?
I donít see myself as cool and suave enough. Iíd always imagined playing a bad guy simply because you donít have the same pressure.

Do people still mistake you for Joaquin Phoenix?
Iím very nice when people ask if Iím the one from Gladiator. I say, ĎYes, thank you.í They mistake me for all sorts of people.

If you had to compete in any Olympic sport, which would it be?
I was never sporty, so balloon twisting.

In your new film you do battle with Abraham Lincoln. Who would win between you and Obama?
Obama looks like heíd be pretty handy. He has a bit of swagger to him.

Are you more Twilight or Buffy?
Iím more of a Christopher Lee man.

Now youíve quit smoking and drinking, whatís your worst habit?
I have about 100 coffees a day. Iím determined to have one kind of toxin in my body.

Youíve said you had a period of dressing Ďlike an 1980s twatí. What did you mean?
The generic ways in which a twat would express himself. In the 1980s it was by way of Duran Duran and David Bowie, now itís about Abercrombie & Fitch; but itís exactly the same twattish impulse.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is out now

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