James Nesbitt Quotes.
Something about theatre perhaps scared me.
I’d be a very easy therapist’s subject.
Like the character I played in ‘Jekyll’, we all have different masks we put on for different occasions. As much as we all want to lead decent lives, we’re also attracted by the idea that something dark may lurk within us.
I’ve got a history in my life of difficult times.
The thing to remember is that the work comes first, and not to get distracted by anything else. If you keep focused on the work, everything else will fall into place. That’s my mantra now.
There’s some irony in playing a journalist after some of the stuff that has been written about me, but it’s a great profession, particularly investigative journalism.
When I was growing up, Belfast City Hall was surrounded by security, and we had no access to it. But now, people come in and out of it all the time. On a nice day, office workers and students sit on the lawn outside and have lunch. It’s great to see how Northern Ireland has changed. To be part of that is fantastic.
People love watching medical dramas – they also love watching documentaries about the workings of the brain.
As I told Piers Morgan, ‘Catholics have confession, whereas Northern Irish Protestants only have interviews.’
There’s no such thing as unwanted attention for an actor.
‘Spoilt’ is a euphemism for ‘loved.’
I never forget that I’m extremely fortunate.
Richard Armitage is very good at the old horse riding because of course he did it in ‘Robin Hood,’ so he’s very good at that.
When you’re brought up in a Unionist culture, you can’t help but feel Unionist.
If you are a Northern Irish actor, maybe subconsciously more than consciously, you do have an instinctive responsibility at some point to tackle the recent history of where we have come from. It’s not only a responsibility, but a privilege.
My wife is a very strong woman.
I have three older sisters who, when we were children, used to hold me down on a bad day and put make-up all over me, so I’ve had an aversion to it all my life and hate sitting down in the make-up chair.
Perhaps not being very self-aware in the past masked depression. I think I was confused. I think I was immature. I think I probably was quite depressed.
Tumours can come out of nowhere.
I think often there is great rivalry between neurosurgeons and cardiac surgeons. I think I maybe have a bit of bias with neurosurgeons’ opinion that nothing tops neurosurgery! But that makes for a quite interesting conflict between the two.
I spend an awful lot of time by myself and enjoy that.
My wife would say I’m more Hyde than Jekyll!
If I get to the end of my life, and people say, ‘He was in ‘Cold Feet,’ well, I was, and it was great. I thought the fourth series wasn’t great. I thought there were weak episodes throughout. Overall, I thought it was a good show, it had an impact, it dealt with a lot of issues, and it was a great part.
Ever since I left Northern Ireland, I’ve always been pretty comfortable on my own, which contradicts a lot of people’s perceptions of me.
I’m increasingly realising our consciousness and subconsciousness are extremely different, and our subconsciousness motivates us, but so far, I don’t know what drove or motivates me.
Northern Ireland has treated me well, you know?
I lived a dual life, and when my dual life exploded, I began to feel much happier.
I’m not an actor who is often asked to be in period things.
If you are going to tell a story about a child going missing, it’s going to have similarities with a real life child going missing.
I’m not very good at standard English.
There will only ever be 13 dwarves in ‘The Hobbit’ – and I was one of them. If I had my time again, would I do it? Yeah, I would.
I loved my time growing up in Northern Ireland doing youth drama, that is where it all began for me.
I was one of the many kids in Northern Ireland who grew up in the countryside and had an idyllic childhood well away from the Troubles.
I get an awful lot of people coming up and saying they went to school with me. There must have been 80,000 pupils at that school!
My best friends are still the ones I first attached myself to when I went to school because, all of a sudden, I was leaving the rather pampered and occasionally very annoying world of having three older sisters to go to a male-dominated world.
The reality of life in Northern Ireland is that if you were Protestant, you learned British history, and if you were Catholic, you learned Irish history in school.
That thing of briefly losing sight of a child happened to me when the kids were younger, and you can’t see them in the supermarket or wherever. It’s a terrible, terrible moment… the most unimaginable horror.
The best way of enjoying your money is to spend it on other people. I don’t need much.
I think a lot of us who grew up in Northern Ireland weren’t politicised enough, frankly.
I’ve always been a family man and count myself as one of those who are lucky to have the comfort of a family.
Although surgeons know how to deal with bits of the brain, they don’t really know how it works.
I do commercials, but I also go to Sudan as an ambassador for UNICEF.
When I did the film ‘Hear My Voice’ a few years ago, I disappeared fully up my own backside for a while. Because I thought my career was taking off, I became a bit of an egomaniac and a pain in the neck. I thought I was God’s gift to mankind and the greatest Irishman since George Best.
Kids at a certain age don’t necessarily want to be dragged to the other side of the world.
It’s easier to act in your own accent.
No one wanted to own Bloody Sunday.
It’s hard to make a film in Britain. It’s hard to raise money. The best stuff that is shot on film in Britain is usually shot on film for television.
Theatres, along with the likes of the Ulster Orchestra, for example, are the cultural heartbeats of our towns and cities, and without them, we are much poorer for it.
New Zealand is a place where you can get well.
It’s easy to get carried away with yourself.
My early ambitions were the same as they are now – to play for Manchester United. I was, and still am, football mad.
I’m no pin-up.
Belfast is a city which, while not forgetting its past, is living comfortably with its present and looking forward to its future.
All my adult life, there was the Troubles. That was the backdrop of my life.
I think teaching should be a vocation, and they should be paid more for it.
I went to India with UNICEF in connection with Manchester United to raise money for children’s education.
I’m not strong-willed enough or unkind enough… or maybe simply not wise enough to tell a journalist that a subject is out of bounds.
It’s ridiculous, but it’s horrible going bald. Anyone who says it isn’t is lying.
My mother taught me what it is to have a sense of humour; my dad, who was a headmaster, everything you need to know about hard work. My dad is the most decent man you could come across.
When I was at drama school, I was totally broke, and a lot of my mates had jobs and were financially very good to me, so if, for example, I take them away on a trip to a football match in Europe, it means that I can pay them back a bit.
When people say, ‘You’re perceived as a sex symbol,’ I love the idea of that because it’s so absurd.
Love your parents, but don’t have them as your mates.
In my life, I have made the occasional catastrophic choice, and it’s just a case of moving on and learning from it.
I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot more commercials.
I love nothing more than going to eat by myself with a newspaper.
I started a French degree at university, but packed it in when I realised I really wanted to be an actor.
I spend my money on holidays and eating out, and it allows me to be generous.
I want to beat up Michael Fassbender in a movie. I was with him at the beginning of his career when he did an episode of ‘Murphy’s Law.’ He’s a proper superstar and enormously talented, but I want to do a scene where I properly duff him up.
When you suddenly become successful, the change is enormous, both financially and in terms of recognition and the way people treat you. I found that hard to deal with. I got very guilty about it, and I think I put up obstacles to prevent myself enjoying it.
A lot of people of my Ulster Protestant background would have been very suspicious of the notion of a film about Bloody Sunday. Our fear would have been that it would be terribly anti-Britain and anti-soldiers: a piece of nationalist propaganda.
Funnily enough, Northern Ireland is a great example of where politics can win over conflict. The decision to down arms and follow a political path would have been unthinkable once. It shows just what is possible.