The good thing about my part in 'Harry Potter' was that I was pretty well disguised. When I was walking down the street, there was no real recognition factor. Parents would sometimes call their children to come say hello to Mad-Eye, and the kids wouldn't know what they were looking at.
My grandfather played a mandolin, so I got my hands on that. Then on down to a banjo, and I found I couldn't play any kind of soft or mournful music with that so I took up the fiddle in my late 20s or early 30s - and that was far too late. But it keeps me off the streets. It has been a love of mine since I was 17 maybe.
Actors will always tell you it's more fun playing bad guys. A lot of the time, it's criminals who are the people who don't care. There's something extraordinarily seductive about the guy who doesn't care, and to play that guy is terribly empowering, because you don't have to worry about the consequences of your actions.
For me, it's just about keeping the standards up. We're a small country, so we have to punch above our weight. I'm not a great man for doing something just because it's Irish, and you never know what's going to work. But as long as we keep the standards up, people will continue to invest in films. It's as simple as that.
I worked with Steven Spielberg on 'AI', and his level of preparation was extraordinary. He told me there was a time at the beginning when he was a bit more spontaneous and went over budget, and it absolutely wrecked his head. When you look at the power and assuredness of his movies, it makes sense that he works out so much in advance.
Winston was a bit of a challenge, all right, from a lot of different perspectives. It wasn't just the culture or the class divide or the historical baggage - it was also the age difference. We had to see if I could be aged-up legitimately, without it becoming some sort of hokey acting challenge.