The Hobbit actor, who is back on TV in the sitcom Breeders, recalls sharp dressing on a budget, discovering Public Enemy and how Michael Caine got him into film
The first music I latched on to was British punk – the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Jam. I just loved the power, the rawness and the rudeness. You had to turn it down when your dad came in the room; your parents were supposed to hate it. Bob Marley and the Wailers and Linton Kwesi Johnson became a religion alongside the Catholicism I was taught in school. From 17, I was a little hip-hop head, mad on Jungle Brothers, Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy. I was obsessed with politics in that way you are as a teenager – when you actually know nothing.
I’m not a particularly knowledgable fan of the Fall, but I loved hearing their early stuff via my older brothers (I’m the youngest of five). I thought this bored Manc with this slightly aggressive snarl was great. I like hearing accents in music. I remember hearing Ian Dury for the first time and thinking: “Jesus Christ!” Not everyone can sound like Rod Stewart. I’m not sure there has to be a template for what a rock’n’roll singer sounds like anyway. You’d want Mark E Smith to like you even though he would really hate you. I have often thought that about John Lydon. I would love to say hello to him, but he’d hate me, just on principle.