Although your "In the Bedroom" character is a stalwart of his New England community, he seems very English in his emotional reserve, don't you think?
I've not heard that said, but I'll buy it. They are in a part of the country where I think their emotions do make them feel rather isolated and cut off. There is a very English reserve which I'm sure Todd [Field, the director] would recognise.
It's all satisfying, I don't approach some big Hollywood movie any differently from a little movie like this. You have to take what you do seriously, and commit to it wholeheartedly.
You lived in Canada as a child. Was that any help in tackling the accent you needed here?
Well, this was 4,000 miles from where we lived, but the general shape of the accent was OK. People are much better at accents than they used to be. There are plenty of actors who are quite good at accents, and I'm one of them. But a lot of actors now are just as fluent as Americans. Take Jude Law, in "The Talented Mr Ripley" - what a fantastic performance. I did, though, keep the accent going between takes.
After years of working in TV and theatre, do you get a kick from rubbing shoulders with major film stars now?
I've never lost that feeling of glamour. I remember when we went to the Golden Globes, which is the only one of those big things that I've ever been to, I can remember thinking: Christ, there's Madonna!