Robbie Coltrane

From Hell

Interviewed by Neil Smith

How much did you know about Jack the Ripper before making "From Hell"?

As much as most people, I guess, perhaps a bit more. It's fascinating how we are all still interested in it after all these years. People are always waiting for a document to turn up, a confession or something. It may yet happen, who knows?

Was it gruesome finding out about the Ripper crimes?

There are photographic records of all the crimes, some of which are too horrible to look at - although the props guys did have to look at them and make... exactly as they were found. That was pretty gruesome. We found ourselves making terrible gallows-humour jokes about it.

Did you enjoy working with Johnny Depp? What did you make of his Cockney accent?

I was terribly impressed with his Cockney accent. I've always liked his work, and I've always admired the choice he makes - he's made some very un-Hollywood choices. I'm a huge fan of "Donnie Brasco", so I was really looking forward to working with him.

What was it like being directed by the Hughes brothers?

That was very interesting, because Albert [Hughes] tends to take care of the shots and all the technicalities, whereas Allen likes to hang out with the actors, shoot the breeze, and play very loud rap music. What was interesting was listening to them talk about the next shot. It was what most directors probably go through in their own mind, but all out in the open.

You're up for a BAFTA award for "Harry Potter". Were you pleased to be nominated?

You never get blasé about people liking your work, and I'm in extremely good company. I shan't be winning it, but it was nice to be nominated - it's people in the business saying we think your work is up to the mark.