Born in Liverpool, Jason Isaacs, 57, studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He appeared in the 2000 film The Patriot and played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films; His television series include Star Trek: Discovery and The OA. He stars Fiery sky, in digital format, DVD and Blu-ray on November 28. He lives in London with his wife and two children.
What is your biggest fear?
My children are afraid.
What is your first memory?
My parents had gone out for the night. They had bought a new corduroy sofa and I bought a bread knife and, out of curiosity, I cut the arm to see the sponge inside. I was seven.
What is the trait you deplore the most about yourself?
Interrupt to make you laugh.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of compassion.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
When my wife was pregnant, I told a very important Hollywood mogul that the baby’s name would be Lily, because it was my grandmother’s name. He said, “That’s so wonderful.” And I said, “Obviously, if it had been Bertha we would have thought about it again.” There was an odd pause and he said, “You remember my wife’s name is Bertha, don’t you?”
What is your most prized possession?
A deeply buried Liverpool accent, authentic and always accessible.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I deal with my own aging all the time on screens big and small in horrendous high definition.
What was the best kiss of your life?
My wife’s first kiss on Halloween in 1987 behind venetian blinds at a stage manager’s party in Maida Vale.
What is your most guilty pleasure?
My wife goes to bed very early and I watch all the singing competition shows under the duvet.
What book changed your life?
The Harry Potter books.
What did you want to be when you were little?
What is the worst of someone? he said to you?
I’m constantly being monitored on the internet, so any version of “I want you dead and if I find you I’ll make it happen.”
Who would you like to ask for forgiveness and why?
Anyone who knew me before 30, because I was addicted to drugs, and all my relationships were lived through that prism.
What has been your closest brush with the law?
Given what my life was like before I quit drugs and drinking at 35, it’s remarkable that I’m not talking to an orange monkey through a sheet of glass.
Who would you invite to the dinner of your dreams?
I quite like the confinement. I love the fact that I can eat with my wife and children. That is the dinner of my dreams.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
We have waited so long to have children, we only have two.
If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn’t have spent that much time trying to be a professional skater or a billiard player.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That is how madness lies.
What song would you like me to play at your funeral?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To be useful, self-service is a black hole. And also fries: just say no.
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