Jim Broadbent has admitted if his choice of roles had been left up to him, he would probably have played it a lot safer.

The award-winning film star, 62, is about to hit our screens playing former Prime MInister’s husband Denis Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

As one of Britain’s most loved and versatile character actors, his previous roles span from the fearsome ringmaster in Moulin Rouge! to the eccentric titular Lord in Longford and have won him two Baftas and an Oscar.

But if he were responsible for choosing all his own roles, Broadbent said things might have been different.

“Other people have a much better idea of what I might do than I,” he revealed. “I come out with more predictable notions, but other people somehow have a broader frame of reference, which is more exciting really.

“It would never have occurred to me that I might play Denis Thatcher, Lord Longford or Harold Zidler [in Moulin Rouge!] or any number of the roles I’ve done.”

Broadbent has recently been filming in Majorca, Glasgow and Berlin for Cloud Atlas, the latest movie in his 30-year career, alongside Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon.

“Travelling used to be the main thing when I first started acting, now I’m quite happy to be at home,” he said. “Getting the whole nomadic thing out of your system has happened I suppose. There’s the idea of being a travelling player when you start acting.

“I quite enjoy the airports and the hotels to a degree, but I’m happier at home.”

:: The Iron Lady is released in cinemas on Friday, January 6.