Timothy Spall admits he’s never going to be a romantic hero on screen.
The actor is known for his unglamorous TV and film roles, famously breaking through playing a Brummie electrician in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet in 1983, and later the lead in ITV’s The Fattest Man In Britain.
But the Harry Potter star told Reader’s Digest his looks have been a blessing. “It’s not a struggle for me to look like these downtrodden characters,” the actor, who stars in Blandings, the second series of the BBC One adaptation of PG Wodehouse’s stories, said.
“It would be ludicrous and undignified if I tried to portray myself as a romantic hero. The very idea makes me laugh. It would put people off their tea!
“But I’m blessed by looking the way I do, so I don’t have to fight against natural beauty!”
He added: “For me, acting is about a bit more than the gratification of your wallet and your ego.”
The actor, who has starred in Mike Leigh films such as Life Is Sweet and Secrets And Lies, says his movie roles may not interest everyone.
“On a warm summer’s evening, given the choice between watching the grim goings-on in a Greenwich council estate or a bunch of dashing pirates, I don’t blame audiences for saying ‘I don’t want to waste my tenner,” he said.
“‘I see the sort of fatso who comes out of those estates all the time in real life. I’d much rather watch Johnny Depp.’ But if you look at cinema as an art form – as I do from time to time – then you want to pursue it at a more advanced, complex level.”
The new series of Blandings is screening on Sundays on BBC One.