Jude Law: From pretty boy to gangster

Jude Law enters his forties with new roles that could establish him as a character actor. He talks to Tom Brook about moving away from romantic leads.

With a receding hairline and expanding waist, British actor Jude Law has embraced middle age in his new film Dom Hemingway. Swaggering and foul-mouthed in the title role, Law’s character is far removed from the golden boys he played in Gattaca and The Talented Mr Ripley.

 “There’s a certain minefield as a young actor where you’re encouraged to weed out ... romantic leads, and they to me are somewhat limiting and not particularly nourishing as an actor,” Law tells Tom Brook.

The actor – who turned 40 in 2012 – says that parts have become more interesting with age. “The experience of life suddenly adds to the complexity of a character in a film or in a play.”

Law has recently taken on parts that mark him out as a character actor. He plays a psychiatrist in the thriller Side Effects and an author in Wes Anderson’s comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, and just earned an Olivier Award nomination for his stage performance in Henry V.

He talks to Tom Brook about bulking up as a “man mountain” – and why he prefers to avoid Hollywood’s big- budget blockbusters.

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